Sunday, April 16, 2006

Governor Kaine takes on first clemency request

Howard Bashman has this post with links to this Richmond newspaper story and this Washington Post story about the first clemency petition in a death penalty case to hit the desk of Governor Kaine.

The Post quotes Kaine as saying during the campaign: "I'll enforce the death penalty. As governor, I'll carry out death sentences handed down by Virginia juries, because that's the law." As I wrote back then, talk of "enforcing" the death penalty makes no sense. The law gives a governor the power to do whatever he wants in granting clemency. Of course, during the campaign, and perhaps now, Kaine may have been listening to the political people in making his choice of words.

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