Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best Times. Worst Times.

One thing about this movement: It's execution after execution after execution and then something great will happen. A bill passes, a person's innocence is proven. A breakthrough occurs in the way the mainstream media frames the issue.

Or, the opposite.

Lately we've been on a roll. A Libertarian blogger breaks a story about Cory Maye, wrongfully convicted and on Mississippi's death row. The New Jersey Senate passes a moratorium bill on a strong 30 to 6 bipartisan vote. The National Journal does a feature story on blogging against the death penalty.

And then this:

Within the past few days we've learned that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has set three execution dates in one week. Richard Tipton is scheduled to be executed on May 8, Cory Johnson on May 10, and James H. Roane, Jr., on May 12.

Of the 1,003 executions that have taken place in the past 29 years or so, 1,000 have been carried out by the states and three by the federal government. So in a period of five days, the number of executions carried out by the feds will double, from three to six.

Once, back in the 1960s I think, there was this southern governor (I wish I could remember his name -- can anyone help me out here?) who, for no particular reason, granted clemency to this guy whose execution was hours away. To my knowledge, the guy didn't have an innocence argument or some factor that made his case stand out.

When the governor was asked why he did what he did, he reportedly said, "I just didn't feel like killin' anyone today."

That's kind of how I felt when I heard about three federal dates in one week.

Is it just me, or does this holiday season have a decidedly non-holiday feel to it?

I don't know. Maybe it is because I just sort of cancelled my Christmas.

No comments: