Monday, January 17, 2011

Governor Pat Quinn Turned the Corner - From Activist to Statesman

Carol Marin is mad at Governor Quinn. That is a sure sign that the Illinois Governor has turned the corner from activist gadfly to Illinois Statesman.

Like Governors Altgeld and Dunne, Governor Pat Quinn has earned the ire of the fatuous and the glib celebrity dilettantes. Carol Marin tried to bully-rag Governor Quinn into a corner demanding that he sign the Death Penalty Abolition and receive the high Hosannas of the Carol and the Goo-gos who never run for political office but control the debate.

In today's column Carol howls "Memo to Quinn: We’ve thoroughly studied Illinois’ disastrous record on the death penalty for a decade. That includes the Ryan Commission on which noted Chicago attorney and author Scott Turow served from 2000-2002."

The Big Guns! Scott Turow! Shake that Mont Blanc Fountain Ink Squirter and Get to Signing, Guv! Scott Turow, the Illinois Charles Evans Hughes is backing Carol's Play!

I am being 'close-knit and ethnically' ironic. Dear me.

Governor Pat Quinn is governing. He will decide whether or not to sign the Death Penalty Ban. I hope that he does not. Consider the last Illinois Governor who did what Carol and Scott propose. George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 monsters in an act that a cynical person might think was a slight of hand during the very campaign Carol Marin helped lead to put Ryan in Terra Haute. The Goo-goos want what they want and always immediately.

When Gov. Ryan issued a blanket commutation to every man and woman on Death Row in Illinois, he knowingly spared the lives of some of the most vicious killers in the state's 185-year history. The governor acknowledged as much Saturday but said that fundamental flaws in the system necessitated his actions. Here are some of the most infamous killers saved by Ryan:

Danny Edwards
To make the point that he has been personally touched by the horror of murder, Ryan on Saturday described the murder of an old family friend, Kankakee businessman Stephen B. Small, in 1987, in a kidnapping plot. Danny Edwards, who at the time was a small-time drug dealer and electrician in Kankakee, was found guilty of burying Small alive in a wooden box. Edwards made an air hole in the box and apparently thought Small could survive for some time while he--Edwards--attempted to extort a $1 million ransom from Small's wealthy family. But Small died within four hours of being buried. While conceding that the evidence against his client was "overwhelming"--Edwards was seen building the box, and his fingerprints were found inside--defense attorney Thomas Allen expressed surprise at the quick guilty verdict, calling the jury "the coldest I've ever seen."

Henry Brisbon
Brisbon and three other men decided to rob somebody. When they couldn't find the right pedestrian to rob in Kankakee, they drove toward Chicago on Interstate 57. While riding along, they came up with the idea of robbing motorists by staging phony accidents. One of the killers tricked motorists out of their cars by asking them to inspect minor collision damage, then led them to Brisbon, who brandished the shotgun and robbed and shot them. Betty Lou Harmon, 29, of suburban Darien, was forced to undress at gunpoint. She ran away, but was caught by Sanders, who led her to Brisbon, who fatally shot her in a field. An engaged North Side couple, Dorothy Cerny and James Schmidt, both 25, who were returning from a family gathering in Matteson, also were shot to death by Brisbon after being stripped of their valuables. Brisbon told the couple to "kiss your last kiss" before firing shotgun blasts into their backs as they lay on the side of the highway. But Brisbon was not on Death Row for the I-57 murders. He was put there because he used a sharpened spoon to kill another inmate while in prison.

Fedell Caffey & Jacqueline Williams

Caffey and Williams decided they wanted a baby. So they stabbed to death a pregnant woman, Debra Evans, in her Addison apartment and cut her nearly full-term fetus from her body, according to prosecutors. To eliminate witnesses, they also murdered Evans' 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, and 8-year-old son, Joshua. Another child, Jordan, was spared in the 1995 murder--children under the age of 2 aren't likely to be good witnesses. And the newborn boy also survived. Fortunately, Jordan's grandfather, Sam Evans, says Jordan has no recollection today of the horrors he witnessed.

Gabriel Solache
In an eerily similar case, little 2-month-old Guadalupe Soto and her toddler brother Santiago had both parents ripped away by vicious killers who wanted to steal a baby in 1998. One of them was Solache, who agreed to help kill Jacinta and Mariano Soto and snatch the baby so Adriana Mejia could pretend it was hers. Mejia targeted the Bucktown family after seeing Jacinta with the children at a local health clinic. She followed them home on a bus to see where they lived. Early the next morning, Solache, Mejia and Arturo DeLeon-Reyes surprised the family, stabbing the parents more than 60 times as the sleepy toddler looked on. Mejia and DeLeon-Reyes got life in prison.

Luther Casteel
At JB's Pub in Elgin in 2001, Casteel was booted out for harassing female customers and employees. Roaring drunk and enraged, he shot straight home, shaved his hair into a mohawk and changed into military fatigues, armed himself with several guns and returned to the bar. Screaming, "I am a natural born killer," he shot bartender Jeffrey Weides and customer Richard Bartlett to death and wounded 16 others before being wrestled to the ground by bar patrons and employees. At his trial, Casteel almost dared a Kane County jury to impose the death penalty. "I'm not someone who asks for mercy or pity for my actions," he said during a stunning half hour of testimony. "I have absolutely no fear of anything anyone can put upon me."

Latasha Pulliam
In 1991, 6-year-old Shenosha Richard was playing in her South Side Chicago neighborhood when she was approached by Pulliam and Pulliam's boyfriend, Dwight Jordan. She went with them after they purchased her a bag of chips and promised to take her to a movie. At Pulliam's apartment, over several hours, Pulliam and Jordan sexually assaulted the girl with a shoe polish applicator and a hammer, and then used the hammer to pulverize her skull, according to prosecutors. Pulliam also beat and strangled the girl. Attorneys for Pulliam said she was drug-crazed at the time, but a court psychologist described her as "a female John Gacy" who got sexual satisfaction from hurting someone weaker than she.
& etc.

Pat Quinn was elected over Bill Brady, because real working families -skilled trades union families -hit the streets for Pat Quinn, when Brady signalled war on Labor. Brady painted with a very broad brush; he did not single out public sector monster activist unions and PACs like SEIU; Brady put Labor in the crosshairs.

Governor Pat Quinn stood up for Labor -real labor -as he continues to do for Veterans.

Quinn promised to raise taxes and to cut waste in Illinois government.

Governor Pat Quinn is doing Okay. Illinois is not doing so hot, but that is not Quinn's fault. I lay it at the feet of Goo-goos and pie-chart tax wizards like Ralph Martire whom the Goo-goos just love.

It will be nice to watch Governor Quinn over the next few months. Personally, I hope that he sheds Planned Parenthood, SEIU, Ralph Martire and the other Goo-goo play things. Perhaps, then Illinois will be able to work its way out its current jackpot.

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