Someone named "Anonymous" stopped by to comment. Because their comment seems to reflect the views of many death penalty supporters, we thought it fair to post here and respond to it:
No legal help? Not being a lawyer, I seem to remember reading about these little laws and rights designed to protect anyone in the legal justice system, we call them 'Miranda Rights' (Ernesto Miranda kidnapped and raped the 18 year old woman in that case BTW, which was later proved in the case retrial), we also call one of these laws the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution (no self incrimination except us military types) and the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) as well as dozens of other like minded laws. Isn't the real question here who is willing to foot the bill for the overwhelming number of GUILTY death row offenders who tie up the legal system ad-nauseam to keep their worthless carcasses alive with appeals submissions. What isn't fair is not that they don't have adequate legal representation, it is that the victims of those who are on death row for a crime don't have the recourse to 'appeal' to the perpetrator to 'un'commit the horrible crime for which the criminal ended up on death row to begin with.
What is interesting is not so much what Anonymous says but what he doesn't say:
1. He completely ignores the entire Austin American-Statesman series and the issues it raises. No matter; you can read it here and decide for yourself.
2. He fails to acknowledge the more than 100 people who have been released from death row after evidence of their innocence emerged during the habeas appellate process. Perhaps Anonymous does not care that innocent people are sent to death row because, after all, it would never happen to him?
3. He fails to acknowledge that innocent people have been executed. The list starts with Ruben Cantu, Carolos De Luna, Larry Griffin and Cameron Todd Cunningham. Those are the ones we know about.
We said it yesterday and it bears repeating: Habeas a complex, drawn-out process -- exonerations occur as a result of habeas appeals, and if you are innocent and have an incompetent habeas attorney then you will be executed. It's that simple.