Posts Tagged ‘executions

26
Sep
11

‘not one candidate’

15
Sep
11

the death squad

More here and here

****

LA Times: The U.S. Supreme Court stopped Texas officials Thursday evening from executing a Houston murderer who was sentenced to die after jurors were told he posed a greater danger to public safety because he was black.

The justices acted on an emergency appeal after Texas Gov. Rick Perry and state judges refused to intervene.

… Duane Edward Buck, a 48-year-old auto mechanic, was sentenced to die for the 1995 shootings of an ex-girlfriend and another man. His attorneys did not dispute his guilt but argued that prosecutors should not have used his race to argue for a death sentence.

… Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst did not respond to pleas urging them to grant Buck a 30-day reprieve. Perry, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, was campaigning in Iowa on Thursday, leaving Dewhurst to preside over the execution….

…. Last week, Perry said during a GOP presidential debate that he “never struggled” over the death penalty because “the state of Texas has a very thoughtful, very clear process in place.” During Perry’s 11 years in office, the state has carried out 235 executions.

The sentencing dispute arose because of an unusual provision in Texas’ death penalty law. Jurors were required to weigh whether a convicted murderer would pose a future danger if he were sentenced to life in prison rather than death. In a series of cases, Dr. Walter Quijano, a psychologist, testified that blacks posed a greater risk of “future dangerousness” than whites…..

Full article here

More at Mother Jones

15
Sep
11

‘how much more lost can these people get?’

Steve Benen: For eight years, just about every time George W. Bush was in the same room as someone with a post-graduate degree, the failed former president would tell the same joke: “I remind people that, like when I’m with Condi I say, she’s the Ph.D. and I’m the C-student, and just look at who’s the president and who’s the advisor.”

Republican crowds always cheered the line, reinforcing the anti-intellectual attitudes that too often dominate conservative thought … Rick Perry is cut from the same cloth.

… Perry made the joke during a speech yesterday at Liberty University, a school founded by crazed televangelist Jerry Falwell. The Texas governor didn’t say much about politics, but he spent a fair amount of time talking about what a lousy student he was.

Perry noted, for example, that at his small high school, “I graduated in the top 10 of my graduating class – of 13.” The crowd laughed and applauded.

…. Perry isn’t just celebrating anti-intellectualism; he’s living it. He doesn’t care what biologists, climate scientists, economists, historians, or dictionaries have to offer; Perry already has all the information he needs….

Full post here

07
Sep
11

so, who’s watching the debate?

Live feed here (Political Carnival) and here

Political Carnival’s GottaLaff will be live tweeting here

Live blog at ThinkProgress

Eating each other alive:

😆 ——>

AP: When Mitt Romney and Rick Perry thumped their chests over their job-creation records as governor during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, they left the bad parts out.

Yes, employment has grown by more than 1 million since Perry took office in Texas. But a lot of those jobs are not well paid.

True, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent when Romney was Massachusetts governor. But the state’s employment growth was among the nation’s worst.

A look at some of the claims in the debate, and how they compare with the facts:

PERRY: “Ninety-five percent of all the jobs that we’ve created have been above minimum wage.”

THE FACTS: To support the claim, the Perry campaign provided federal statistics for December 2010 showing only 5.3 percent of all jobs in Texas pay the minimum wage.

But those figures represent all workers, not just the new jobs, for which data in unavailable. And that does not account for low-wage jobs that may be above the minimum wage. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, 51 percent of all Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year. Only 30 percent make more than $50,000 a year. Nationally, Texas ranked 34th in median household income from 2007 to 2009.

About 9.5 percent of Texas hourly workers, excluding those who are paid salaries, earn the minimum wage or less, tying Mississippi for the highest percentage in the nation.

ROMNEY: “At the end of four years, we had our unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent. That’s a record I think the president would like to see. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president has created in the entire country.”

THE FACTS: To be sure, 4.7 percent unemployment would be a welcome figure nationally. But Romney started from a much better position than President Barack Obama did. Unemployment was only 5.6 percent when Romney took office in 2003, meaning it came down by less than 1 percentage point when he left office in 2007. Obama inherited a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.

23
Aug
11

‘234 and counting’

Cameron Todd Willingham

Washington Post: … Rick Perry brings to the presidential race a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match – even if they wanted to. In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting….

… He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for death. 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.

And Perry’s role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham – who supporters said should have been at least temporarily spared when experts warned that faulty forensic science led to his conviction – is still the subject of investigation in Texas.

Perry has been unapologetic. “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas,” he wrote in his book lauding states’ rights, “Fed Up!”

… death penalty opponents say 12 men on Texas’s death row have been exonerated. Anthony Graves is the latest, spending 18 years in prison before a Texas Monthly investigation showed his innocence.

…. “We’d like to get rid of him,” said Scott Cobb of the Texas Moratorium Network, “but not by giving him to the rest of the country.”

… what is likely to draw the most attention as Perry campaigns is the case of Willingham, who was convicted in 1991 of setting fire to his home and killing his three young daughters. Shortly before his 2004 execution, defense attorneys gave Perry and the pardon board a report from an arson expert saying the forensic evidence used to convict Willingham was severely flawed.

Perry went ahead with the execution, and has refused to release information from his advisers about the evidence. The state forensic science commission began to review the case and the state’s arson unit after investigative journalists cast increasing doubt on Willingham’s guilt. But just before the commission was to hear from an investigator it had hired, Perry dismissed the chairman and replaced three members of the commission.

Full article here

Read more about Cameron Todd Willingham here




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