Monday, April 23, 2007

Mr. Verdict's Verdict

Danny Verdict does not have very good timing. He is the governor’s mansion trusty who is seeking clemency from the life term he is serving for killing his ex-wife. The murder happened in1992 and Verdict shot his wife five times, while chasing her around the house.

The prosecutor said this showed premeditation and the defense argued it was a crime of passion. The jury decided it, and that should settle the matter. This actually weighs heavily on me because mercy is in mighty short supply these days. Unfortunately, our previous governor made a bad practice of messing with jury verdicts. He did it so often, that many people were wondering what “life” means anyway.

The Parole Board, including Commissioner Carolyn Robinson, voted 4 to 1 for clemency. Verdict still apparently has a few years to serve in Michigan on larceny charges, but he would then go free. Since the Virginia Tech shootings, we are thinking about crime and public safety. The public is not well served by the practice of releasing those convicted of violent crimes, and that certainly includes Mr. Verdict. His verdict from the governor should be “no.”

(Broadcast April 20, 2007)

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