Monday, May 27, 2013

Death Penalty II
3- 27-13 WOSO Commentary

In last week’s commentary I expressed my opposition to the death penalty in the Alexis Candelario Santana case despite the horrendous and heartless murders he committed of 22 persons, including family members and completely innocent persons. As we now know, Alexis escaped the death penalty because one juror prevented the necessary unanimous verdict.

Our local Constitution prohibits the death penalty, but like in so many other areas of law, the federal law prevails over local law as part of our Commonwealth compact with the United States. Those jurors had to decide on the basis of federal law. In the case of Alexis, the defense was able to show a neglected upbringing in poverty, a slight possibility of rehabilitation, some momentary indications of remorse when some in his family, especially his only daughter, testified that that his life was important to them.

In other words, the murders were horrendous and he is one mean man, but the case was not perfect, which is what is going to have to happen in order for a 12 person jury to decide in favor of the death penalty in Puerto Rico. The Federal Court system will have another chance at bat with the case of Lashaun Casey who murdered the anti-drug federal agent, Jesús Lizardi Espada.   

I have to applaud the determination of that one person who voted for life imprisonment in this case. In my personal opinion, except for self-defense, we should not kill another human being. In my view, we should allow for rehabilitation and be in the position to forgive those who repent as Christ forgave the convicted murderer dying with him on Calgary.  

This is Jorge Gonzalez wishing you a religiously significant Easter weekend.

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