Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Would it really have made any difference...

...if Peter Cantu's trial lawyers had done what the appeal lawyers claim they were deficient in not doing?

HOUSTON — A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to hear from a death row inmate accused of being the ringleader of a gang of teenagers convicted of raping and killing two teenage Houston girls 16 years ago.
In the appeal, Cantu's lawyers argued that his due process rights were violated because trial jurors should have been told that he would have had to serve 35 years of a life sentence before he became eligible for parole. They questioned the trial judge's jury instructions and whether mitigating evidence like character issues and criminal background presented to jurors at his 1994 trial was proper.
They also contended Cantu's trial lawyers were deficient for not objecting to admission of crime scene photos into evidence and for failing to object when prosecutors urged jurors to consider those photos when they were deciding Cantu's punishment.

I guess Mr. Cantu's current lawyers are just doing what they were hired to do, but it seems to be all for show, really. If his trial attorneys had objected to crime scene photos, then they might as well have objected to the testimony of members of the Houston police and whoever else was at that crime scene. And urging the jurors NOT to consider the photos would seem to be akin to saying "don't consider exactly what this guy did when you ponder how he should be punished for what he did." As for the "mitigating evidence like character issues and criminal background" presented at the trial...shouldn't that be "aggravating evidence"?
Now that I think about it, though, it might well have been better had that evil sack got life instead of the needle. He very well might have gotten his just desserts at the hands of one of the prisoners before it was all said and done. From what I remember reading about this case, he and his compatriots got the crap beat of 'em at least a couple of times right after they were hauled in. At any rate, the sooner he gets the needle, the sooner I and my fellow Texas taxpayers don't have to feed his evil ass anymore, and that'll only be a good thing. They need to put the throttle on that train already.

(Of course, we all know how that whole thing could have been prevented, no? Licensing and registering penises, belts, shoelaces and steel-toed boots...)