Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update: You are about to witness a murder

On Tuesday night the State of Texas murdered Steven Michael Woods. Mr. Woods was convicted of the 2001 murders of Ronald Whitehead and Bethena Brosz. But Mr. Woods wasn't the man who killed Mr. Whitehead and Ms. Brosz. Marcus Rhodes was the man who pulled the trigger.

Despite that fact, Mr. Woods was convicted and sentenced to die while Mr. Rhodes plead guilty and received a life sentence. Under Texas' law of parties, Mr. Woods was considered just as liable for the murders as Mr. Rhodes.

While conceptually the law of parties makes sense, when applied to a murder case it rarely results in justice. There is something fundamentally unjust that Mr. Woods is dead while the man who actually pulled the trigger is sitting in a prison cell - alive.
"You're not about to witness an execution. You are about to witness a murder," -- Steven Michael Woods
If we are going to insist on killing inmates, we should at least draw the line at killing inmates who actually took another life. While Mr. Woods is hardly innocent, he certainly didn't deserve to be strapped down to a gurney and injected with a lethal combination of drugs.

What could be more cruel than the state-sanctioned murder of a man who did not take the life of another? I am deeply troubled by what happened last night in Huntsville. I'm angry. Gov. Rick Perry had the opportunity to do the right thing and commute Mr. Woods' sentence to life without parole - but the fair-haired one is more concerned with conning voters around the country and fueling a campaign with the blood of others.

I can't decide if Rick Perry isn't troubled with the number of people he has allowed to be killed because he is too simple-minded to understand it or because he's a sociopath.

The ultimate sanction by the state is the taking of a life. That act by itself is the greatest intrusion the government can make in the lives of its citizens. If the Bill of Rights is to mean anything, what happened in Texas on Tuesday night must not be allowed to happen again anywhere else.

Click here to download Execution Watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this hasn't been publicized! what a travesty... screw texas!!!!!!!