This article from the Associated Press about then Massachusetts Governor Romney’s attempt to restore capital punishment—which our organization, The Lampstand Foundation supports as a traditional part of Catholic teaching—provides insight into how he might function as president, should he be elected.
Hat-tip to the Crime & Consequences blog.
An excerpt from the AP article.
“BOSTON (AP) — As Massachusetts governor, Republican Mitt Romney set himself a daunting challenge: craft a death penalty law that virtually guaranteed only the guilty could be executed, then push it through an overwhelmingly Democratic state Legislature that was leery of capital punishment.
“Making the task even more difficult, the push by Romney – who is now running for president – came in 2005 at a time of growing national skepticism about the death penalty. Just two years earlier, Illinois Gov. George Ryan had cleared his state’s death row after the death sentences of several inmates had been overturned.
“Romney decided to tackle that skepticism by coming up with what he said would be a “gold standard for the death penalty in the modern scientific age.”
“In trying to set a new and higher bar, Romney also was chasing two political goals.
“The first was to fulfill a promise, made during his 2002 run for governor, to try to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts, then one of a dozen states that had banned the punishment. The second was to burnish his conservative resume as he looked ahead to 2008 and his first run for president.
“We believe that the capital punishment bill that we put forward is not only right for Massachusetts, but it’s a model for the nation,” Romney said at the time, in comments similar to what he said about his overhaul of the state health insurance system. That law became a blueprint for the sweeping federal health care overhaul enacted by President Barack Obama, which has become an issue in the White House race.
“Romney’s handling of the death penalty issue opened a window into the type of management style he could bring to the White House if elected. He hand-picked a commission and outlined his goals in broad terms. Then he turned the panel’s recommendations into a bill that ultimately failed to get through the Legislature. But his decision to fight an uphill battle on an issue that had begun to lose its urgency also showed Romney wasn’t afraid of a political fight.”