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Posted at 10:25 PM ET, 09/21/2010

Robert McDonnell's moral calculus

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Robert J. Inlow
Charlottesville

Regarding the Sept. 18 Metro article “McDonnell won’t call off execution”:

In dismissing the appeal of Teresa Lewis’s death sentence, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (D) was quoted as saying, “The test for me really is: ... Is there anything that would be a miscarriage of justice in letting the execution go forward?”

Setting aside the primitive morality of taking one life to pay for another, is it not a miscarriage of justice to execute someone whose IQ barely registers above the legal limit for mental retardation or who received the death penalty when those who actually committed the murder were given life in prison?

It is chilling that the governor can analyze and speak of this execution so clinically, as though it were just another case study in law school.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 21, 2010; 10:25 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, crime  
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Comments

Governor Robert F McDonnell has just taught the people of this country that they can no longer trust the fairness of the death penalty. The man is cold and calculating and it wouldn't shock me to discover he has an IQ of 2 below the rock he crawls out from under everyday. He is the "worst of the worst" in leadership and as far as I am concerned he is a despicable human being who has, in choosing to deny clemency to Teresa Lewis, taken on the role of a cold -hearted murderer himself. He could have shown mercy to someone more than deserving of it and he simply chose not to. He is fit only for the leadership of swine, not people.
Congrats Virginia on murdering someone who did not actually commit a murder. You have shown your collective intelligence. Oink.Oink.

Posted by: RaggedElegant1 | September 21, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Governor McDonnell is just taking a page from George W. Bush's book. No, not "The Pet Goat", his political playbook. W executed his way to the White House by killing lots of poor Hispanics, Blacks, and above all, Karla Faye Tucker.

Hers was another case where a governor who possessed even a rudimentary conscience could have justified commutation to LWOP on any one of a dozen grounds. Naturally, W killed her for us, even though both her prosecutor and the victim's family asked him to spare her life.

Governors seem to equate compassion with weakness, especially in the states that have the most prolific death camps.

VA is second only to TX in its enthusiasm for state sponsored terrorism. After all, since the stated point of the death penalty is to modify the behavior of others and not to punish the criminal, it meets the definition of terrorism.

Posted by: Chindokae | September 22, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell didn't make his decision on anything more than playing to his right-wing base. Most governors prefer to uphold the sentence passed so as not to interfer with the judicial process. It may not be right, but it's safe. Once she killed, there will be no more murders in Virinia because the death penality is such a deterent.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 22, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Teresa Lewis confessed to the crime, she plead guilty. The evidence shows she had a substantial role in enabling the crime to occur and achieve the results desired.

She isn't retarded. That's a lot of hot air from her high profile appellate attorney. Teresa graduated from high school and attended college briefly. Her attorney wants you to believe she would have been riding the special education bus. She's also been in prison doing that "prison ministry" and showing off to the media lately how many obscure church hymns she knows.

McDonnell looked at the court rulings on the case and determined fairly from the record, she is fully aware of the wrongfulness of the crime and the severity of the punishment she faces as a result tomorrow. Execution is just.

Posted by: vuac | September 22, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I am all for the death penalty-there is no doubt that this woman is guilty. THe only contribution to society she could possibly make would be to become an organ donor.Too bad all death row inmates aren't mandated to become organ donors.

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Chindoake, you're so eager to foam at the mouth in your hatred of Bush that you don't have the slightest clue about the Karla Faye Tucker case.

1. The Governor of Texas does not have the power to commute sentences on his own independent authority. All he can do is issue ONE thirty day stay of execution per case. The TDCJ Board of Paroles and Pardons has the authority to recommend clemency or commutation. They didn't reach that finding in Tucker's case.

2. In 1998, life without parole did not exist under Texas law. It was death or life imprisonment with parole eligibility as sentencing options.

Posted by: vuac | September 22, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

So now, we too are a murderous society, and that is supposed to right all wrongs? Who shall slay the societal beings that murder the murderer in supposed "social justice" to "balance the scales" as they too, now have blood on their hands, hearts and minds!

Posted by: soshljustic | September 24, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

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