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Monday, December 12, 2005

Governor Denies Clemency

Arnold Schwarzenegger has released this statement.

In it, Schwarzenegger concluded:

"Clemency decisions are always difficult, and this one is no exception. After reviewing and weighing the showing Williams has made in support of his clemency request, there is nothing that compels me to nullify the jury's decision of guilt and sentence and the many court decisions during the last 24 years upholding the jury's decision with a grant of clemency.

Therefore, based on the totality of circumstances in this case, Williams' request for clemency is denied."
Clemency throughout history has been granted for many reasons. The reasons have included disproportionate punishment, possible innocence of the defendant, rehabilitation, personal opposition to the death penalty, and a request from the Pope, interestingly enough.

If the grant for clemency is based simply on the "redemption" of the individual, I don't believe that Stanley Williams should be granted clemency. I don't believe that anyone could "earn" clemency. However, I do believe that Williams should have been granted clemency, not because of his good works, but because the death penalty is an unnecessary punishment. Williams' death will help nothing. However, from his life, much good can come.

Because Schwarzenegger has not granted clemency, even though he could do so because of personal opposition, it is apparent that he is for the death penalty. This is unfortunate, but not surprising, considering his views on abortion.

Also, I noticed a very interesting post on PrawfsBlawg on this same subject.

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