And Now, All Eyes are On the Governor - Will Virginia's Tim Kaine Stop the Execution of John Muhammad, the DC Sniper?

Virginia executes more people in this country than any other state than Texas, so the statistics seem to sway us toward a prediction that Governor Tim Kaine will allow the upcoming execution of John Muhammad, the DC Sniper. 

And Kaine is the only barrier betweeen John Muhammad and death. 

That's because the United States Supreme Court officially declined to hear Mr. Muhammad's appeal yesterday -- and what is unusual about that is they did so long before anyone expected them to do so.  As Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor explained in a joint statement authored by Stevens, under standard operating procedure the high court would have taken this matter under consideration during its November 24th Justices' conference. 

By declining to stay the execution in order to maintain that SOP Justice Stevens wrote, "...we have allowed Virginia to truncate our deliberative process on a matter -- involving a death row inmate -- that demands the most careful attention." 

Importantly, the Justices' statement points out a crucial problem in this case, something of which we all need to be aware:  Virginia scheduled John Muhammad's execution before all of his legal avenues had been exhausted. 

That's right -- Virginia scheduled a man for death before the legal processes had been completed, those legal safeguards that are in place to insure that no legal errors had been made.  To quote the Statement, " '[t]his case highlights once again the perversity of executing inmates before their appeals process has been fully concluded."

Perversity indeed. 

We're watching, Governor Kaine.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Joachim Kuebler - November 10, 2009 2:54 PM

Yes, perversity indeed.

But where's the logic to call the denial perversity but not to dissent in the denial? It's not consistent and it looks as if Stevens, Ginsburg and Sotomayor got cold feet.

Joachim

K. Bandell - November 10, 2009 4:54 PM

...with thanks....
...even for that part of the public inured to other arguments which in reference to sparing the life of John Allen Mohammad have been articulated, arguments not the least of which relate to a level of psychosis which alone would according to United Nations standards buffer him against execution, focus on equitably and thoroughly granting complete access to a complete journey on appeals might seem relevant....
...the full protection of the law should remain inviolate and unimpeded....
...Mister Mohammad failed many, many people....the community has now failed him....
...in peace....

admin - November 12, 2009 9:00 AM

Point well made, Joachim. A "statement" versus a "dissent" -- tremendous difference.

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