From: Susan Chandler
Date: February 11, 2012 8:28:41 AM EST
Cc: ASKDOJ , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, *TIGTA Investigations Complaints Unit
Subject: Edwin Hart Turner should have turned your heart around on capital punishment, but you killed him
Dear Governor Bryant:
Sir, executing Hart Turner was a Paper Tiger pretense at toughness on crime – being genuinely tough on crime requires specific, relentless, timely actions, including fighting the FTC and DoJ for allowing mergers that have driven up the prices and extended the timeframes of DNA forensics tests when increased automation should have caused opposite effects.
The links below indicate that in 2004, definitive DNA tests cost under $32 per piece of evidence and in 2012, less definitive tests cost $2,250 per piece of evidence. And what could be done in a day in 2004 now takes months. When the new costs/time frames are applied to what federal taxpayers shelled out last year to clear DNA backlogs, it’s obvious that thousands of killers and rapists will unconscionably and unnecessarily remain free to find more victims – for years – while innocents waste away on the wrong side of razor wire. The math says the perfect size for DNA forensics corporations is the average size of the four contractors that worked rapidly and inexpensively to clear up Ohio’s DNA backlog in 2004.
Mississippi didn’t get much federal money to clear its DNA backlog, sir; only $559,464 … if you want it to only cover costs to test 248 pieces of evidence at a snail’s pace while establishing only maternal lineage, by all means, just ignore me and hope that no one from Mississippi reads my blog. If you instead want that $559,464 to test 17,483 pieces of evidence swiftly while identifying specific criminals, then demand that the FTC Antitrust Division and DoJ Antitrust Division tell you what the hell they think they’re doing, thunderously enough to scare the Bar and every other justice’R’us dot.org in Mississippi to follow your lead, thereby belatedly earning tax exemptions they already enjoy.
You’ve been in office a very short time, and according to Reuters, you’ve made thunderous noise over former Gov. Barbour pardoning 200+ individuals in his final days in office. Apparently the vast majority had already served their sentences and were seeking rights restoration rather freedom, and Barbour was acting primarily on Parole Board recommendations.
Executing Hart Turner was no less controversial than your thunderously second-guessing your predecessor’s pardons. The Huffington Post link below leads to a report that says, “Turner’s attorneys say he was severely disfigured during a suicide attempt at 18 by putting a rifle in his mouth and pulling the trigger. He had been released from a mental hospital just weeks before killing the two men, his lawyers said.”
Both activities likely signal that you’ll stick to shooting fish in a barrel, killing what’s already caught, pretending to be tough on crime, and making molehills into “media opportunities.”
I hope not, sir. I hope you’ll stop signing death warrants, drop the Barbour-bashing and turn your attention to making sure your $559,464 buys rapid, definitive DNA tests for 17,483 pieces of evidence and results in getting killers and rapists off Mississippi’s streets … even if you have to fly to D.C. and knock on FTC and DoJ doors to pull it off. You can cover a lot of doors in a day, governor; there’s only one sentence to say: Fix what you broke – the math says the perfect size for DNA forensics corporations is the average size of the four contractors that worked rapidly and inexpensively to clear up Ohio’s DNA backlog in 2004.
When I look at Turner’s picture in the Huffington article, I’m deeply ashamed for you and of you … your mercilessness reflects poorly on our nation. Nonetheless, I thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing whether you’re going to continue to step on opportunities to grab headlines, or step up for your constituents’ safety.
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