Friday, March 19, 2010

Capital Punishment-The Death Penalty

I used to be completely for the death penalty but had a change of heart a few years ago. Every now and then though something happens to make me wonder, and I couldn't help feeling a warm glow when I read the following:

A murderer who wrote a bragging letter to prosecutors when he believed he could not legally face the death penalty has been executed by electric chair. Paul Powell was convicted in the 1999 murder of Stacie Reed and the rape of her 14-year-old sister in their family home in the US state of Virginia.

He was sentenced to death in 2000 but higher courts ruled he could not be executed because the crimes were considered to be separate ones.

Convinced he no longer faced the death penalty, Powell then wrote a letter to prosecutors in which he said he had outsmarted them and also provided more details on the murder.

The details allowed prosecutors to charge Powell a second time for capital murder and win a new conviction and death sentence in 2003.

In his letter Powell wrote: "Since I have already been indicted on first degree murder and the Va. Supreme Court said that I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on Jan. 29, 1999, to show you how stupid all of y'all ... are."

He then went on to give more details about his crimes before concluding: "I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha! Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid ... and saving me?"

It was the first execution this year in Virginia, which is only second to Texas in the number of executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Powell was the 11th defendant on death row to be executed this year in the US.

Original article here.

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