Posted tagged ‘texas’
CNN reports that Michael Rodriguez, one of the Texas Seven who staged a remarkable prison break in 2000, has volunteered to be executed. If it weren’t such a serious matter, I’d laugh. There is certainly no better state than Texas to present such a request. One reason it’s not a laughing matter is that during their spectacular escape, an Irving Texas police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, was tragically shot and killed. Another reason is that it’s about the barbaric practice of capital punishment, itself no laughing matter. Apparently, Michael, unlike some of his co-defendants, has quite a bit of remorse.
“I’m glad we got caught, so no one else would get hurt,” Rodriguez said, discussing with a reporter for the first time his involvement in the crime spree eight years ago.
And he said he wants the family of his former wife, Theresa, and the relatives the slain police officer “to know how truly sorry I am and I am willing to pay.”
“I think it’s a fair sentence,” he added. “I need to pay back. I can’t pay back monetarily. This is the way.”
Michael Rodriguez was already serving life in prison for the murder-for-hire of his wife.
He blamed the original crime that landed him in prison for life, the 1992 murder-for-hire slaying of his wife, on “the lust of a coed” he met at what then was Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.
“My wife was a wonderful person and didn’t deserve this. I fell for a coed. It was stupid. I sit in my cell and think: How the heck did I get here?
Here’s an interesting part of the story about the ringleader of the escape:
George Rivas, a convicted robber serving 18 life terms
Does anyone else find something wrong with that kind of “justice”. I grant you, George was a bad boy, but 18 life sentences for a string of robberies, to me seems a bit much. Here’s his Wikipedia page.
Perhaps this heavy-handed approach to dealing with crime needs to be reconsidered. Proponents of it can say all they want about deterrent factors and justice, but to my way of thinking it’s just not working.
Today the top story in CNN is about the execution in Texas of Jose Ernesto Medellin. What did he do to earn such a fate?
…he participated in the June 1993 gang rape and murder of two Harris County girls, Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16. He was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death.
It’s a sad story for several reasons. First of all, for those of us who are opposed to capital punishment, state sanctioned murder is just as wrong as the murders the condemned man himself committed. Secondly, the two young lives of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, snuffed out before they even had a chance to do something with those lives. And thirdly, in this case, the Bush Administration found a way to ignore international law and treaties concerning foreign detainees.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the United States had violated the rights of the prisoners, in part because officials and prosecutors failed to notify their home country, from which the men could have received legal and other assistance. Those judges ordered the United States to provide “review and reconsideration” of the convictions and sentences of the Mexican prisoners.
Bush said he disagreed with the international court’s conclusions, but agreed to comply with them.
But, the trick he used in order to avoid compliance was to turn it back over to the sovereignty of the States. This is how the Federal Government operates, when convenient they let the States have the autonomy, in other cases not.
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