MANASSAS, Va.,—UPDATE: Conservative leader Gary Bauer of American Values was added to the list. A link to the full text of the letter to Gov. Perry was also added.
Over a dozen national leaders of the conservative movement have jointly signed a letter asking Governor Rick Perry to commute the death sentence of Scott Panetti to a life sentence if the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it.
In their letter to Governor Perry the conservative leaders wrote, “Mr. Panetti is one of the most seriously mentally ill prisoners on death row in the United States. Rather than serving as a measured response to murder, the execution of Mr. Panetti would only serve to undermine the public’s faith in a fair and moral justice system.”
The conservatives, who include two former state attorneys general, wrote, “It is clear that [Panetti] has been suffering from severe mental illness since long before he committed the offense that landed him on death row. . . . As conservatives, we must be on guard that such an extraordinary government sanction not be used against a person who is mentally incapable of rational thought. It would be immoral for the government to take this man’s life. Should the Board [of Pardons and Paroles] recommend it, we respectfully urge you to reduce Mr. Panetti’s death sentence to life in prison.”
Conservative leaders signing the letter include:
Brent Bozell, President, For America
Ken Cuccinelli, President, Senate Conservatives Fund
Dave Keene, Opinion Editor, The Washington Times
Pat Nolan, Director Center for Criminal Justice Reform, the American Conservative Union Foundation
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
Ron Robinson, President, Young America’s Foundation
Jim Miller, Budget Director for President Ronald Reagan
Craig Shirley, Reagan Biographer
C. Preston Noell, III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Rebecca Hagelin, Columnist, The Washington Times
Floyd Brown, President, Western Center for Journalism
Charles Murray, WH Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Patrick A. Trueman, Attorney At Law
Mark L. Earley, Sr., Former Attorney General of Virginia and
Former President and CEO of Prison Fellowship USA
Morton Blackwell, Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch
James L. Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Tricia Erickson, President, Angel Pictures and Publicity
Maggie Gallagher, Author
Diana L. Banister, President, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs
Mark Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs, American Target Advertising
Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
The full text of the letter to Governor Rick Perry can be found here.
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