The article “Death in Texas” in the Spring Bulletin caused me to pause. Briefly, the article highlights Sandra Babcock’s (’91) death penalty defense of Stanley Faulder, a Canadian citizen who was put to death in Texas for the murder of a 75-year-old woman during a robbery attempt in her home. The article highlights the defenses used by Babcock and focuses mainly on her groundbreaking use of international law as a defense to capital punishment, all of which was interesting and informative. Of significance, however, was the fact that the article did not mention innocence as a defense, which I take to mean that Faulder’s commission of the crime was not in question (likewise, it did not mention or suggest mental incapacity or any other like defense). If (and only if) this is correct, then I take Babcock’s statement that “he was a very decent person” as-how shall I say this politely-misguided, if not crazy, stupid, and callous as well (so much for politeness).
That is, without downplaying the significance of the substantive issues raised in the article, I suppose I am old school and close-minded to think that one little murder means that one cannot, by definition, be “decent”-no matter his otherwise exemplary lifestyle, charitable nature, or good table manners.