In this week's Reporter, I have a piece
examining how the death penalty could affect the 2010 governor's race, particularly in the Republican primary. In an interview with SFR, gubernatorial candidate Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones
, R-Bernalillo--she voted to repeal the death penalty in 2007 and 2009--said that she would consider commutation for the two men currently on death row, Tim Allen and Robert Fry.
Hearing that statement, political analyst Brian Sanderoff had this to say:
Her political opponents, in my opinion, would in all likelihood use it against her in terms of a campaign message.
Well, that hasn't materialized yet, though former New Mexico Republican Party chairman and gubernatorial candidate Allen Weh
was quick to release his own statement on the death penalty, without anything remotely close to a dig at Arnold-Jones:
I support the death penalty for convicted murderers whose acts are confirmed by DNA evidence. I think it's particularly justified in cases where first responders and people who are defenseless, such as our elderly and our children, are killed.
The weird thing about this statement is that while police officers are (or were) covered by the death penalty statute
, the elderly are not, nor are children unless the murder involves kidnapping or molestation/rape. So, it kinda reads like, on the one hand, he's proposing the death penalty be reinstated but limited to a DNA evidence standard and on the other he'd like to see it expanded to include new crimes.