Monday, May 27, 2013

Death Penalty
3-20-13 WOSO Commentary

For those of us who do not believe in the death penalty, the Federal Court case of Alexis Candelario Santana presently before the jury really puts one´s principles to the test.

Here is a person who has murdered 22 people, including 9 innocent persons in the 2009 La Tómbola massacre. Among those murdered was an 8 month fetus in the mother’s womb (the epitome of innocence). He also murdered the only son of a first cousin who was his grandson. Some 10 years before La Tómbola massacre, Alexis had murdered this same first cousin´s brother. 

Alexis was found guilty of the 9 La Tómbola murders, conspiracy to distribute narcotic drugs, and possession of weapons despite prior convictions.

No friends or family members attended the initial trial and he has showed no remorse throughout. El Nuevo Día reported yesterday that during his first cousin’s testimony Alexis bowed his head and closed his eyes “as if affected by the declarations.”  This seems to be the first showing of some humanity in this man.

Puerto Rican juries have voted against the death sentence in the prior four cases. The vote for the death sentence has to be unanimous and it will be interesting to see if this will be the first case. For reasons I will elaborate in next week’s commentary, by which time we should have a decision, I do not favor the death penalty, even in this horrendous case.

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