Friday, April 15, 2005

Life without parole

We finally have something that Mark Harden and I can agree on.

I was happy to see this bill
finally make its way through the Senate. By giving jurors the option of life without parole, there will be less reason for them to hand out death sentences, which I oppose on moral and philosophical grounds.

As I noted last week, an earlier version of this bill fell through because Republican senators feared that it would undermine support for the death penalty. But this time the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, struck a compromise with with Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, that cleared the way for its passage. Unfortunately, the compromise meant eliminating the option of life with the possibility of parole after 40 years, thus further tying the hands of juries in capital cases.

Apparently it all boils down to a matter of trust. Sen. Lucio says he trusts Texas jurors.

“I think the more options juries have, the better," Lucio said. "I trust Texas jurors."

Sen. Ogden thinks they are morons.

Ogden said giving jurors three possible sentences to choose between might confuse them and open the door to additional appeals from inmates.

Having three options to choose from is just sooooo confusing for those poor ignorant Texas jurors. I’m so glad Sen. Ogden is looking out for them by limiting their options to just two. In fact, maybe we should just make it even simpler and give them just one option. Then we could eliminate the hassle of having juries in the first place.

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