Lately, it seems that every day when I see or hear the news I wonder what has happened to common sense in my country.
It happened again Aug. 11 when I read about the S.C. Supreme Court granting a new sentencing hearing to Angle Joe Perrie Vasquez. Vasquez is the Burger King employee who in March 2002, after using inappropriate language in front of a customer, was fired. Later that day he returned to the restaurant and shot to death a 19-year-old worker and a 28-year-old manager.
Vasquez's defense at trial, the trial itself and his incarceration have all been paid for with taxpayer dollars. The attorney who argued before the S.C. Supreme Court that Vasquez be granted a new sentencing hearing was paid for with taxpayer dollars, as was any additional legal help he may have required. Bear in mind also that our S.C. Supreme Court is funded with taxpayer dollars. With all those taxpayer dollars having been spent, now it must be determined whether Vazquez really must be put to death as had been ordered by the judge and a jury of his peers in October 2003.
I know, the law says someone sentenced to death has the right to numerous examinations and re-examinations of the trial, the proceedings, the condition of the court, the way someone looked at someone else and on and on and on and on. Until it is deemed appropriate that no one really should be sentenced to death. However there is no re-examination for the 19-year-old or the 28-year-old whose lives were taken with brute force, and there is no re-examination of the anguish endured by their families and loved ones. I say enough is enough, and our resources would be put to much better use were we to focus on the victims and not the perpetrators of crimes.
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The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.