December 19

April 1, 2004 Letters

first_imgApril 1, 2004 Letters April 1, 2004 Regular News Death Penaltycenter_img I find myself compelled to respond to the March 1 letter (overly) stressing opposition to the death penalty.The governor of Florida does not have the power to “sign a paper to cause another person’s death.” He only has authority to grant a reprieve or a pardon, and any high school civics student would know that, and any attorney practicing law in Florida certainly should. Only a judge can “sign a paper” ( i.e. issue a judgment) for execution (of the sentence), and even then only upon a jury representing the people of the State of Florida having issued its recommendation for imposition of the death penalty after consideration of the facts for and against such imposition in a particular case.I am not knowledgeable of the Robert Sullivan case referenced in the letter, and I do not know the counsel who represented Sullivan, and it may well be that we in Florida should consider having a “time out” on executions pending full review (DNA and other evidence showing innocent parties having been convicted in prior cases, etc.); however, the writer’s reliance upon what the Pope may have done or not done, that Robert Sullivan was a “lifelong Catholic” and “all such authority belongs to God” and that Sullivan “was very possibly innocent” and so on is nothing but an argumentum ad absurdum (or more likely an argumentum ad ignorantia) for an attorney.I can understand a personal opposition to the death penalty on ethical and/or religious grounds; however, the reliance on religious grounds claiming that the body politic of the State of Florida should be governed by such claims of a “higher authority” is exactly the position taken by the mullahs of the Islamic extremists for imposition of Shariah law as the “law of God,” and the opposition to which all “true believers” are “justified” in taking measures for the destruction of the nonbeliever “infidel.”The blatant innuendos that Sullivan’s counsel was incompetent and biased because of “his own homophobic prejudice” is a highly improper and defamatory statement to make about a fellow attorney absent documentable proof.Millard C. Glancy Coral Springslast_img read more