A Murderer Cannot Be a “Decent Person”

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.

No More Monkeying Around

When I read the article in the Spring issue of the Bulletin regarding the animal rights course at the Law School, I was laughing out loud. At first I assumed it was a prank-after all, April Fools’ Day was just around the corner. The accompanying picture of a gorilla, in sharp contrast to the pensive photographs that accompany most Bulletin articles, confirmed my suspicions. But as I read further in the article, I started to think you were serious. Should a great law school be examining “issues such as legal standing to sue on the behalf of animals”? I, for one, think not. Professor Steven Wise purports to have difficulty distinguishing a standard upon which people, but not animals, are granted legal rights. May I humbly suggest as the standard-membership in the species Homo sapiens? This nonsense confirms my belief that the Law School has run amok, notwithstanding Dean Clark’s well-intentioned efforts to rein in the bizarre and leftist elements.