Entry for March 27, 2007

This photo of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) by the AP’s Bob Brown accompanied today’s Washington Post article by Sandhya Somashekhar, “Kaine Vetoes Death Penalty Expansion.” Staff writers Amy Gardner and Timothy Dwyer contributed to the report.

Said Kaine,

I don’t think we need to expand capital punishment in Virginia to protect human life and keep people safe. “It’s just that simple.

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) urged Republicans to override the veto in the name of public safety at the session to take place April 4..

I do think the governor was clear during his campaign that he was morally opposed to the death penalty I respect that view, but I do think from a public safety standpoint . . . that this is an important bill.

Kaine, a Catholic personnallly opposed to the death penalty , had said in recent months that he was uneasy about expanding what is already one of the most aggressive death penalty statutes in the nation.

His opponent in the Governor’s race, former attorney general Jerry Kilgore (R) sniped,

I’m probably the least surprised person in Virginia over this. He’s been an activist in the anti-death-penalty movement. He should have just come out and said it [during the campaign] and had a fair debate.

Kaine promised to uphold the current laws but had not addressed an expansion. He has allowed 4 executions since he took office in January 2006. From 1976-2005, Virginia executed another 92 and is only second to Texas in the number of executions carried out..

Said Delegate Kenneth Plum (D), another death penalty opponent:

This signals to me that Virginia is feeling the effects of a nationwide disillusionment with the death penalty. At the very least it is keeping with the moderate view of those who believe in the death penalty.

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Tutored at the college and prepared a MTR resource guide for John Boroski

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