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Posted at 6:46 PM ET, 12/28/2010

Virginia's death penalty ignominy

By Herbert C. Puscheck, Alexandria

The Dec. 27 editorial “46 executions too many” made a persuasive case for the trend against the death penalty. It cited the drop in executions nationwide, the reduction in new death sentences compared with historical averages and the abolition of the death penalty in New Mexico and New Jersey.

But the editorial was too easy on Virginia. This year, the state killed Teresa Lewis, a woman with an IQ of 72, for supposedly master-minding two murders. The people who carried out the murders received prison sentences.

How many states can say they did that?

By Herbert C. Puscheck, Alexandria  | December 28, 2010; 6:46 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia, crime  
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How about "the state killed Teresa Lewis, a woman" whose defense team managed to report an IQ of 72 but who had functioned normally above that level for years until she was charged for master-minding two murders.

She didn't "supposedly" do anything, the case was investigated, charged, ajudicated through the courts, underwent numerous appeals and determined that she masterminded the plan. Besides, it wasn't like the plan was to simultaneously break into every Tiffany's store in the US, it was a simple, stupid plan.

"The people who carried out the murders received prison sentences." So? What're you trying to say?

Posted by: ronjaboy | December 29, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

whiny liberal

Posted by: scoran | December 29, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

"The people who carried out the murders received prison sentences." So? What're you trying to say?

Posted by: ronjaboy | December 29, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I can't speak for the letter writer, but I'll give my opinion.

This indicates to me the use of the death penalty is awfully arbitrary. If the people who committed the murders got prison sentences, should she not have received a similar punishment? Or, to look from another, more pro-death penalty, angle, if she received a death sentence, shouldn't they?

I realize it is likely that the ones that carried out the murders were given deals in return for cooperation against this woman to take the death penalty "off the table." How does this make sense? From a moral standpoint, they are all as guilty of the murder as any of the others are.

Yes, she planned it or came up with the idea or whatever you want to say, but they carried it out. Any one of these people could have said "No" and/or told someone beforehand to stop this from happening. They are all equally culpable and therefore should have relatively equal sentences.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Virginians are bloodthirsty. This should be no surprise.

Posted by: anaximander471 | December 29, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Simple. Her accomplices had better lawyers. Plea first and get the best deal. He or she who hesitates is lost.

Posted by: jpholloway1 | December 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The first one to squeal gets the deal. Yeah, the perps should have gotten the DP also, but they didn't and I suspect if they had the letter writer wouldn't have let that deter him from condemning her execution. I'd be OK with death for murder on a more mandatory basis if the Libs would get off their high-horses and quit appealing these these cases, using every avenues and line of specious reasons that they can dream up

Posted by: ronjaboy | December 30, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

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