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Romney's Death Penalty Bill

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Steve LeBlanc of AP has this story reexamining the death penalty bill that Mitt Romney tried to get through the Massachusetts Legislature back in 2005.  It was a daunting task to try to get a bill through the legislature of that very left-wing state, and the opponents were on a roll with their stories of death row inmates being "exonerated," a few of which were true but many not.

So Romney tried to get through a bill that was very narrow in defining the "worst of the worst" and with safeguards designed to reserve the penalty for cases of no doubt whatever of guilt.  Why does any of this matter now?  LeBlanc writes,

Romney's handling of the death penalty issue opened a window into the type of management style he could bring to the White House if elected. He hand-picked a commission and outlined his goals in broad terms. Then he turned the panel's recommendations into a bill that ultimately failed to get through the Legislature. But his decision to fight an uphill battle on an issue that had begun to lose its urgency also showed Romney wasn't afraid of a political fight.
Although the economy is the main focus of the election, the next President will need to deal with issues involving criminal justice.  Victims of crime and the law-abiding public have a strong interest in who that President is.  There will be nominations to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and battles for confirmation.  There will be issues involving federal criminal law.  There will be issues regarding federal courts' often-erroneous interference in state criminal cases.  A President whose heart is on the right side and who isn't afraid of a political fight is a change worth hoping for.

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Another aspect of Presidential power at stake in the election is the power to pardon. Given the hilariously titled "Fair Sentencing Act," adopted for the benefit of crack dealers, and Obama's recent moves to declare effective amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, who would be surprised to see him grant a blanket pardon for all immigration and crack offenders -- grant the pardon, that is, once the election is over and done with.

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