Back on Saturday I blogged on an attempt to resurrect the Death Penalty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At the time we knew what Rep Tom Golden thought, but not our other two State Representatives from Lowell.
Since then I have heard, first from Rep David Nangle and then from Rep Kevin Murphy. My thanks to both for getting back to me and helping me understand their positions.
Rep Nangle believes there are some crimes that are so heinous that the Death Penalty should be available. This puts him on the same side as Rep Jim Miceli and Rep Tom Golden. This was pretty straight forward for a position. I mentioned that I was opposed to the death penalty, out of courtesy. Rep Nangle did say that he would stop by Rep Miceli's desk and see if he has started to count votes on this issue, noting that last time a Death Penalty Bill came up it went down to defeat.
A little while later Rep Kevin Murphy called and told me that he was against the death penalty. His reason was that our understanding of the evidence is not as good as it should be and thus the danger of making a mistake is too high. He mentioned the fact that the State Crime Lab is still working on establishing itself as the high quality lab it needs to be. Here is an article on the State Crime Labs from 4 February 2009 issue of The Boston Globe. I think Rep Murphy shows good insight into the problem of evidence in death penalty cases. Even if you generally accepted the Death Penalty, the evidence needs to be air tight and right now it is not.
Thanks to our Reps for lettings us know.
Regards — Cliff
2 weeks ago