Thursday, April 17, 2008

High court ruling sets stage for executions to resume in Texas

And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

From the Star Telegram:

By John Moritz

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected arguments that executing inmates by lethal injection violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment and paved the way for Texas and 35 other states to resume executions after a seven-month hiatus...

...Gov. Rick Perry wasted little time signaling that Texas' busiest-in-the-nation death chamber would be back in action now that the court issued its directive.

"Texas is a law-and-order state, and I stand by the majority of Texans who support the death penalty as it is written in Texas law," said Perry, who has presided over 165 executions since becoming governor in December 2000
The reaction from Death Row?
"It’s just terrible," said Paris Powell, a convicted killer at the Oklahoma State Prison in McAlester. He added: "It’s like the air has just been let out of a balloon. There’s disbelief that the ruling came so quickly...
How did Paris Powell end up on death row? Just a drive by shooting:
Fourteen year old Shauna Farrow died at the scene when a bullet penetrated her chest and passed through her heart and lungs. Seventeen year old Derrick Smith was shot in the hip, resulting in extensive injuries to his leg. He was placed in a body cast, and his leg injury required the permanent placement of a metal rod and pin.
MSNBC didn't mention that little tidbit in the article containing goblin Powell's quote.

Also from that same article:
In Texas, easily the No. 1 death penalty state, 40 condemned convicts who had all but exhausted their appeals had been awaiting the outcome of the case, said University of Houston law professor David Dow, who represents death row inmates. Texas has 357 inmates on death row.
H/T to Texas Fred for the Farrow article.


Anonymous said...

They have put in an express lane at Huntsville.

BobG said...

357 people on death row? That's way too many.
There should be a set number of cells for death row. Every time you get a new one, everyone moves down one and the guy on the end is taken out and shot.

Unknown said...

Good post. And good point about MSNBC neglecting to mention why that inmate was condemned to die. He murdered a teenage girl? Give him the needle.

As far as executions in this country there just are not enough of them to make it a real deterrent. But with some courage that could change. Even Texas executes a very small number of people when you compare it to the number of victims of violent crime.

I'd like every state in the Union to get serious about executing criminals. The safety of the law-abiding public - and really the survival of civilization - depends on it.