Action needed to speed executions

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's far too obvious, looking at the numbers, that something should be done about the length of time it takes to execute a convicted killer. According to Clay Crenshaw, who heads the Capital Litigation Division of the Attorney General's office it takes 13 and-a-half years from the time a killer is sentenced until the sentence is executed and the killer put to death for his or her crimes.

To us, that's too long. The reality is that with prison overcrowding and funding the way it is, something should be done to speed the appeals process and let the sentence be carried out.

Crenshaw stated that, generally, the attorneys that get involved with death penalty appeals tend to be profoundly against the death penalty and their sole cause is to the delay the process by clogging the courts with motion after motion. That is wrong and doesn't take in to account the victim's rights. We're sure the killer or killers were not thinking about the victim at the time of their crimes, why should our court system give them extra time on this earth when they didn't grant their victims the same wish?

As we see it, if a jury of their peers found them guilty and sentenced them to die for their crimes, or a judge did the same, then they should be granted an appeal and, if the appeal is denied or they are found guilty again, the sentence should be swiftly carried out.

While we feel everyone should be given a chance, and in this case these killers are being given a chance, the justice system should adopt a more even-handed approach to the appeals process and if they cannot police themselves, then the legislature should get involved.

The victims of these killers deserve no less.