Thoughts on this?
CHARLESTON, SC — A South Carolina prosecutor says she will seek the death penalty for an alleged white supremacist, Dylann Roof of Columbia, who is charged with killing nine black churchgoers in June in Charleston.
“This was the ultimate crime, and justice from our state calls for the ultimate penalty,” 9th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson told a group of reporters shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday….
To state what I’ve stated many times before, if I thought the death penalty was right, this would certainly be a case in which I would apply it.
But I don’t, so I wouldn’t.
I found this particularly intriguing:
In recent weeks, Wilson has met with families of the nine victims. At her Thursday press conference, she told reporters that some family members agreed with her decision and others did not. But in the end the decision was hers, she said….
Often, prosecutors will cite the wishes of victims’ families as reasons to pursue a particular charge or penalty. Which is, of course, wrong in a nation of laws and not of men. The prosecutor is right: It is her decision to make.
That said, do you think she has made the right one? Particularly in this case, when our state was pulled together so dramatically by the gestures of forgiveness by the families.
(I had breakfast this morning with Mark Lett, executive editor at The State. As we were leaving, he asked whether I had ever thought South Carolina could come together like that, so quickly, to remove the flag. I said I certainly had not imagined such a thing. I told him that when I ran into Aaron Sheinin at that first flag rally after the shootings, he and I got to talking about how the very earliest anything could happen would be January. And then I said, “Of course, our governor could call on lawmakers to come back into session especially to take the flag down,” and we both laughed in the cynical way that ink-stained wretches of the press tend to do. And then, two days later, it actually happened. It was a miracle — it was a whole raft of miracles to see those people standing together for such a purpose — and it was brought about by those exhibitions of forgiveness. Which gives us additional reason to regard what the families did with awe and reverence.)
Of course, I suppose there’s a school of thought that you can personally forgive someone, but still believe that person should face the consequences of his actions. And this is a consequence for which our laws provide.
I would say that death is not the right way to go. But that’s what I always say. You?