Here is a great statement by David Van Os, the democratic candidate for the Texas Attorney general about the death penalty for child sex predators. Recently the republican attorney general, Greg Abbott has been promoting the death penalty for child sex offenders in TV ads. David Mass of the San Antonio Current has an interesting article about this issue.
In his 30 years as a labor lawyer, Van Os has fought for the rights of thousands of working people in every walk of life. Throughout his legal career he has taken on numerous federal and state court battles in the cause of Constitutional and civil rights, including hard-fought cases vindicating Freedom of Speech and other precious liberties of the Bill of Rights, voting rights cases on behalf of principled organizations such as LULAC and the NAACP, and countless civil rights cases for individuals who would have been powerless were it not for his efforts. He fights for the Constitution.
Here is David Van Os’ statement:
While I support stiff penalties for sex predators, I am opposed to punishing a crime that did not result in a death with the death penalty. This makes me the exact opposite of Greg Abbott, who favors the death penalty for ‘sex predators’ even where the offense did not result in a death.
Applying the death penalty to a crime that did not result in death is disproportionate to the crime and thus unconstitutional in my opinion. Also, reserving the death penalty for homicides saves some crime victims’ lives. Making non-homicide crimes subject to the death penalty will result in some criminals killing their victims where they might not have done so, since they have nothing further to lose by committing murder.
Abbott’s position on this issue is typical of his grandstanding. It is also typical of the way he deals with families. In his administration of child support, for example, he does not care about the families who are involved in anguishing situations. He only cares about getting his statistics to use as political bragging points. In many sex crime cases the offender is a family member who needs treatment and cure. To apply the death penalty in such cases would only bring more anguish to already distressed families.
Families need help, Greg, not lethal injections.