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November 10, 2009

Virginia Gov Kaine denies clemency for DC sniper

This CNN report provides the latest news on the high-profil execution due to take place in Virigina tonight:

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine denied a last-minute clemency request Tuesday for John Allen Muhammad, the mastermind behind the 2002 sniper attacks that terrorized the the nation's capital and its suburbs.

The denial leaves Muhammad, 48, scheduled to die Tuesday evening by lethal injection at a state prison near Jarratt, Virginia.

Governor Kaine's full statement can be accessed at this link, and here is the key concluding section:

Muhammad's trial, verdict, and sentence have been reviewed by state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Virginia, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.  Having carefully reviewed the petition for clemency and judicial opinions regarding this case, I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was recommended by the jury and then imposed and affirmed by the courts.  Accordingly, I decline to intervene.

November 10, 2009 at 06:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Good for Gov. Kaine (D-VA), a man of his word. Although personally opposed to the DP, Kaine pledged during his campaign to respect the judgment of courts and juries. And, on the merits, he is correct: there is no compelling reason to set aside the sentence.

DP skeptics frequently maintain that capital punishment, if it is to be used at all, should be reserved for "the worst of the worst." Tonight they will get their wish.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 10, 2009 6:53:39 PM

"DP skeptics frequently maintain that capital punishment, if it is to be used at all, should be reserved for "the worst of the worst." Tonight they will get their wish."

You are correct Bill. I do think this is one of those cases where society has a right to impose death. That doesn't mean I take pleasure in it.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Daniel

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 10, 2009 7:18:11 PM

Daniel --

Like you, I take no pleasure in it. Satisfaction, yes. Pleasure, no.

When I was in the US Attorney's Office, my colleagues noticed, after a while, that I never showed emotion at the outcome of a case, even if it were a stiff sentence for which I had been pitching. Eventually, one of them asked me why I wasn't celebrating when the defendant got the unhappy fate he had earned.

My answer then is the same one I feel tonight: He's still a human being.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 10, 2009 7:45:33 PM

It is past 9 PM, did they find a good vein, on this thin, athletic man? Or are they still futzing?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 10, 2009 9:11:27 PM

He has been executed.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 10, 2009 9:20:13 PM

Though I am on the other side of the bar, I am not anti-death penalty in theory. However, I am vehemently opposed to the haphazard way the DP is passed out like candy here in Texas. I agree that if there ever was a situation and defendant which merited the DP, this is it.

Posted by: Mark # 1 | Nov 10, 2009 11:27:38 PM

We only have one life to live. Let's not waste it by making bad decisions. We were given a free-will to choose life or death. Let us make it a point to always choose life. No matter how hard life is sometimes, it's always good to be alive!

Posted by: Chicago Property Management | Nov 11, 2009 6:37:44 AM

Chicago: It is not good to be alive if you are anyone productive. The lawyer will destroy your life and plunder your assets. It is good to destroy lawyers, perhaps, as they are trying to destroy our country.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 11, 2009 1:41:34 PM

John Muhamad was a member of the Nation of Islam and a terrorist, rather than a serial killer. He should have been tortured to learn of any connection of his terror campaign to Islamic groups. All lawyers helping him are collaborators with Islam terrorism.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 12, 2009 12:10:10 AM

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