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Katie Halper: Bush Will Be Remembered for His Rule of Law, Sense of Justice, and Clemency (for Turkeys)

November 28, 2008

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On Thanksgiving, The Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks 34 to 9. And the day before, when Bush spared two innocent lives, he achieved his own victory of 16 to 1. When Bush pardoned Pumpkin AND Pecan, who were about to meet the same fate as the turkeys televised behind Sarah Palin, he could boast of having 16 presidential poultry pardons under his belt. But Bush has also compassionately conserved human life, once. During his six-year governorship and eight-year presidency, Bush has pardoned one death row inmate, denied clemency over 50 times, and signed death warrants for 155 people, many of whom were innocent, mentally retarded, juveniles, recipients of unfair trials, and/or represented by incompetent and often narcoleptic lawyers.

Bush is often portrayed as (and is, actually,) the governor who executed more people than any other governor in modern history. Because, like the Lord, the Bush giveth and he taketh away. How would this born-again compassionate conservative sleep at night (or clear brush by day)? As he eloquently told a reporter outside of church, “If you’re asking me whether or not as to the innocence or guilt or if people have had adequate access to the courts in Texas, I believe they have…had full access to a fair trial.” Even those who don’t care for the death penalty know that Texas is famous for its justice. A Chicago Tribune investigation done after Bush presided over 131 execution, found that only 40 inmates had lawyers who presented just one witness or no evidence at all during the trials’ sentencing phase; less than half of them had lawyers who failed to enter as evidence the defendant’s brain damage, low IQ or childhood abuse. And just one third of those executed had lawyers who were later disbarred, suspended or otherwise sanctioned. But Bush is so confident that sleeping lawyers are great at waking themselves up when anything important happens during their client’s capital murder trial, that he finds the suggestion that Texas trials are unfair laughable–literally. When asked by reporters if he was troubled by the fact that some death row inmates’ lawyers slept though part of their trials, Bush replied “with a chuckle.”

So, on behalf of Pecan and Pumpkin, and all pardoned Turkeys, Liberty and Freedom (2001), Katie and Zach (2002), Stars and Stripes (2003), Biscuits and Gravy (2004), Marshmallow and Yam (2005), Flyer and Fryer (2006), May and Flower (2007), I give thanks to you, Mr. President. (But not on behalf of Daniel Hittle, Garry Miller, Tony Chambers, Stacey Lawton, Miguel Flores, Jeffery Dillingham, Ricky McGinn, Jeffery Caldwell, David Gibbs, Richard Jones, John Satterwhite, Oliver Cruz, Brian Roberson, Juan Soria, Orien, Jessy San, Gary Graham, Paul Nuncio, John Burks, Thomas Mason, Robert Carter, James Clayton, Richard Foster, James Richardson, Michael McBride, William Kitchens, Tommy Jackson, Timothy Gribble, Ponchai Wilkerson, Odell Barnes, Jr., Betty Beets, Cornelius Gross, James Moreland, Glen McGinnis, Billy Hughes, Jr., Larry Robison, David Hicks, Spencer Goodman, Earl Heiselbetz, Jr. , Sammie Felder, Jr,. Robert Atworth, James Beathard, David Long, Jose Gutierrez, John Lamb, Desmond Jennings, Domingo Cantu, Jr., Jerry McFadden, Alvin Crane, Richard Smith, William Davis, Willis Barnes, Raymond Jones, Joe Trevino, Jr., James Earheart, Kenneth Dunn, Charles Boyd, Ricky Blackmon, Tyrone Fuller, Charles Tuttle, Joseph Faulder, William Little, Clydell Coleman, Jose De La Cruz, Aaron Foust, Excell White, Charles Rector, Norman Green, Andrew Cantu, Danny Barber, George Cordova, Martin Vega, Troy Farries, John Moody, James Meanes, Jeff Emery, Daniel Corwin, Kenneth McDuff, Jonathan Nobles, Javier Cruz, David Castillo, Genaro Camacho, Jr, Leopoldo Narvaiz, Johnny Pyles, Clifford Boggess, Pedro Muniz, Robert Carter, Frank McFarland, Lesley Gosch, Joseph Cannon, Jerry Hogue, Steven Renfro, Karla Tucker, Michael Lockhart, Charlie Livingston, Michael Sharp, Aaron Fuller, Aua Lauti, Kenneth Ransom, Ricky Green, Dwight Adanandus, John Cockrum, Benjamin Stone, Jessel Turner, James Davis, Robert West, Jr., Irineo Montoya, Eddie Johnson, David Stoker, Earl Behringer, Davis Losada, Dorsie Johnson, Jr., Kenneth Harris, Patrick Rogers, Robert Madden, Larry White, Bruce Callins, Clarence Lackey, Richard Drinkard, Clifton Belyeu, Anthony Westley, Terry Washington, Anthony Westley, Terry Washington, Ernest Baldree, Benjamin Boyle, Kenneth Gentry, Billy Woods, David Spence, David Herman, John Barefield, Richard Brimage, Jr., Joe Gonzales, Jr., Kenneth Granviel, Leo Jenkins, James Briddle, Esequel Banda, Hai Vuong, Bernard Amos, Harold Lane, Carl Johnson, Vernon Sattiewhite, Karl Hammond, John Fearance, Ronald Allridge, Fletcher Mann, Noble Mays, Samuel Hawkins, Billy Gardner, Jeffery Motley, Willie Williams, and Clifton Russell, Jr.)

To read more blog entries from Katie Halper and others at GUERNICA click HERE .

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