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Fairness in sentencing
Danille Simpson, 30, was executed last night, Wednesday November 18. Simpson was convicted for the abduction and slaying of an 84 year old East Texas woman 10 years ago.
The victim, Geraldine Davidson was a retired school teacher and church organist. She disappeared after a home burgulary in Palestine, Southeast of Dallas. Her body was found weighted down with a cinder block in a river.
Simpson petitioned the court to drop all his appeals and be allowed to be executed. A Federal Court found that he was competent to stop any further appeals to save his life, but in the past weeks he changed his mind and allowed his lawyers to try to save him.
His execution came less than one hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the last day appeal filed by his lawyers claiming he was mentally incompetent to decide whether his appeals should be dropped. They cited his repeated reversals as proof.
His last comments while strapped to the gurney of the death chamber were directed to his family. "I want to tell my family I love Yall" I'm going to miss Yall" "I'm ready, I'm ready."
Another convicted murderer set to be executed tonight had more luck. The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole took an unusal step and recommended that the death sentence he had recieved be commuted. The 5-2 vote leaves the decision on whether Robert Lee Thomas gets a life sentence or dies is left in the hands of Govenor Rick Perry.
Gov. Perry is the same person who refused a 30 day stay in case of "Cameron Todd Willingham" to allow the Forensic Science Panel to review the report that allegedly pointed toward "Willinghams" innocence.
Gov. Rick Perry rejects Pardon and Parole Boards recomendation to commute sentence
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommendation that the sentence of death for Robert Lee Thompson be commuted to life was all but ignored by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He rejected the recommendation and Thompson was executed on Thursday, approximately 45 minutes after Perrys rejection. Thompson was not the shooter in the case, he was an accomplice. The shooter Sammy Butler recieved life in prison.
In my opinion, Govenor Perry is not fit and should not be allowed to decide whether a person lives or dies by granting a stay or communtation. His track record shows his bias against minorities, and his inability to be fair and consistent in granting stays.
The recommendation for commutation was based on the case of Kennth Foster who had his sentence commuted by Gov. Perry under the Texas Law of Parties. That was two years ago.
The recommendation by the Pardons and Parole Board was rare. Thompson was the 23rd inmate to be executed in Texas this year and the second this week.