Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Stop him before he tries to kill again!

Well, the Guv has done it again. Last week Ed Rendell signed his 35th death warrant. He may not quite be on the pace of Ridge, who signed warrants like he had stock in Bic, but the heady days of his gubernatorial campaign, when he said that he would consider a moratorium if the evidence warranted it, seem like ancient history.

Numero 35 is for Joseph D'Amato, a white man from Philadelphia. White men from Philadelphia on death row are kind of like gun rights supporters at a Democratic meet up: You might run into one every once in awhile, but it's rare. Consider: 84% of those on PA's death row from Philadelphia are African-American. A majority of prisoners on death row are from Philly, at a 56% clip. Meanwhile, the Guv says race and the death penalty is not a problem.

Would Lynn Swann care to talk about that?

Of those 35 death warrants, 8 were for white defendants. My abacus tells me that that means 77% of the warrants signed by Gamblin' Eddie have been for minorities. In one of those "this would be really funny if we weren't talking about death" moments, the DOC website actually breaks down the warrants by race (see page 14). It certainly makes an abolitionist's job much easier.

May events in PA

Friday, May 6: Anti-death penalty vigil in Erie
12pm, Second & State Streets, Rendell's Erie office

Sunday, May 8: Sister Helen Prejean, commencement speaker, St. Francis University, Loretto

Thursday, May 19: Anti-death penalty vigil in Harrisburg
12pm, 3rd and Walnut Streets, Harrisburg