Slate Article Claims Failure to Grant Clemency to Murderess is Inconsistent Act By Governor Who Follows Law on Abortion

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Lewis, then 33, plotted with her then-22-year-old lover, Matthew Shallenberger, and his friend Rodney Fuller to murder her husband and stepson on Oct. 30, 2002. Killed were Julian Lewis, 51, and C.J. Lewis, 25, a soldier visiting the Lewises' mobile home.

She was to be the beneficiary of her stepson's $250,000 life insurance policy should he and her husband die. She left a door unlocked so Shallenberger and Fuller could enter early that morning. The two arrived armed with shotguns paid for by Teresa Lewis. She left the bedroom and waited in the kitchen during the shooting.

The gunfire over and her husband dying, Lewis retrieved his wallet from their bedroom and divided the money with the killers. She waited 45 minutes before calling for help, but Julian Lewis lived long enough to tell a deputy sheriff, "My wife knows who done this to me."

Teresa Lewis, Shallenberger and Fuller pleaded guilty. The judge sentenced Shallenberger and Fuller to life and Lewis, whom he called "the head of this serpent," to death.
According to an opinion piece by William Saleton at Slate, Governor McConnell is hypocritical by refusing clemency to the murderess, because the Governor opposes abortion but does not prosecute mothers who murder the unborn.

The logical need not apply in this debate.

Abortion is unfortunately legal and even constitutionally protected. The governor cannot punish women who get abortions, even if he were so inclined. The illogical argument seems to be: if abortion is protected, then the Governor should not permit execution an admitted murderer. Huh? Sorry, not logical at all.

Mr. Saletan complains that the triggerman and his friend, one of whom was the 22 year old lover of the "head of this serpent" conspirator, merely received sentences of life in prison. Yes, maybe they should have gotten the death penalty as well, but how does that translate in any persuasive argument that the "head of this serpent" should get any sort of leniency?

The wonam's alleged diminished cpacity may be the best argument for leniency, but

In his statement turning down the clemency, McDonnell said, "Numerous psychiatrists and psychologists have analyzed Lewis, both before and after her sentencing. After numerous evaluations, no medical professional has concluded that Teresa Lewis meets the medical or statutory definition of mentally retarded."
The woman may not be intelligent, but she planned a murder and took specific steps to carry it out. She apparently knew right from wrong but chose wrong. She pleaded guilty and admitted her complicity.

I am having a hard time being sympathetic.


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