Life Without Parole Gets the Death Penalty
Many people are surprised to learn that Texas does not have a sentence of life without parole. Capital murderers who are not sentenced to death are eligible for parole in 40 years. For a state with a reputation for being so tough on crime, this seems out of character. But, in fact, the biggest opponents of a proposed life without parole option in Texas are not us bleeding-heart, liberal defense attorneys. Nope. It's the big-city DAs and victims' rights groups. Why? Because they worry (probably rightly) that fewer people would get the death penalty if the jury had the option of giving life without parole. It's much easier to convince a jury to take someone's life if you can scare them into believing the defendant might one day be free to kill again. A recent bill to istitute life wtihout parole was shot down by a procedural hurdle in the state senate last week. This, despite the fact that 78% of Texans support having life without parole. I challenge lawmakers to finally stand up to DAs and victims' rights groups and enact some common-sense legislation supported by a super-majority of its citizens. And if it means fewer death sentences handed down, it won't surprise you that I'm all for that, too.