Also see: Michael Coard archive on The Philly Post
Rick "Serial Killer" Perry: Killing Kids, Innocents, Blacks for Being Black, and the Mentally Ill
Republican presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry likes killing all kinds of people — kid people, innocent people, black people, mentally ill people, and just plain people people. It really doesn't matter to him.
The Kids: Napoleon Beazley was a 17 year old honor student, football star, and senior class president with no criminal record. In 1994 while trying to steal a car, he shot and killed a man. During his sentencing hearing in Smith County, the District Attorney from the youngster's Houston County community asked the jury for life instead of death. Even the trial judge later asked Perry to commute the death sentence. But his reply was hell no — kill 'em all! Napoleon was executed on May 28, 2002. Three years later, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons banned the death penalty for juveniles as "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The Innocents: Cameron Todd Williams was convicted of the 1991 arson death of his three young daughters. But Dr. Gerald Hurst, a nationally renowned arson expert and Cambridge University chemistry professor whose findings have judicially cleared about a dozen condemned prisoners nationwide, submitted an official report to Perry's Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) — which votes to approve or deny death sentence commutations — indicating that the prosecutor's fire investigation was woefully flawed and that there was no proof of arson. Another expert, Louisiana Fire Chief Kendall Ryland who also reviewed the entire case file, agreed. In 2005, the Texas Forensic Science Commission (FSC) was established to address this kind of tragic error. But just two days before the FSC was to hold a 2009 hearing on Hurst's scathing report, Perry abruptly replaced three members and canceled the hearing. Finally, in 2011, the FSC recommended more education and more training for fire investigators. A lot good that did for Williams. He was already dead, having been executed on February 17, 2004.
During the September 7 Republican presidential debate and in connection with the 234 executions he approved, Perry was asked "Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might be innocent?" He said "No" because he had determined that the process is mistake-proof. Does he expect us to believe that every single one of those 234 during his eleven year reign had perfect investigations, perfect arrests, perfect hearings, perfect trials, perfect sentencings, and perfect appeals regardless of income, race, or gender? Is he aware that 273 American citizens have been exonerated throughout the country since DNA testing has been available (and that 166 of them are black)? The Lone Star State has killed more people, 473 to be exact, than any other state since executions were made legal again in 1976. That's more than half the executions in the entire country and more than four times the number in Virginia, the second best governmental killing machine with a mere 109.
The Blacks For Being Black: Duane Buck was sentenced to death in 1997 for the 1995 murder of his ex-girlfriend. When questioned by prosecutor Joan Huffman during Buck's sentencing hearing, Dr. Walter Quijano, who is the former chief psychologist of the Texas Department of Corrections, responded "Yes" to the question whether "the race factor, black, increases... future dangerousness..." Yep. He sure did. And he did so without even cracking a racist smile. Texas Attorney General at the time and current Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn — a Perry ally — stated in his 2000 report that six cases have been so racially polluted by Quijano that Perry should schedule new sentencing hearings for each. In fact, federal courts have done just that in the five other cases. Even one of the trial prosecutors wants a new hearing because, in her words, "Race should never be put in front of a jury in any case, particularly a death penalty case." But Buck will die very soon if Perry's appointed BPP rejects the clemency request. By the way, if Buck is eventually slated for death, he'll be offered the proverbial "last meal." I'm sure Perry will attend along with the man who he stated in 1991 he would, if he ever could, have as a "fantasy dinner guest." That man is Robert E. Lee — secessionist, traitor, and, oh yeah, slave-owner.
The Mentally Ill — In June of 2002, Perry vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally ill inmates, contending that "This legislation is not about whether to execute mentally retarded murderers. It's about who determines whether a defendant is mentally retarded in the Texas justice system." And because he, like former Governor George W. Bush is "the Decider," every inmate in Texas is determined to be Albert Einstein — like Walter Bell who killed two persons in 1974 and who a six-member team of state-employed mental health professionals along with a prison psychiatrist concluded was "mentally retarded." Despite prosecutors' repeated arguments throughout the decades, Bell was released from death row after a state judge in 2004, adhering to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2002 Atkins v. Virginia decision declaring the death penalty for such persons to be "cruel and unusual punishment," ruled that Bell fit the guidelines for "mental retardation." But Perry and his gang of state-sanctioned killers, I mean death penalty prosecutors, already knew that. It didn't take about 30 years of Bell deteriorating on death row for them to realize that. They were well aware that his I.Q. was in the mid 50s and that the threshold for "mental retardation" is 70. By the way, as uncovered by the Death Penalty Information Center, approximately 7 percent of the state's "Dead Men and Women Walking" have I.Q.s less than 70. That's about 25 of the nearly 350 on death row. What about the severely mentally ill Kelsey Patterson? After murdering two women in 1992 for no reason whatsoever, he wandered the streets dressed only in socks. A diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Patterson had been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial on other charges. Even the BPP had voted 5-1 to commute his death sentence. But, alas, Perry once again replied hell no — kill 'em all! Patterson was executed on May 18, 2004.
Perry kills people who have already been captured and who have already been shackled in jail for life, but he claims to be an evangelical Christian. Yeah, that makes sense. And I'm quite sure that Jesus would do the very same thing.