Tim Adams is the convicted man to be executed tomorrow. See the post prior to this one for details on his case. On the face of it, I never really had a problem with the death penalty. I always felt comfortable with at least the notion that if I was ever in a jury where I had to make that choice, I could do it without losing sleep. The facts would always be clear enough. Not so much any more. I heard a quote by actor George Hamilton a while back, something to the effect "That now that I'm old enough to finally get my head together, my ass is falling apart" which seemed appropriate one begins to comprehend that there are always mitigating circumstances to any situation. In Tim Adams case, those mitigating circumstances should allow his death penalty to be commuted to "life".
I've attached some quotes to show how some famous folks feel about this...
"People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty ... I have yet to see a death case among the dozens coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court.
"Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?" NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment.
"I like it the way it is." Comment by Governor George W. Bush of Texas at the time that a law prohibiting execution of the mentally disadvantaged was defeated.
"Capital punishment is our society’s recognition of the sanctity of human life." Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
"The death penalty is a poor person's issue. Always remember that: after all the rhetoric that goes on in the legislative assemblies, in the end, when the deck is cast out, it is the poor who are selected to die in this country." Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Update: The "mitigating circumstances" were not as I thought they were. See the update to the previous post. And, this was the second execution this year for Texas...not the first as stated in the title. My feelings about the death penalty remain unchnaged and the quotes still seem appropriate.