It would not be the first nor likely the last time that American voters have cast their support behind a murderer. However, for their to be any economic recovery there must first be a spiritual recovery - now is the time to cast people like Rick Perry aside.
In our bureaucratic age, it is very difficult to level responsibility for societal evil on any one person. There is always someone else, or a group of people who control particular aspects of a decision. One person has very little power, which is often the reason why bureaucracies can carry out mass murder with very few actual mass murderers. However, there are times when one person has the ability to make a decision.
In 1994, Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. was convicted for the rape and murder of a 16 year old girl in the State of Texas. In July of this year, Garcia was scheduled to be executed, but at the last minute a legal issue came to light. Garcia was represented by a court appointed public defender during his original trial. Through the consulate, Garcia could have been represented by an attorney provided by the Mexican government. The US Senate is considering legislation that would allow federal courts to review cases of foreign nationals who were found guilty in order to determine whether the lack of consular assistance would have made an impact in their cases.
President Obama, members of Congress, and lawyers from around the world called on Governor Rick Perry to either change the sentence to life in prison or postpone the execution until a review can be completed. Garcia denied, both prior to his trial and during his time in prison, that he killed the girl and his petitioners have argued that he was denied a fair trial.
Mr. Perry resisted the federal government's attempts and decided to execute Mr. Garcia. There would have been little harm in postponing the sentence or changing it to life in prison; Mr. Garcia wasn't going to be released, he would at most be re-tried. The purpose of a trial and investigation is to find the truth. In fact, the word “forensics" means “to seek the truth. " Not only was there a decent legal claim for Mr. Garcia to receive an investigation to determine if consular assistance would have followed the proper procedures, but the argument for the truth - whether Mr. Garcia actually committed the crime, is even stronger.
Under Rick Perry's governorship, justice became a tool of a personal vendetta; Mr. Perry seemed to be telling the federal government that he resented their interference. As justified as some of that resentment is, it is incredibly wrong to kill another person in order to prove that point.
Mr. Perry certainly won't get this author's vote. He will likely get the votes of people who frankly don't care if people die for personal reasons, as long as those people fit into a particular ideological argument such as fighting terrorism or illegal immigration (which would otherwise be justified concerns). When the future President Perry takes out his personal grudges on people who do not fit these arguments and are close to his voters, it will be too late to do anything about it.
Mark Tully is the editor of Restorus.org and has authored articles on a variety of topics such as Adolf Eichmann's trial , is studying the impact of Carl Schmitt on modern politics, and has done theological works on Israel in the wilderness .