Friday, August 26, 2011

Perry's Record on Capital Punishment Astounding

Texas Governor Rick Perry, the newest presidential contender, has presided over 234 executions in his nearly 11 years as governor. He has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history. In fact, Perry has presided over more executions than Oklahoma and Virginia combined, the states with the second and third highest execution totals since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Perry appears to relish the task. In his book “Fed Up!” Perry wrote, “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas.”
He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded, and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for the death penalty. He has found during his tenure only one inmate on Texas’s crowded death row he thought should receive the lesser sentence of life in prison.

Perry’s role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Wil¬lingham—and subsequent investigation of Willingham’s trial remains a hot-button issue in Texas. When experts were about to testify about faulty forensic science used to convict Willingham, Perry fired several members of the investigatory panel and replaced them with hard-liners. The matter remains under investigation in Texas.

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