By Calvin Palmer
Humberto Leal Garcia Jr had is life brought to an end last night by officials of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. His execution had been authorized by Gov Rick Perry despite pleas from President Obama and President George W. Bush to grant a stay of execution in order to comply with the Vienna Convention.
Leal, a Mexican citizen, had not been informed of his consular rights during his questioning by police, following the 1994 rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda in San Antonio. While there is no doubt concerning Leal’s guilt of the crime, his rights were clearly violated.
Perry’s stance on law and order seems only to apply if he agrees with the law in question. His action does little to enhance America’s standing in the international community when he gives the equivalent of the middle finger to the Court of International Justice.
Perry is Pro Life and yet he signs execution orders with alarming regularity. Life is an absolute and not a relative. But there you go, right-wing inconsistency and hypocrisy writ large.
Perry could argue that he was saving Texas the cost of keeping 38-year-old Leal in prison for the rest of his natural life. Seeing as how Perry has presided over a $30 billion state deficit, despite cutting public services to the bone. I suppose every dollar counts just as long as it doesn’t come out of his pocket and his quality of life remains unaffected.
Perry’s tough stance on the death penalty would seem to satisfy the penchant for bloodlust exhibited by a great many Republicans and its tea party acolytes. It is the kind of bloodlust that saw seven people shot and killed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the same day Leal was executed.
It will come as no surprise to find that Perry stands firmly behind the right to bear arms and signed a bill this year allowing concealed weapons to be carried on Texas college campuses.
I bet those victims of yesterday’s Michigan shooting rampage wish there had been tighter control on gun ownership. I doubt the shooter, Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, would have killed those seven people with his bare hands.
Death don’t have no mercy in this land.