Friday, January 13, 2006

January 7, 2006

Hey Sis~

I'm sitting here on my bunk watching my new little 5" TV; it's a real cheap, toy-like model, but it's the only one sold in the canteen so I've gotta go with what I've got. My old 5" Phillips Magnavox lasted 6 years before it finally gave up the ghost. It was an old, cathode-ray tube type TV, but the picture quality was excellent, much better than the new flimsy flat screen I've got now.

Anyway, I'm watching the Discovery Channel, which is showing The Blue Planet series (on the world's oceans), narrated by David Attenborough. It's a great series, very educational and guaranteed to fill a viewer with awe at the majesty of this planet and the elegant workings of Mother Nature. I've always had a deep fascination for the oceans and all of its creatures; as a teenager one of my career ambitions was to be a marine biologist. Of course, since we lived in Miami that wasn't very surprising, especially considering how much time you and I spent swimming in the ocean and playing on the beaches as kids. Actually, I think it was that early 1960's TV show Flipper (remember how we eagerly watched that program every week?) that first got me thinking about marine biology as a possible career choice. Of course, all that fell by the wayside due to my juvenile delinquency, my lack of vision & self discipline, Hell, my lack of good walking around sense...

Governor Warner, the out-going governor of Virginia here, finally (after 4 years of procrastination) signed an executive order to have the DNA tested in the Gary Coleman case. Coleman was executed here about 12 years ago, for the rape/murder of his sister-in-law. At the time, there were substantial doubts about his guilt, and in the interim, advances in DNA testing technology have created the opportunity for definitive testing of the evidence. The Commonwealth has, for many years, vigorously fought to have all the DNA evidence destroyed; they do not want these tests to proceed. The anti-death penalty people have, in turn, been fighting for years to have the testing done in the hope of establishing Coleman's innocence. The authorities actually succeeded in detroying the DNA evidence in Virginia but, to their chagrin, a sample exists in a private California lab, and that lab refused to send the DNA to the Virginia state crime lab for destruction. For 4 years Gov. Warner has dithered & equivocated about ordering the tests but now, on his way out the door, he's done so. If the tests do exonerate Coleman, Warner will have to answer for why he waited so long, and whether the true killer murdered any more people in the interim. And, of course, such an exoneration would certainly undermine confidence in the administration of the death penalty in Virginia, perhaps even leading to a moratorium (which is why pro-death penalty forces have so fiercely fought against this testing). We'll know in about 6 weeks ...

That's it for now, Sis!

Love & Peace, Bill