Do you need a former male cheerleader who now sentences mostly Blacks and Hispanics to death running the White House? Well, this is a possibility in the era of MAO (Mad At Obama) syndrome.
While it’s not unusual for states to be hoodwinked into voting for Governors or State Senators that harbor obvious evidence of myopic-to-insane viewpoints (see MN, AK, TX), the fact that one of them is being seriously considered by the right as a desirable presidential candidate betrays some disturbing insight into parts of America.
Texas Governor Rick Perry also opposes what the right has come to dub "Obamacare," but has no problem wanting free health care for his own white suburban behind and his ilk. Back in 1993, while Bill Clinton was in office, Perry actually supported Clinton’s healthcare reform proposal. When questioned about it after the GOP spiked it, he was quoted as saying he only wanted Clinton to focus more attention on rural healthcare. Almost twenty years later he calls President Obama’s healthcare reform "socialism on American soil." Perry’s hypocrisy would be revealed again if the Texas Board of Pardons suddenly acquired a conscience and released its black Death Row inmates. Were this to happen you could count on the former Texas A&M "Yell Leader" not being so ‘rah rah’ to execute the remaining inmates, and the program would be shut down.
Perry’s actions regarding the case of Cameron Todd Willingham should tell you all you need to know about him. Willingham’s three young children died in a fire in Corsicana in 1991. Somehow he was accused, and executed in 2004. Just before his execution, an arson expert filed a report to the Board of Pardons stating there was no proof of arson. The board refused to recommend clemency to Perry. In 2005, a nine member forensics board was formed and they looked into the Willingham case. Their findings agreed with the arson expert’s. Perry blatantly fired three people from this new panel, and then his newly-appointed chairman canceled a hearing that would have been held two days before the forensic commission’s report. Yet and still, this is the man many want in the White House. A restoration of hubris worse than you’ve ever seen stands to prevail if this takes place.
If the poverty rate in Texas continues to go up, conservatives like Perry fully know that those waiting for the electric chair will be standing room only, and mostly from black and minority communities. In 2009, poverty in Texas was rated at 17.3% and increased to 18.4% by 2010. There was a noticeable increase across the overall US figure during the same two years (14.3% and 15.1%, respectively).
What many don’t know is that in Texas governors have no authority to grant or commute a death sentence (not that Slick Rick would be interested anyway). All requests and demands of a reversal must go through the Board of Pardons. Though Perry is ideologically and socially dumb, he believes in Intelligent Design. What he needs is a moral makeover - the death penalty is the biggest evidence of this. Under his 11-year watch, a sickening 234 executions have taken place. Bloodthirsty, death happy, is the best way I can describe it.
Sadly, Texas is not alone. There is another southern state still proudly clinging to Capital Punishment - Georgia. Like Texas, Georgia’s Governor does not have the authority to grant clemency. Another obstacle towards granting new trials in these cases is a measure passed immediately after an act of terror was carried out by a couple of white men in 1995; the Oklahoma City Bombing. This was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which imposed restrictions on courts from overturning death penalty convictions and ordering new trials. The irony of this law is that it hurts Blacks like Georgia’s recently-executed Troy Davis and others with wrong or highly questionable convictions. Davis was the principle figure in a highly-publicized case who was accused of shooting police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989. Like Willingham, Davis was on death row since 1991, in spite of amazingly not having had a gun found that connects him to the shooting, and seven of the nine witnesses that originally testified against him having since recanted their statements. Most cite police coercion and even strong-arming.
What’s particularly bothersome to me is, it’s not like white people - good or bad - don’t know white people. These people on the judicial boards know how a lot of these police are; cover-ups and evidence tampering are a given. I mean really, if it’s looked into and there are signs of foul play, then game over. Pride now prevents those legs from moving. The days of Perry Mason’s black and white, morally distinct TV are gone, and even the shades of grey are fading. Welcome to Rick Perry’s Twilight Zone.
The biggest example of this was when the US Supreme Court heard Davis’ case. Though the high court ruled 7-2 in Davis’ favor, Chief Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting statement played no small role in this time of heightened ant-black rulings.
"This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial, but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is actually innocent," said Scalia. "Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged actual innocence is constitutionally cognizable."
Understand what this individual just said. This is Satan’s Judge for all intents and purposes. First of all, he implies all trials are fair trials by default. Secondly, he states that, in the event that actual proof is presented after that "fair" trial, this truthful evidence has no right to insult the previous "fair" trial by setting the convict free. And thirdly, he says that the Supreme Court has no history of doing this. This flies in the face of the high court’s own decision to rule state executions unconstitutional in 1972. Of course, Justice Clarence Thomas was the only other dissenter on the Davis case.
Once again, the death happy conservatives go home with a reason to cheer.