Friday, December 02, 2005

Saved by the Bell...

Or prosecutorial incompetence. Robin Lovitt, set to be executed this past Wednesday, had his sentence commuted by Gov. Mark Warner to life in prison without parole.

As discussed in earlier posts, this was a win-win situation for Warner. Very little backlash, especially since such stalwart conservatives as former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr and former attorney general Mark Early were speaking out on Lovitt's behalf.

With a clerk throwing out evidence, which could have been exculpatory, in direct disregard to current law, Warner's choice to commute Lovitt's sentence was a "no-brainer."

Washington Post pundit E. J. Dionne Jr. had it right this morning. Warner is a shrewd politician who weighs the political merit of everything before he acts.

As a Virginian who has seen Warner dilly-dally instead of ordering the DNA testing of Roger Coleman that could prove the state wrongfully executed an innocent man, put me in the camp who considers Warner just a tad-bit too political with little moral courage for my taste.

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