A reader or two asked if Songer was really up for parole, as Kerry's ad explicitly states, or not. Well, here's the answer:
Songer remains in prison today and the Florida Parole Commission has repeatedly decided he will not be eligible for release until 2098. Clearly, the public is safe.
I can think we can all safely agree that - dead or alive (almost certainly the former) - Songer won't be a threat to anyone in 2098.
More damaging is the rest of the Boston Globe's editorialized smack-down.
Her most outrageous attack is the television ad that portrays Patrick as unworthy of the governorship because he assisted in the appeal of a man who murdered a police officer in 1973. Patrick, then working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, was right to urge the Florida Supreme Court to reduce Carl Ray Songer's sentence to life imprisonment. As Florida's high court found, the trial judge did not consider mitigating circumstances when sentencing Songer to death. In death penalty cases, procedures must be flawless to ensure that this ultimate sanction is not applied capriciously.But the Globe doesn't let up.
In the Benjamin LaGuer case, Healey seeks to portray Patrick as a coddler of a man convicted of rape in Leominster. But there were legitimate doubts about LaGuer's guilt, and Patrick acted properly by contributing $5,000 to get LaGuer a DNA test. Patrick says his advocacy stopped after LaGuer flunked the test.Finally, I think it's safe to say that the Globe feels safer with Deval dealing with crime.
For someone whose academic specialty is criminal justice, Healey's website offers sparse detail about her crime-fighting proposals.
Patrick, in contrast, has unveiled a comprehensive public safety strategy, the centerpiece of which is the deployment of 1,000 extra police officers in high-crime areas, at a cost of $85 million. He would also improve post-release monitoring, redouble efforts to reduce the flow of guns illegally brought into the state, and improve coordination among federal, state, and local authorities.
In an interview with WBUR yesterday, Healey said: ``When people go downtown in a city, what they want to feel is safe." Recriminations about Songer or LaGuer won't contribute to that sense of security. More police and fewer guns will.