Jim Gilmore on Crime
Senate challenger 2008; previously Republican Governor (VA)
As a result of crimes committed during this robbery, Ramdass was convicted of capital murder, robbery, and illegal use of a firearm in the commission of the murder, and was sentenced to death. The convictions and death sentence were upheld on multiple appeals including Ramdass' most recent habeas corpus petition concerning his right to a jury instruction on parole ineligibility, which the Supreme Court denied on June 12, 2000.
Upon a thorough review of the Petition for Clemency, the numerous court decisions regarding this case, and the circumstances of this matter, I decline to intervene.
The principle that a judge in Virginia can thumb his nose at The Hague with impunity is a very American one. The death penalty enjoys the support of a majority of Virginians and James Gilmore, the state's governor, was acting in the tradition of the Declaration of Independence. Gilmore argued that "a stay of execution would have the practical effect of transferring responsibility from the courts of the Commonwealth and the US to the international court."
A: As governor, the review of each capital case is one of my more weighty responsibilities. Be assured that I examine each case on its individual merits. If the law is not permitted to be enforced, what do we have left, except the rule of the strong over the weak? I have not yet reached any conclusions regarding that case.
Gov. Gilmore issued a press release on the Ramdass case on Oct. 10, 2000, concluding, "Upon a thorough review of the Petition for Clemency, the numerous court decisions regarding this case, and the circumstances of this matter, I decline to intervene." Bobby Lee Ramdass was executed December 6, 2000 by Lethal Injection.
A: Where a legitimate issue of innocence exists [in capital cases], I will not hesitate to order new tests or to examine new evidence. Innocent people are not being executed in the US, largely because of the thorough system of trial and review by the courts and review by the executive branch up until the day of execution. No moratorium is called for in Virginia. I support the death penalty because it sets a standard that says that we will not tolerate these ghastly murders that not only kill people, but destroy families forever. Efforts to undermine the rule of law threaten the destruction of civilization itself.
[Russel Burket was executed on Aug. 30. Derek Barnabei was executed on Sept. 14.]
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