Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Preview Of What Is To Come?

In a suprising move, Mark Warner has granted clemency to Robin Lovitt, who would have been the 1,000 man put to death since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Lovitt was conviced of fatally stabbing a man with scissors. Why wouldn't Governor-elect Tim Kaine just grant clemency to every inmate on death row? Then he wouldnt technically break his campaign promise to "follow Virginia law".

30 Comments:

At 11/29/2005 08:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the state should follow the law first.

 
At 11/29/2005 08:51:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

By following through the sentence? Agreed

 
At 11/29/2005 08:54:00 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Tom Joad said...

You don't see a problem that evidence that could have exonerated this man was destroyed?

 
At 11/29/2005 09:03:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

The man was convicted by a jury of his peers.

He wasn't convicted in Alabama in the 60's, thus he had a fair trial.

He brutually murdered someone.End of story.

 
At 11/29/2005 09:09:00 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Tom Joad said...

But there was evidence that could exonerate him and it was destroyed...yes it's not Alabama in the 60s but that doesn't excuse the fact that the evidence was destroyed.

 
At 11/29/2005 09:18:00 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Tom Joad said...

The law states that no evidence shall be destroyed until all legal avenues have been exausted. That is to protect people who have been wrongly convicted.

Is life in prison with no chance of getting out not good enough?

 
At 11/29/2005 09:19:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

There was obviously enough evidence to convict the man.

He went through the same process as everyone else, and was convicted.

I have faith in our judicial system, and believe that he is guilty. Thus-he should be executed

 
At 11/29/2005 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

TC thinks in black and white. Don't try to bother him with shades of gray.

 
At 11/29/2005 09:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If this case actually goes anywhere, I will have lost what little respect I still have for the American Judicial system."
~TC

And now you have the utmost faith in the system ... when it comes to the state murdering a man ... who had evidence destroyed by the STATE....

 
At 11/29/2005 10:08:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

What's your point?

The case I was referring to was the Catholic school teacher in New York.

Respect, and faith are two seperate things.

And what proof do you have that the evidence was willingly destroyed evidence?

That is heresay, as opposed to a man who was convicted, an entire jury found him GUILTY.

He claimed he "saw someone else" kill the man, but could give no good idea to the identity of the killer, or nothing to help lead the authorities to capture him.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:09:00 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said...

I wouldnt go into alarm mode about Kaine yet.
Mark Earley was saying this guy should be given clemency after all.
You will find no bigger supporter of the death penalty than me, but its possible clemency could have been warranted here.I fully expected this man to be granted clemency, regardless of whether I like it or not.
Its Warner's first, so I have faith that he believes it was a good decision.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

There was enough evidence to convict Earl Washington Jr., too, until advances in DNA testing technology indicated that he could not have been guilty.

The point in this case is one of convergence: there may have been additional evidence available for extraction from the scissors through technological advances since Lovitt's conviction, had the scissors not been disposed of in violation of state law.

I wouldn't have described this act as surprising, mostly because it made sense to me, and I would have done the same. Having prosecuted felons in federal court, I myself am not quite prepared to go to the standard of "Too Conservative thinks he's guilty; let's throw the switch." If this outcome upsets you, you should direct your ire towards the clerk of court who threw away the evidence, not the governor who was obliged to make a difficult decision because of it.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:19:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Jaded JD-
It is not just me who feels he is guilty. A jury of his peers FOUND him guilty. I am merely expressing my agreement with their decision.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you JD

 
At 11/29/2005 10:38:00 PM, Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

Mr. Thoms,

I'll take your clarification. My comment was addressed to your earlier statement ("I have faith in our judicial system, and believe that he is guilty. Thus-he should be executed.")

 
At 11/29/2005 10:45:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Ah-
Yes well I do personally believe he is guilty, but my assumption is based on his appeals , and initial conviction.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:46:00 PM, Blogger AWCheney said...

I must agree with the Jaded JD on this issue. The Law and Justice are not always one and the same thing, which is why there are checks and balances built into the system. Infallibility is not a human trait and it is not unknown for innocents to suffer as a consequence. Given the disappearance of evidence that could have potentially proven the man innocent, Warner did the right thing.

 
At 11/29/2005 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seemed obvious to me. The only question, and I know the answer, is why Warner waited until the last minute to do this. There is no new information (the evidence was destroyed long ago).

But by waiting until after the election, he helped his party keep the governor's mansion. And all it cost was one probably-guilty convict's needless fear of imminent death. Needless because this didn't have to wait until the last minute.

But if he was actually guilty, maybe the psychological torture of thinking he was going to die was some sort of justice.

 
At 11/29/2005 11:33:00 PM, Blogger AWCheney said...

Political expediency is not reserved to only Democrats...we Republicans have been known to indulge in our share.

 
At 11/29/2005 11:53:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

It's not like he is getting released. Murderers get life all the time.

It was the right decision.

 
At 11/30/2005 12:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've already had this discusison. Kaine didn't just pledge to uphold the law: he went into detail about what he saw as the law: that the Governor has a duty to only grant clemency in cases in which there are exceptional circumstances calling into question the state's conduct in reaching that sentance. He said that blanket clemencies by the Governor would be an abuse of that power. Take that for what it's worth, but Kaine is on record for a lot more than just saying he'd uphold the law. He said he's apply it no differently than previous Governors.

Clemency is an important part of our system of Death Penalty. If you want to throw it away or treat every clemency as illegitimate on its face just because it is a granted clemency, then you are undermining that system. Warner executed 11 of the 12 people under his authority: it's pretty hard to argue that this is all a plot to destroy the DP. Using clemency when needed is exactly the sort of thing that demonstrates the legitimacy of the process and its ample protections against error.

 
At 11/30/2005 09:21:00 AM, Blogger James Young said...

Unlike many of his decisions, I can't fault Marky Mark for this one. I am a proponent of the death penalty: I don't believe that it's inflicted swiftly enough, or enough times (serial rapists and child molesters qualify, as far as I'm concerned). That having been said, I also believe that it should be extraordinarily difficult for the State to deprive one of life, liberty, or property. A justice system that is "efficient" is far too likely to do so wrongly.

The simple fact here is that the State (or an agent thereof) screwed up. Under such circumstances, it is appropriate and right that the executive use his extraordinary power to guard against an outcome which could (at whatever vanishingly small chance there is) be wrongful and would, given the circumstances, give ammunition for those who oppose the death penalty, calling into question its usage.

Gotta go with JD, Anke, and Marky Mark on this one.

And I sure hope that the offending clerk was cashiered.

 
At 11/30/2005 09:23:00 AM, Anonymous Dr. Alan Parsons said...

It would have been a travesty for Virginia to execute Lyle Lovett. He is such a talented singer-songwriter-actor. Sure, he has made some mistakes in his life, such as divorcing Julia Roberts, but that is no reason to take the man's life. Gov. Warner was right to grant Mr. Lovett clemency.

 
At 11/30/2005 09:42:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Are you the same Alan PArsons from the infamous Alan PArsons Project?

 
At 11/30/2005 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

Which seal of the Unopened Book did John say would be broken before James Young and I agreed on something?

Those plenary indulgences may be coming just in time.

 
At 11/30/2005 10:51:00 AM, Anonymous The Ghost of Tom Joad said...

Let me repeat for those that are hard of reading...The STATE screwed up! There are technology advances that could have been used to test the scissors now.

Plus you have a witness that is only "80% certain"?!? I'm sorry I didn't know they were forcasting his probability of actually killing the victim. What is this the Weather Channel?

The fact of the matter is that we have two irregularities that cast doubt on the death sentence in this case.

That Gov. Warner can make this tough decision and do it with sound reasoning makes me want to work even harder to make sure he is nominated in 2008! (That, of course, depends on if he runs ;))

 
At 11/30/2005 12:42:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

I'm typically against what Marky Mark does when he does anything at all, but I do have to agree with him on this. Given that Ken Starr is on the defense team and Mark Earley requested a stay of execution, Warner has heavy duty GOP cover on this decision.

 
At 11/30/2005 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, juries never make mistakes or anything.

Warner made the right call, and nearly everyone agrees. Republicans and Democrats alike.

 
At 12/01/2005 11:07:00 AM, Blogger James Young said...

Well, JD, on those rare occasions when you get it right, I feel no need to engage in gratuitous slanders.

 
At 12/01/2005 11:08:00 AM, Blogger James Young said...

Now, maybe if I could be granted the same courtesy....

 

Post a Comment

<< Home