But maybe not for the reasons you might think. First, the facts.
Teresa Lewis, 41, is scheduled to die by injection today for providing sex and money to two men to kill her husband and stepson in October 2002 so she could collect on a quarter-million dollar insurance policy. She’ll be the first woman put to death in the Good Ol’ USA in half a decade and the first in Virginia in almost a century. Congratulations, Teresa. You made the record books. Lewis pleaded guilty to plotting the shotgun murders. But while a judge sentenced the triggermen Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller to life, he sentenced Lewis to death saying she was clearly the “head of the serpent.” Her lawyers claimed that she was borderline mentally retarded (apparently unaware of the politically incorrect phraseology of such) and in no wise could have served as the mastermind. They further allege she was used and duped by her confederates. Alas.
In a bit of irony, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a “heavy propaganda” campaign against the case of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery but failing to react with outrage over Lewis’s in Virginia. Silly Mahmoud, that’s different. We’re the U.S. And you’re not.
I’m staunchly opposed to the death penalty, as I spell out most cogently (I believe), because in so many cases we’ve been dead wrong in convicting the wrong person. And remember, you can’t appeal an execution.
The danger of political labels lies here. Is this a conservative or liberal opinion? I let others figure that one out as I find the issues interesting and not the parsing of terminology and appellations.