• Jim B

    I read about this case in the Wash Post this past week. Neither the letter above or the Post mentioned that a murder actually took place only a plan to murder or as the Post put it, a plot to kill. Del. Hope probably wasted his paper as repugs like nothing better than to kill someone unless it is the unborn. And the least intelligent the person is the better since these people don’t deserve to live anyway unless  they  may be republicans.  

  • libra

    because his/her IQ is too low to tell right from wrong is so… foreign. Bad enough that our SCOTUS has already caved in to those un-American notions and is now sparing the lives of under-18s because of that.

    The poor bitch probably wouldn’t have enough smarts to understand why she’s being cooped up for life, were her sentence to be commuted. Though, in all likelihood, she has just enough understanding to know what death means and be afraid of it.

    I was struck by her IQ count. We didn’t take the test where I was growing up (in Poland) and I do have some reservations about its validity, having seen the questions booklet when my son took the test in school here. Still… It is the measure people commonly use, so it was almost inescapable that I was reminded of the test results my son got. He was (and is) extremely smart, but not one of those geniuses who leave everyone else coughing up the dust left in their wake.

    His IQ was exactly double that of hers… (a genius by 4 points, I used to call him)

  • DanielK

    Given the facts of this case and how she pimped out her daughter as payment for the murders and obtained the materials and everything else really doesn’t make this a good “poster case” for McDonnell for clemency. He’s got his eye on bigger fish like the VP and this would hurt his chances.  I’d be stunned if he grants her clemency but her supporters make a compelling case even though I don’t necessarily agree with it.

  • Dan Sullivan

    Squirrels store nuts, but they can’t tell you why. They simply have a survival instinct. It’s the WHY.

  • pragmatic_repub

    I feel like taking the low IQ argument will turn out to be fatal in this case.  Lewis did complete high school and attend a semester of community college.  But it seems that an IQ argument is the “best bet” for the legal system.

    I think the real argument lies in the flaws in the justice system itself, for which McDonnell should intercede:

    1. Under her attorney’s advice, she plead guilty and still got the death penalty.  Isn’t that the very definition of inadequate counsel?

    2. This whole case just wreaks of an angry rural lynch mob who happened to find a hanging judge.  I wonder how much of the initial outrage and thirst for the death penalty for the “mastermind” came as a result of one of the victims being on leave from the military in the early days of the War on Terror.

    2. The circuit court imposed the death sentence under the influence of passion, prejudice, and other arbitrary factors. We can see this because:

    A. She plead guilty, but still received death

    B. The triggermen received lesser sentences

    C. “Vileness” was the only predicate relevant in the post-sentencing inquiry.  Arguably, the triggermen’s actions are more important factors in the victims’ deaths. And they received life. The issue is one judge arbitrarily decided what actions were more “vile” and deserved death. I would argue that actually agreeing to kill two men and carrying it out is more vile than planning, proposing, and watching.

    3. Appeals courts are of course bound by what’s passed up to them; so providing that everything appears in order–all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed–a defendant, especially one who pleads guilty, has little recourse

    As the Delegate said, McDonnell should err on the side of life.