The Texas House has passed its version of the LWOP bill in capital cases
. There are a couple of discrepancies between the House and Senate versions which will have to be worked out in committee, and then, on to the Governor for his signature. It's looking like this common-sense, long-awaited measure may finally be enacted. It didn't happen without quite a debate on the House floor. Here is just a sample of an argument between Reps. Terry Keel (a former prosecutor), Pat Haggerty (who appears to be shilling for Harris County DA Chuck Rosenthal
), and Peggy Hamrick (who is from Houston, Rosenthal's stomping grounds):
"You would be putting loaded guns in prison" if the measure passes, Haggerty insisted at one point during the House debate.
"You have loaded guns in there now," Keel shot back.
"It's ridiculous," Haggerty answered.
"It may be ridiculous to you, but it's not to others," Keel said.
Rep. Peggy Hamric, R-Houston, said that under current law, most capital murderers who receive a sentence of life die in prison. The proposed change in the law, she added, will change little. "So why are we doing it?," she asked.
"Because our constituents overwhelmingly want it," Keel said, a reference to public opinion polls that have shown Texans favor a life-without-parole statute.
Sounds good to me.