Rick Perry on Crime
Republican Governor (TX)
GOV. RICK PERRY: Well, state by state those decisions are made about how you're going to punish those who commit the most heinous crimes against your citizens. And in Texas, for a substantially long period of time, our citizens have decided that if you kill our children, if you kill our police officers, for those very heinous crimes, that the appropriate punishment is the death penalty. I think we have an appropriate process in place, from the standpoint of the appeals process, to make sure that due process is addressed. And the process of the actual execution I would suggest to you is very different from Oklahoma. We only use one drug. But I'm confident that the way that the executions are taken care of in the state of Texas are appropriate.
PERRY: I don't know whether it was inhumane or not, but it was botched.
Q: But you don't even want to see the government held responsible for forcing a heart attack because they couldn't inject the proper lethal drugs?
PERRY: There is an appropriate way to deal with this. And obviously, something went terribly wrong.
Q: Is it appropriate for a pause in our national discussion and application of the death penalty, the president talking about bias, uneven application, soul-searching questions that he'd like the country to take. Do you agree with that?
PERRY: It may be appropriate for a pause in Oklahoma. But the president all too often, whether it's on health care or whether it's on education or whether it's on this issue of how states deal with the death penalty, he looks for a one-size-fits-all solution centric to Washington D.C. And I will suggest, that's one of the problems we have in this country. We're a very diverse country.
PERRY: Without a doubt, a tragic event. The jury made the decision. And although there maybe people on either side of this that don't agree with how it came out, the fact is that we have the best judicial system in the world and we respect it. A very thoughtful case was made by each side, the jurors made the decision, and we will live with that.
Q: Critics have said that the justice system is innately racist, is unfair to African-Americans. Do you think that?
PERRY: I don't. I think our justice system is color blind, and I think that you don't find people that always agree with the jury's decision. The system may not be foolproof; you have that appellate process, but in this case, I will suggest that two very capable teams laid out the issues and that jury made the right decision from their standpoint.
PERRY: No, sir. I've never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place--when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the US, if that's required But in the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you're involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is, you will be executed.
Q: Why do you think the mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?
PERRY: I think Americans understand justice. I think Americans are clearly, in the vast majority of cases, supportive of capital punishment.
Patrick Kennedy was sentenced to death not just for rape, but for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The little girl suffered massive trauma to her genital area. The injuries were so severe that she required emergency invasive surgery to attempt to repair the damage.
Kennedy refused a plea deal that would have taken the death penalty off the table. He was then convicted under a 1995 statute that provided for the death penalty for anyone convicted of raping a child under 12.
A jury of his peers sentenced him to death, and Kennedy appealed to the Supreme Court. Texas supported Louisiana. The Court ruled the law unconstitutional, citing the prohibition in the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
He was executed for shooting and killing undercover police officer Lawrence Cadena, 43, during a buy-and-bust drug sting. Mexico sought a stay from the Supreme Court on grounds that Suarez’s rights were violated because he was not put in contact with the Mexican consulate in Dallas at the time of his arrest, as required under the Vienna Convention diplomatic treaty. The court rejected the appeal shortly before Suarez was put to death. Fox pleaded with his friend President Bush and with Perry to stop the execution. Perry denied Suarez’s request for a one-time, 30-day stay of execution.
The bill would have allowed a jury to determine during the trial’s punishment phase whether a defendant is mentally retarded. If so, the person would be sentenced only to life in prison.
Existing law takes into account whether a defendant is competent to stand trial, including whether the defendant can aid his own defense and whether a defendant was insane when the crime was committed. Prosecutors say those factors, and the fact that a jury can consider retardation as a mitigating circumstance during sentencing, are sufficient.
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Capital punishment for certain crimes, such as first degree murder & terrorism"
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AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
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CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
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