Death Penalty Moratorium
Lee P Butler
The specter of liberalism grows throughout the Assembly of the North Carolina government, where the rights of criminals
becomes more important than the rights of innocent victims as the liberal agenda to embrace a ‘temporary’ moratorium
on the death penalty moves forward.
Trying to explain his sponsorship of the death penalty moratorium legislation, Representative Joe Hackney (D-Chapel Hill)
said, "It’s not possible to say, after an execution, we’re sorry." Of course the most logical question generated
by that statement is, how many times has North Carolina as an executioner had to say, we’re sorry?
If that scenario has taken place, no one seems to remember it. So where’s the problem? Currently, there are 175 convicted
criminals; including four women, waiting on death row and since the year 1976 only 36 inmates have actually been executed
in this state. Comparing that number to Virginia’s 94 executions during the same time frame shows a huge difference
between two states close in size and regional proximity.
Just that information alone reveals the death penalty has been used sparingly in the state by the justice system and the
likelihood that one of those 36 was wrongly convicted of the crime for which they were being punished is highly doubtful.
Even a recent Gallop poll complimented that premise by revealing that 61 percent of Americans believe, generally, the death
penalty is administered appropriately.
Is there the possibility that one of the death row inmates could have been wrongly accused? Without question and the moratorium
advocates readily produce Alan Gell, a man who sat on death row for 5 ½ years before being exonerated for murder in Bertie
County. Prosecutors in his case didn’t produce evidence that would have acquitted him, but during his second trial after
a total of 9 years in prison, he was acquitted.
Speaking on behalf of the moratorium, Gell said, "It’s not a question of whether the problems exist, because it’s
there in your face." He’s right, but there is one aspect of this issue that supporters of a moratorium continue to relegate
to non-sequitor status: If the system, which was designed specifically to address the possibility that someone could be wrongly
accused and sentenced to death by giving them ample opportunity, time, and resources to prove their unjust conviction, was
an abject failure as they contend, then men like Mr. Gell would never have been able to realize an acquittal.
Which is exactly the point made by Dick Adams, whose son was murdered before Christmas in 1982 at a Winston-Salem Steak
& Ale. After addressing the fact that the case involving the ruthless slaughter of his son was reviewed by 148 judges
through 9 ½ years before his son’s killer was executed, he said, "If we can’t determine if the system is fair
in 9 ½ years, what are we going to learn in two?"
Exactly nothing, because that isn’t the true nature behind the legislation or the liberal agenda that is pushing
for the moratorium. Once again liberals are advocating the victimhood of the perpetrators of crime, instead of the actual
victims the system is designed to avenge and protect.
Remember that these same people turned Michael Schiavo into the victim as they dedicated themselves to slowly executing
Terri Schiavo. The terrorists being held in Guatanimo Bay are victims enduring cruel and unusual punishment at the hands of
our torturous soldiers in that gulag.
And millions of innocent unborn babies are needlessly executed each year because of the senseless repression those children
would put on the defenseless parents.
Many opponents believe the temporary moratorium is little more than a smoke screen to hide the fact that liberals really
want to use it as a stepping stone to permanently abolish executions in the state.
That theory is entirely plausible simply because anything liberals in North Carolina are able to legislate using the premise
that it will be temporary eventually becomes permanent. Just look at the temporary sales tax increase. It’s nothing
more than a bait-and-switch.
The issue is a political hot potato for state Democrats because even one of the most liberal governors in the country,
Governor Mike Easley (D-NC), supports the death penalty along with the majority of the state. The question is simple: Either
you believe that a person who kidnaps and rapes a little girl, then buries her alive to suffocate and die, has voided his
own right to life or you feel that person should be fed, clothed and taken care of while possibly being incarcerated for the
rest of his life?
The system isn’t broken, maintains checks and balances, and has proven itself to be effective and functional, especially
in providing protections for those who may have been wrongly accused and convicted. Alan Gell’s own freedom to advocate
the liberal agenda is testament to that fact.