Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not that I expected anything better, but I still reserve the right to be disgusted

I know, I know. I said I shouldn't watch any additional Republican debates. But I just can't help myself. My mom and I have debated whether we're masochists or just involved citizens. We decided it's probably a combination of the two.

So, anyway, I watched the debate tonight. (They mercifully stayed away from the social questions, like abortion and gay rights, that are surest to make my head want to explode.) But Brian Williams had one question just for Rick Perry at the tail end of the debate.

Brian Williams began, "Governor Perry, a question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times. Have you.."

At this point, Williams was interrupted by applause. Fairly loud applause. And I wanted to cry. Or scream. Because being that enthusiastically in support of killing 234 people seems a little off. I'm sugar-coating it there. I think it's despicable. I think it's awful to cheer for the intentional killing of anyone, let alone 234 people.

Williams was finally allowed to finish his question to Perry, "Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?"

PERRY: No, sir. I've never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place of which -- when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States, if that's required.

Of course he's not troubled. Of course he never struggles with the thought that he oversaw the execution of anyone who shouldn't have been executed. Oh, they have a great system. As Cameron Todd Willingham will tell you. I'm sure Hank Skinner would have great things to say about the Texas criminal justice system. Or the guy whose defense attorney slept at trial.

And then he spouted off about how anyone comes into HIS state and kills one of HIS STATE'S children, you will be executed. And he gets more applause. Such a sorry, disgusting display. And so very not presidential.


BellsforStacy said...

There are many things that Texas is doing right - often times in spite of Rick Perry.

I do not have a good sense of the death penalty, but I know that I couldn't cheer and I can't be happy when someone is sentenced to death. We talked about this at book club, How I think that we over punish, and we never forgive. A person can serve his time, go through his probation, but he can still have ah ard time finding a job. And if you won't let people earn a living, what good is their freedom?

And people always say - well what if it was your kid? how would you feel? Most crimes that we're talking about are accidents, and how does punishing that other individual for the rest of his life bring my child back? How does killing him make me feel any better?

RAMBLE. If it were my kid or my husband or my sibling I'd be destroyed. But I dont know what that would mean I think justice looks like.

Also - Rick Perry is also more liberal than he's currently saying he is. Not that I think you should vote for him or anything. But he's a chameleon, he's changed sides with how best he thought he could get elected.

But at this point - I dont care who is President. I just want someone who's not going to bankrupt us. And I'm not convinced the REpublicans are going to do any better at halting spending.

S said...

It was the outright cheering at the volume of executions in Texas that just set me off. So not a thing to cheer about.

What you say about Rick Perry is also my problem with Mitt Romney. I feel like the only sincere one in the bunch who I would even CONSIDER voting for (not that I probably would) is Huntsman but he has no shot at the nomination.

At any rate, I should really stop following it because it all just makes me feel mad and helpless and hopeless.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Remember, last night's crowd were the same people who four years ago in that same building cheered and applauded Rudy! Giuliani (among others) for advocating torture.

Even if one supports the death penalty, its administration is nothing to cheer about and its frequent administration is a signpost of a deeper and more serious problem. Executions should be serious, sober, and seldom.

DBB said...

I think the death penalty should be eliminated for ordinary people. Just keep it for crimes against humanity, for crimes committed by public officials that lead to death - like the torture regime. Cheney and his ilk, in their official positions, murdered people through rendition and torture, so he and his ilk should be executed for that. But other than that, I think life in prison should suffice for anyone else who commits a capital crime.l

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