After a judge granted the defense attorneys for John Edward Green a hearing to challenge the constitutional merit of the death penalty, the prosecution decided they would no longer participate in the proceedings. What part of the game is THAT??
After defense lawyers had questioned an expert witness who runs an anti-death-penalty group, Fine asked prosecutors whether they had questions of their own.
“We still respectfully refuse to participate in the proceeding, your honor,” prosecutor Alan Curry replied, according to the AP.
Later, Curry reiterated that stance. “I have been instructed by my boss, the district attorney, to stand mute for the remainder of the proceedings,” he said, adding he meant no disrespect to the judge or others involved in the hearing.
Why so silent? In court filings, Curry and fellow prosecutors have argued that the constitutionality of the death penalty is settled case law and should not be ruled on by a district court. They also have tried to have Judge Fine removed from the case, arguing that he’s biased against the death penalty.
The defense is adamant about re-examining the death penalty in Texas because they feel that there are too many loopholes for one, and two they believe that the states policy is biased to towards blacks.
They point to two high-profile Texas cases in which evidence has recently emerged that the state had put innocent men to death. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004 after being convicted of killing his daughters in a 1991 house fire. But numerous arson experts have identified serious flaws in the original investigation and concluded that the blaze likely originated accidentally. And Claude Jones was executed in 2000 for killing a liquor store owner, but DNA testing recently showed that a strand of hair that prosecutors said proved his guilt in fact came from the victim.
This is one of those interesting situations where we as a people have to decide between the lesser of two evils.
Tell us how you feel about the death penalty. Should it be banned in Texas? Are there ways that the state could make the penalty more fair when deciding who recieves it??