There is no love lost between this blog and thankfully-not-for-much-longer-Governor-Rell. This blog has expended precious bandwith to excoriate the obvious preferential treatment given by the Governor to her precious white suburban constituents, especially in the criminal justice arena.
This is a prime example of why:
“The murders of the Petit family horrified and disgusted us all, almost beyond the ability of words to convey. Today’s verdicts are a measure of justice – but they can never begin to restore the promise lost on that terrible day in July. That grief may ebb over time but it can never be fully expunged.
“I commend Dr. Petit and his extended family for the remarkable strength and dignity they have displayed throughout this agonizing ordeal – which, of course, will continue through the penalty phase, the trial of another suspect and the legal proceedings that are certain to follow. I know that the people of Connecticut will continue to keep the Petit and Hawke families in their thoughts and prayers in the months to come.”
Whether the facts of this case are that much more gruesome than any other case in the State of Connecticut, past and present, can be debated by us until we’re both blue in the face. What is unmistakable, however, is that the chief executive of an entire State has now, on two separate occasions, singled out one particular victim, one particular case to make a political point. I won’t even attempt to joke that if you go to the Governor’s website, you can read all the other press releases she’s issued in individual cases over the years. Because you know there aren’t any.
Does anyone believe that this was the only rape in Connecticut in the last 6 years? Does anyone believe that this was the only murder in Connecticut in the last 6 years? Does anyone believe that this was the only rape and murder in Connecticut in the last 6 years? Does anyone believe that this was the only capital case in Connecticut in the last 6 years? And yet, this is the only case that she’s chosen to insert herself into. (Well, this and the other fiasco in that equally white suburban town where she decided that the rule of law didn’t apply.) Where is the press release decrying the delay in the Bellamy case, in which a mistrial was declared before evidence began, thus ensuring that by the time the case goes to trial, 34 jurors will have been picked?
Whether or not race is an issue in the treatment of this case by the media, whether or not this case is that much different that any other, whether or not this victim is more deserving of praise and admiration and support than the hundreds and thousands others was always debatable. What Governor Rell’s insistence on singling this case out has done is confirm that there is something special about this one case, above all others, that this victim is more victimized than others.
It is disturbing enough that the nameless, faceless, abstract state makes value judgments about the worth of people’s lives through the imposition of the death penalty, but for the temporary face of that State to vocally confirm it, time and again is something that should make us all stop and think.
Ugh. I can’t even be bothered to snark properly. Is it November 2nd already?