This article talks about the shift away from the death penalty. In part I agree with it. Over the years the media has been taking up the cause of convicted murderers to try to make the impression that nobody deserves to die for their crimes. As I mentioned in a previous post, the general public does not like being forced to make tough decisions and if given a lighter alternative will do so. While many people can still handle the task, there are the few who cannot and look for the easy explanation given by lawyers. In a death penalty case, all 12 have to agree, all it takes is one imbecile. The article goes on to cite past cases, yet (as usual) try to paint a picture different from reality;
"When Edward John Benavides escaped death after shooting a Pasadena police officer in a 1993 drug raid, the mechanics of the raid itself became an issue: A lingering possibility was that Benavides, suddenly roused from sleep, may not have known exactly what was going on when he started firing."
First of all, the officer's name was Leslie Ian Early. Next point the chronicle fails to mention is that the drug house was fortified. So Benavides knew damn well what was going on in that house. Officer Early was the point man in the raid. It sounds like the Chronicle is eager to buy into the defense. It doesn't matter that this was a fortified drug house or that he ignored the repeated shouts of "police" as they entered the house.
"Man Nhu Truong got a life sentence for killing an off-duty sheriff's deputy at a wedding in 1996, lawyers pointed immediately to the unusual absence of a criminal record or history of violence."
Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Eng was working an extra job at a restaurant. Truong was drunk and told to leave. Deputy Eng walked to the bathroom when Truong followed him and shot him dead. Truong also shot another officer. Yet, jurors thought his life was worth saving.
The article also cites the case of Alex Adams. "He had been arrested during a drug sweep at an apartment complex and was handcuffed to another prisoner when he shot Vasquez with a pistol he had concealed in bandages. His sentence angered the jury foreman, who said several jurors spared Adams because of a difficult childhood, immaturity and low IQ."
Not many people know Adams was suspected of being involved in a murder of a Prairie View A & M student. Adams' arm was in a cast, this was where the pistol was hidden. Apparently his IQ was just high enough to be caught dealing drugs with a hidden pistol. Notice how the real issue is avoided in all of these paragraphs? The real issue being someone murdered a police officer when they were caught doing wrong. Aside from the media (and legislative) attempt to phase out the death penalty, they have been trying to phase out personal responsibility. The only people who are ever held responsible for their actions anymore seem to be police officers (as they should be I might add). Yet, the chronicle and many like-minded folks will look for any reason to explain and murder and (as long as it isn't their own loved ones) suggest that "while it is tragic, there are mitigating circumstances so you should just suck it up and deal with it!"
In the second article, it compares the pains of the wives of HPD Officer Rodney Johnson and the wife of his killer. What I gathered from this article is the widow of Officer Johnson will only have photographs and memories, the killer's wife will still be able to see him. Yet, the Chronicle tries to paint the killer's wife's feelings with a sad brush.
"Joslyn Johnson said the seething anger she managed to staunch before the trial resurfaced the moment she locked eyes with Juan Quintero.
"I just wanted to jump over there and choke him," she said.
Theresa Quintero wrestled with different emotions. She wanted to slap the man she married in 1997 but also embrace him."
Then there is this;"She hugged me several times," Joslyn Johnson said. "She always sounded like she was crying, but she never cracked a tear."
That sums it up. If your spouse murdered someone, would you stand by them?