executed in Texas (in 1932), and added that he will continue to pursue death
cases "because it is the law."
Let's be clear. The death penalty is AN option for a DA to pursue and not the
ONLY choice in a capital case. Watkins can also decide to seek life in prison
without parole for defendants on trial.
Watkins is just one in a long line of men and women who claim to have been
lifelong opponents of the death penalty who suddenly switch their views when
they enter politics so they can appear "tough on criminals". It's quite
pathetic. The death penalty has nothing to do with justice or moving society
forward in any healthy way. It has everything to do with pandering to the most
negative emotions in society while extolling a system laden with the inherent
problems of bigotry, racism, hatreds, and judicial mistakes.
Perhaps like so many others before him, including numerous retiring US Supreme
Court justices, Watkins will have the 'courage' to admit upon leaving office
that he really is completely opposed to the death penalty.
Until then, we remain saddled with a DA who is proud to participate in a
killing system that most of the civilized world and much of the US has already
discarded. Dallas deserves better and more principled leadership, especially on
issues concerning life and death.
(source: Letter to the Editor, Rick Halperin, Dallas Morning News)