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Thursday, May 02, 2013

April 25, 2013

Dear Sis~

On April 10, Larry Mann was executed downstairs.  Seven days later Governor Scott signed another death warrant, for a guy out of Orlando named Elmer Carroll, who happened to be my next door neighbor.  We were out on the rec yard when a lieutenant holding a bunch of chains showed up and took Elmer away, and while they didn't tell him why they were taking him in I knew something was up.  When I came back in, his cell was stripped and he was down on the bottom floor of Q-Wing on death watch.  I didn't really know him; he only recently transferred in from the main D/R unit at UCI and we'd only exchanged an occasional nod or greeting.  But I understand he's got an ugly case, the murder of a young girl, much like Larry Mann's case.  The governor is wasting no time executing people, he's killing a guy every 60 days, as regular as a metronome.  Still, that is insufficiently bloodthirsty for a majority of our state representatives.  This morning I watched, on the local Public Television Channel, the floor debate in the House on a bill designed to "speed up the death penalty."  Various politicians stood up to argue pro and con, and several invoked the Bible (notably the Old Testament) to justify killing us all as quickly as possible, while one guy repeatedly referred to all of us as "animals."  I have not read the bill so all I know about its particulars is what I could glean from the comments made by those who spoke up for or against it.  The bill contains a number of different measures not directly related to "speeding up" executions per se, but apparently it contains specific provisions designed to rapidly increase the rate of executions.  One representative stated that if the bill becomes law (and it surely will) Florida "will execute between 13 and 90 prisoners in the next six months." I don't know if that's accurate but he must have had some basis to come up with those particular numbers.  Those who argued against the bill, urging caution and reminding the crowd that Florida leads the nation (by far) in death row prisoners exonerated, often 10, 15, 20 years after conviction, were steamrolled down by the Republican supermajority and the bill passed by a wide margin.  I assume it goes to the Senate next, where it will certainly pass, and will be signed into law by the governor.  I'm trying to locate a copy of the bill so I can read it for myself (actually I should wait for the actual law that is eventually signed, because the Senate may amend the current bill in some respects) and when I do I'll bring you up to date. But right now things look dicey.  I gotta tell you, listening to some of those representatives speaking in favor of the bill reminded me of the villagers with pitchforks charging Frankenstein's castle; the guys (and some gals) are literally clamoring for blood; to hear them talk you feel certain they'd love to come in here and kill us all personally, they have no qualms about killing as long as they can justify it to themselves.  There was a lot of self-righteousness and hypocrisy in the air but they were too inflamed with bloodlust (and with their desire to be reelected) to smell it, or perceive the unseemliness of their eagerness to kill...

That's it for now, Sis.  Give the doggies a tummy rub for me, and know that you are loved!

Bill    

1 comment:

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