Are We Executing The Innocent? Who Cares?
A little over a month after the Georgia parole board went back on its 2007 promise that it would “not allow an execution to proceed in this state unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused,” we are seeing once again how little conservatives care about whether victims of the death penalty are actually guilty or not.
Rick Perry is ignoring pleas to delay the execution of Hank Skinner, while his Attorney General continues to refuse Skinner’s request to have additional DNA evidence from his trial analyzed, claiming that Skinner is just trying to stall for time. Because if a guy who’s been on Death Row for over 15 years gets an extra few weeks or months it would totally make a mockery of the system.
Where governors like George Ryan, Bill Richardson and Pat Quinn stopped or abolished the death penalty because they couldn’t bear the thought of executing an innocent person, Rick Perry just isn’t interested. Maybe the DNA evidence would exonerate Skinner, maybe it would prove his guilt, but Perry doesn’t give a damn as long as he gets to execute somebody. It looks very much like Perry and his AG consider the prospect of executing an innocent man to be preferable to the prospect of not executing anyone at all.
Perry’s unconcern is especially ironic considering what he said at the Value Voters Summit last month:
All human life is made in the image of our creator, and every innocent life must be protected, from the most frail who are elderly to the most vulnerable, the unborn. I was proud to fight for and proud to sign a budget that defunded Planned Parenthood.
Uh-huh. I guess as long as he doesn’t know for sure if the guy he’s executing is innocent, then his conscience can stay clear.