Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club- 11/11/07
For our November meeting, and 3rd birthday celebration, the SSC returned home to the Swanson’s. We thank them for so graciously hosting this meeting as well as many others over the course of the last three years.
Five minute flash reports
Treasurer’s report: Lisa Richard reported that we’re back in the black with a balance of $56.45.
Election Report: The SSC is honored to have been visited by many of these candidates during the course of the campaign, including Karen Schultz, Carlos Del Toro, Bill Day, Terry Nyhous, Holder Trumbo, Chuck Medvitz, T.E. Summers, Sally Murray, Maureen Riordan, and Mary Page.
Results of the local elections are as follows:
27th District Senate Race (seat formerly held by Russ Potts)- Jill Vogel narrowly defeated Karen Schultz by a margin of just over 500 votes
28th District Senate Race (seat formerly held by John Chichester)- Al Pollard lost to Richard Stuart by less than 500 votes.
18th District Delegate Race- Incumbent Clay Athey ran unopposed
31st District Delegate Race- The SSC’s own Bill Day lost a tough race to incumbent Scott Lingamfelter. Thanks to Bill for a great race!
88th District Delegate Race- Incumbent Mark Cole defeated challenger Carlos Del Toro.
Fauquier County Sheriff- Incumbent Charlie Ray Fox won handily over Jim Horton and T.E. Summers
Fauquier County Board of Supervisors-
4 of the 5 supervisor candidates ran unopposed: Terry Nyhous, Holder Trumbo, Peter Schwartz, Chester Stribling. In the only contested race, incumbent Ray Graham defeated independent candidate Jay VanGelder.
Duke Bland and Sally Murray ran unopposed. In the Lee District, Sheryl Wolfe won over Robert McElhinney. In the Cedar Run District, Donna Grove defeated John Griffin. In the Scott District, Maureen Riordan topped Mary Page by 32 votes.
For statewide election results visit http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Index.html
Upcoming Special Election
On December 11th there will be a special election in the 1st congressional district to fill the seat left vacant by the untimely death of Representative Jo Ann Davis. Fauquier Precincts involved in this election are Baldwin Ridge, Bealeton, Casanova, Catlett, Kettle Run, Lois, Morrisville, Opal, Remington, and Waterloo.
Both parties held caucuses on November 10th to determine their candidates.
Republican: Rob Wittman of Montross, VA – For information go to: www.robwittmanforcongress.com
Democrat: Philip Forgit of Williamsburg, VA – For information go to: www.forgit2007.com
ACLU event on immigration
• Being here illegally is not a criminal offense, it’s a civil offense.
• Most state and local measures taken against immigrants are unconstitutional as they violate the due process clause of the Constitution
Happy Birthday to the SSC
David Roos expertly summed up the history of the SSC and gave a brief overview of our many guest speakers after which we blew out the candles and ate delicious carrot cake (thank you Jean-Loup and Mary!) For more on our history please read the story in this week’s Fauquier Democrat
or visit our web page
Guest Speaker: Albert Monroe
The SSC was pleased to welcome as our guest speaker Dr. Albert Monroe, vice chair of the Northern Virginia chapter of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and Amnesty International’s Virginia death penalty coordinator.
Capital punishment began has been a practice in Virginia since 1607, beginning with the execution of George Kendall, one of the original Jamestown council members. Since then
Virginia has been a strong supporter of capital punishment.
• Virginia has carried out 1375 executions, more than any other state in the Union
• Virginia has executed more women than any other state.
• Since the resumption of the death penalty in America in 1977, Virginia has performed 98 executions, second only to Texas’ 382 executions.
• Virginia’s death penalty system is different than other states in that the time between sentencing and execution tends to be shorter than other states (around 6
years inVirginia compared to 8-20 years in other states).
• Also, Virginia’s rate of overturning death penalty convictions on appeal is only 10% compared to a 40% average nationwide.
• Virginia is more restrictive about reintroduction of evidence than other states.
• Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry said that, once a guilty verdict has been properly reached, “Evidence of innocence is irrelevant.”
Since reinstitution of the death penalty in 1977, 1050 executions have been performed in the United States. 123 death row inmates have been exonerated. Earl Washington, Jr. is the only Virginian to have been exonerated.
• Death penalty system is far more expensive than life in prison.
• There is no evidence that the death penalty actually reduces crime.
Murder and murder for hire are currently the only capital crimes in Virginia. Governor Kaine recently vetoed an expansion of the death penalty which would have made any
accessory to a capital crime also eligible for a death sentence. Senators Creigh Deeds and Richard Saslaw changed their votes to help uphold Kaine’s veto in the Virginia Senate.
Virginia’s Current Death Row
There are currently 19 men and one woman on death row. Eleven of them are white and nine are black. Four persons from the row were executed in 2006, while two persons received death sentences and were added to it during that year.
Virginia’s numbers are quite small compared to those of many other states.
California has 650 and Texas and Florida each have about 400.
Among those on death row is Darrell Atkins, who was the plaintiff in a 2002 Supreme Court case (Atkins v. Virginia) in which execution of the retarded was ruled to be unconstitutional. Ironically, Virginia, in accepting this verdict has said that it will make its own decision as to whether Atkins is in fact retarded and is holding open the option of executing him. (Whatever Atkins’ fate, Virginia is one of the very few states that is applying the Supreme Court ruling in a way that has the determination of mental retardation after the trial has taken place and a decision for conviction made. Other states had opted for a pre-trial determination of mental retardation – a great savings in time and expense, as well as less prejudicial to the defendant.)
There are now no death row inmates in Virginia who were juveniles at the time of their crimes, the Supreme Court having banned their execution in March 2005 in Roper v. Simmons. It is noteworthy that the year before that decision, in 2004, a jury in Chesapeake chose not to give a death sentence to alleged sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the killings for which he was convicted.
Public Support for the Death Penalty
• Public support for the death penalty has been consistently decreasing.
• Support for the death penalty remains at about two-thirds of the population. However, when life imprisonment without parole is offered as an alternative in questionnaires, nearly half of the respondents indicate support for that option.
• New York has effectively abolished the death penalty. New Jersey is about to follow suit.
• Maryland is 1 vote shy of abolishing the death penalty.
There are several concerns about the current lethal injection protocol.
• If an insufficient amount of sodium pentothal is used, the inmate will die a painful death via asphyxiation from the pancuronium.
• The lethal injection protocol can be difficult to administer, especially since it is hard for non-medical personnel to administer an IV, especially for inmates who are drug abusers and/or otherwise ill. Medical personnel are forbidden to conduct executions due to medical ethics.
Concerns about the methods used for lethal injection have led the Supreme Court to issue a death penalty moratorium until they can render a decision on the constitutionality of the current protocol.
For more information on the work of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty please go to www.vadp.org.
Please join us for the upcoming meetings of the SSC
December 9, 2007
We’ll be watching a video about smart growth followed by a discussion led by Terry Nyhous and Peter Schwartz
(and we’ll be meeting at the home of Ike and Julie Broaddus for the December meeting).
January 13, 2008
Lawrie Parker and Liliana Anaya of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center will share information about their important work.
We’ll be joined by Peter Schwartz, newly elected member of the Board of Supervisors.
Claire Guthrie Gastanaga will be speaking about issues and legislation surrounding immigration.
For information on the SSC please visit our website at www.sundaysupperclub.org or call Andrea at 540-439-6130
Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club- 11/11/07