Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Quality of Mercy is not Strain'd

Unless you happen to be black. And in Alabama. Alabama, where the state attorney general has an axe to grind and a racist, bloodthirsty, redneck base to pander to.

What was it Tony Snow infamously said about racism being a thing of the past? There may just be a bit of truth to that, considering that a good part of the South is still squarely fixed in the past: they act like it's still 1862 and the Civil War hasn't yet been lost.

Prosecutor Who Opposed a Death Sentence Is Rebuked - New York Times
ATLANTA, Sept. 14 — A prosecutor in Alabama has been criticized by the state attorney general for arguing that a man who was on death row for a double murder should not be put to death because the gunman in the killings was spared from execution.

The attorney general, Troy King, included the criticism in a statement on Wednesday saying he had notified the prosecutor, Robert E. Owens, the Shelby County district attorney, that he would seek to reinstate the death penalty in the case of LaSamuel Gamble, 29. Mr. Gamble won an appeal last week that effectively commuted his death sentence to life in prison.

Mr. King said that his intent was to protect the interests of the victims in the case and that Mr. Owens had acted on the side of the criminal.

Critics of Mr. King said, however, that his actions were politically motivated; Mr. Owens supported Mr. King’s opponent in the 2004 election for attorney general.

“To suggest that because the district attorney testified truthfully about his charging process he took the side of the criminal is the worst kind of political grandstanding,” said Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, which represents defendants.
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