Saturday, February 12, 2011

Any Killing is Too Much

This is Timothy Adams, age 42.  He's scheduled to be executed here in Texas on February 22nd after being convicted of murdering his 19 month old son in Houston on February 20, 2002.

Adams and his wife were having problems and a few days before the date of the murder, his wife left him taking their child with her. She returned on the 20th to pick up her belongings and was confronted by Adams.  She called the police but during the confrontation, Adams shot at her.  She fled leaving the child behind.  In a stand off with police, Adams was suicidal though was eventually talked into surrendering and was arrested. His child had already been shot.

Adams really screwed up, I mean criminal level type screw ups.  Shooting at someone, even if you miss would seem to be "attempted murder" or similar (willis is no lawyer)....accidentally killing someone other than your intended victim is hardly a good defense.  Adams admitted guilt when he was arrested and also plead "guilty" at his trial.  He had no prior criminal record.  Regardless, at the sentencing portion of his trial he was determined to be a risk to society (by the jury) which is a prerequisite for the death penalty in Texas and there wasn't "mitigating evidence" to warrant a life sentence.

Adams has a father, brother, sister and 20-something old son from previous marriage all begging for commuting the death penalty. Additionally, at least three of the original jurors also agree with this sentiment based on further knowledge of Adams history and no disciplinary infractions since incarcerated.

A very sad story where nobody wins.  I question why the death penalty is the default option when "prerequisites" to it are met and "mitigating" evidence isn't apparent?  Seems to me that "life" would be the default sentence until the absolute certainty of mitigating circumstances are not an issue....after all, death is pretty fucking absolute isn't it! I've been on a criminal jury before and know you get pulled in and out of the courtroom while they decide what you can legally hear.  What happens if "mitigating circumstances" become apparent after conviction or worse, aren't even heard?  Why is the jury allowed to decide a penalty like "death" without hearing everything?

More importantly,  why are we killing people? 

Update:  willis had this wrong.  This guy apparently held his child hostage and killed him in cold blood not an accident as I stated in the original post.  The accidental angle was an interpretation of the reports I read before posting this.
I don't agree with the death penalty regardless.  It doesn't look like it was a real deterrent in this case.


  1. Just found this and found it disturbing. The death penalty exists because people need revenge. They think anyone who kills another in cold blood, is by definition, sick. They want to kill them for being sick.

  2. Well said John, I feel very much the same. Thanks for stopping by.