Staff Editorial

Better for one guilty woman to die than for one guilty woman to go free

What's the fuss everyone? There have been 118 executions in Texas since the death penalty was reinstated. Twenty percent of those have been in the last year.

Why, then, are we obsessed with the impending death of one Karla Faye Tucker?

Tucker has been given a death date of Feb. 3 for the 1983 pick-ax slaying of a Houston man.

Maybe it's because she got "saved." Maybe she's a changed woman who deserves clemency. No, that can't be all. Lots of death row inmates find religion. While that might earn them a lot of sympathy from the clergy, it rarely means anything in court.

Maybe it's because ... she's a woman?

Who cares? Suddenly, news in every medium is saturated with coverage of the death penalty because of one born-again woman.

Who cares that there are more than 3000 people wasting away on death row?

Who cares that the mentally retarded can be executed for their crimes.

Who cares that there have been more than 400 known cases of innocent people being condemned to die since 1900?

Who cares that 10 children have been sentenced to death since 1972?

Did you know that no one really knows how long it takes to die in the electric chair? Who cares about that either? Texas doesn't electrocute people! And a lethal injection can't take that long.

And really, who cares about race? You're only four times as likely to be put to death for killing a white person than a black person.

Who cares? We're all too excited that a woman is going to the proverbial "chair."

The United States is the only western country that still has the death penalty, but really! Sentencing a poor, delicate, ax-murdering woman to die is just not civilized.

Come on. Do we really just want to focus on the sex of the people we execute? There might be more important issues.

Like life and death.

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The gray-box editorials reflect the opinion of The Daily Cougar editorial board and editorial staff. All other opinions, letters, commentaries and cartoons reflect the viewpoint of the writer. Letters to the editor reflect only the opinion of the individual writers. No opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston administration or the student body at large.

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