Monday, March 26, 2012

No Soup for Him

While I haven't been blogging, the death machine has been marching on.  We've killed 11 in the US so far this year, 5 this month alone.
Mississippi and Texas each have 3 of the 11, Arizona and Oklahoma 2 each.  Florida's murdered just one so far.
Here in the Buckeye State, our killings have been on hold since Judge Frost and then the 6th Circuit concluded that Ohio couldn't be trusted to obey the protocol it adopted, the protocol that Judge Frost and the 6th Circuit believed to be constitutional, the protocol that Ohio made up. We devised a constitutional system, they said, then refuse to follow it.  So Charles Lorraine wasn't killed in January, and Michael Webb wasn't killed in February, and there was always a scheduled March hiatus.
Which brings us to Mark Wiles, due to be murdered at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville on April 18.
I mean, maybe they'll convince the judge (again), that they will follow their own rules.  Or maybe the 6th will believe them this time.  Or maybe SCOTUS will step in.  Or, of course, maybe they'll just hold off (as they did with Webb) while they try to think up something new - a protocol they like enough to obey, maybe.
But meanwhile, the gears of the death machine get greased and Mark Wiles moves a few steps closer.  Friday, the Parole Board said to kill him.
I've said before, and repeatedly (go search the archives), that executive clemency - whether pardon or commutation - isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about desert.  It's about mercy and grace.  It's not about the grantee but about the grantor.  Wiles understands that.  At his interview with the Parole Board, he was asked why he thought he deserved clemency.
Wiles responded that he was not sure that he is worthy of clemency.
Later, at the parole hearing, his lawyers told the Board the same thing.
Wiles has stated repeatedly to his counsel that he has no excuses for his actions and that he doesn't deserve clemency, but he wants to live and he knows that applying for clemency is the only way to receive it.
Wiles killed Mark Klima in August 1985.  He was tried less than six months later.  He's been on the row now for over 26 years. 
Oh, sure, he's been a good prisoner.  And sure he's accepted responsibility.  And sure he's accepted remorse.  It isn't enough.  He hasn't cured cancer.  He isn't factually innocent.
While Wiles does express remorse and admits to committing the offense, that remorse and acceptance of responsibility does not mitigate nor outweigh the brutal attack on a defenseless young man who was beaten and stabbed repeatedly in his own home.  Wiles' remorse, acceptance of responsibility and good institutional conduct do not equate toa substantial enough reason to recommend clemency.
Because even as Wiles gets it, the Parole Board doesn't.
Wiles Clemency

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. It does, I believe, reflect the thoughts of many of the death row prisoners - they do not expect the parole board to grant them any mercy or grace - they know it's just a checks and balances process: have all the appeals been carried out? Have all the courts upheld the decisions? Well let's get this execution carried out then. Mark knew this and went through the process, I believe, simply to try to save those of us who care about him from having to witness his execution. Similarly, his action in the current execution protocol lawsuit is making a stand, not so much for him, but especially for all those who stand behind him in the long list of those who have execution dates.