Ryan to the Rescue
Posted by aogWednesday, 30 October 2002 at 08:49 TrackBack Ping URL

So others have noticed that Illinois governor Ryan's death penalty clemency hearings have not gone well for him. I think it's difficult for those not in Illinois to understand just how poorly Ryan was thought of before this little debacle. This is a governor who fled to Cuba to find a more hospitable environment when the going got tough. A governor who not only didn't run for re-election, but whose fellow party members ran against him in the primary. Like Clinton, Ryan was searching for a "legacy". He discovered that basic truth, that if you mouth liberal platitudes then the hard left will support you regardless of anything else. The death penalty was his ticket to approval. I think it says something that, as a Republican, he went with the hard left, rather than looking for redemption on the hard right.

In any event, the callous disregard for the actual crimes that were committed to get these people on death row is standard for the vocal death penalty opponents. It is the penalty itself that is wrong, and everything else is secondary. As many others have commented, the hard left lives these times in a cocoon of isolation from other views and so is incapable of understanding the views of the populace or even understanding that the views of the populace might be different. My favorite result of this was Ryan expressing surpise that, yes, some of the people on death row were actually guilty. Imagine that, the justice system did not result in 100% failure!

I personally am a proponent of the death penalty, but I believe that it is overused (particularly at the federal level) and the process is frequently flawed. It might be reasonable to have a higher level of proof beyond conviction to impose that penalty, and it should only be used in truly heinous crimes. Also, there's no good reason not to allow anyone accused of a capital crime access to DNA testing, as long as the results are always used (as it turns out, in the majority of cases where DNA testing is used after the trial, it confirms guilt, even though it was requested by the accused). But there are those so dangerous, so evil, that society must remove any possibility of them committing a crime ever again. The death penalty is a 100% deterrent for those who recieve it.