Thursday, January 05, 2006

Something else happened in Virginia this week...

In a state that has undergone emotional upheaval of biblical proportions, something else happened in Virginia, this week, that points to a silver lining. Just today, Virginia Governor Warner ordered that DNA evidence be re-tested in the case of Roger Keith Coleman who was put to death, by the state, in 1992, for raping and murdering his sister-in-law.

If the DNA now proves that a man was put to death for a crime he did not commit, it will be the first time in U.S. history that a man who was executed has been exonerated. As a nation, and a people of laws, we need to nurture the same moral outrage for the crime of putting an innocent man to death as we showed when O.J. Simpson walked free.

Now, more than ever, we need to call for a national moratorium on capital punishment, as well as consider a constitutional human rights amendment that prohibits torture, cruel and unusual punishment, and the death penalty.