Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Clarence Ray Allen

Clarence Ray Allen was executed early this morning. Good riddance. There are three things notable about this execution.

1) His lawyers tried to get the sentence commuted based on Allen's age and sickness. They said that the 23 years he spent on Death Row, and his ill health and age would make his execution cruel and unusual. They even got Justice Breyer of the US Supreme Court to agree with them. This is like killing your parents and then asking the court for mercy because you are an orphan. If he had been executed 20 years ago, none of this would have been an issue. The reason he wasn't executed 20 years ago is that he and his lawyers tried every legal maneuver possible to prevent his execution.

2) His case gives all the argument necessary to support the death penalty. He was already serving a life sentence for murder when he arranged for the murder of one of the witnesses against him. His hitman also killed two innocent bystanders. So while he was in jail serving a life sentence for murder, he caused the murder of three more people. If he had been executed for the first murder in a timely manner, the other three murders would never have occured.

3) The State of California provided millions of dollars of medical care to Allen, including restarting his heart, the last time in September. Then they spent millions of dollars in order to execute him. Something is not right here. I understand that we have an ethical duty to provide inmates with medical care, but this case just doesn't sit right with me.

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