Wednesday, July 06, 2011

execution in Texas tomorrow :(

Unless granted a stay by Governor Perry or granted clemency through the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Humberto Leal will die tomorrow.

Aside from whether Leal is guilty of the kidnap, rape, and murder, Texas has apparently broken an agreement (the "Vienna Convention") that would have allowed Mr. Leal the right and access to the Mexican Consulate. The case  seems to have a lot of legal issues regarding consular access and the fact that the court appointed attorneys assigned to Mr. Leal did not defend him as well as attorneys that would have been appointed by his consulate would have, but regardless- he shouldn't die tomorrow.

As some food for thought on the issue of capital punishment that has been bothering me the past few days, here's what Pope John Paul II has to say on the matter (I bolded parts that I particularly liked):

The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offense." Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfills the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behavior and be rehabilitated.
It is clear that for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: In other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare if not practically nonexistent.
- Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

Just really hoping that the execution isn't carried out tomorrow.



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