Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Don't be quick to dismiss constitutional rights

Dec. 10, 2007


Don't be quick to dismiss constitutional rights

In response to the letter written by Ms. Valerie Gardner, there is almost no
money in representing those individuals on death row. Many states do not
even require representation for post-habeas proceedings and therefore most
of the attorneys that take on these cases are investing an inordinate amount
of time with little to no money in return.

It is apparent these facts are lost on you or surely you would not have
referred to these lawyers as "fame- and money-hungry." In fact, there is no
fame in protecting individuals on death row with a public comprised of
individuals such as yourself who are constantly on the attack.

More importantly, the Constitution provides everyone the right to due
process, which includes time spent defending and prosecuting those who are
and are not guilty. And I am completely sure if you ever found yourself in
such a situation where others perceived your civil rights as a mere "waste
of time and millions of dollars," you would be less than excited to know
that the society around you would rather just kill you than give you the
benefit of the doubt and actually investigate whether or not you committed
the crime you are accused of.

The constitutional rights we are afforded are not just for the innocent or
even just for the guilty, they are for everyone; you can find that in the
14th Amendment equal protection clause. Perhaps a refresher course in
constitutional law would give you a bit more perspective before you continue
proclaiming all who commit crimes should just die.

Nicole Nelson


Source : Montgomery Advertiser, letter

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