Diritti Umani - Pena di morte - Teresa Lewis

tratto da: AgoraVox Italia

Teresa Lewis, la "ritardata mentale" ritenuta colpevole di aver assoldato due sicari per uccidere il marito ed il figliastro allo scopo di incassare i soldi della polizza sulla vita, è stata giustiziata ieri notte in Virginia. Gli appelli in suo favore, che hanno provato a fare leva anche sul suo limitato quoziente intellettivo, non sono serviti: il coefficiente intellettuale della Lewis, 72 punti, è infatti superiore di due punti al limite legale al di sotto del quale l’esecuzione è incostituzionale. I due sicari, tra i quali l’uomo che nelle confessioni pare aver più volte ribadito di avere manipolato la donna sembratagli da subito "poco lucida" (Amnesty International) se la sono "cavata" con 22 anni.

Già il discorso sulla pena di morte sarebbe lungo: che senso ha? Può davvero dissuadere qualcuno? E se no, come possibile (i casi ed i crimini in cui esiste la funzione dissuasiva sono ben altri), ha senso una giustizia puramente retributiva? Che beneficio porta alla comunità l'omicidio della Lewis?

Poi c'è soprattutto il discorso sul test del quoziente intellettivo. Ha senso non concedere alcun margine di tolleranza? Una diagnosi di "ritardo mentale boarderline", perché di questo si parla a quota 72, rende una persona pienamente responsabile (72, tra l'altro, non è da intendersi come valore assoluto ma come valore relativo dove 100 è il valore medio riscontrato tra la popolazione di riferimento)? Che valore ha l'estrapolazione di un dato numerico da una serie di test opinabili? Quanto è ignorante il razionalismo spiccio di chi pretende di poter misurare tutto in maniera "oggettiva" e "numerica" arrivando a dare a questa valutazione un valore legale?

E' un discorso che va al di là di Teresa Lewis: quante volte, nel tentativo di risultare oggettivi e di dare riconoscimento al merito, si creano grotteschi sistemi di punteggio e questionari bizantini? Quanto c'è di vero in queste graduatorie, e quanta pigrizia c'è in questi super test da lasciar correggere al lettore ottico declinando ogni responsabilità? La burocrazia, oltre ad un certo livello, cessa di essere funzionale.

Mi sbaglierò; ma il quadro che emerge è quello di una sconsolante superficialità.

Washington, 24 set. (Adnkronos/Dpa) - E' stata eseguita in Virginia con un'iniezione letale la condanna a morte di Teresa Lewis. La donna di 41 anni e' morta alle 21.13 di ieri sera, ha reso noto il "Richmond Times-Dispatch". Molte le proteste e gli appelli in tutto il mondo in difesa della donna, che aveva un quoziente intellettuale considerato al limite del ritardo mentale. Ma la domanda di grazia era stata respinta dal governatore dello stato, Bob McDonnell e la Corte Suprema, cui si era rivolta la difesa della donna dopo il no del governatore, si era rifiutata a sua volta di fermare l'esecuzione

The Execution of Teresa Lewis
Published Sep 23, 2010

The state of Virginia is about to execute a woman, while the men who committed the crime for which she was sentenced got life terms.

The last time the State of Virginia executed a woman was in 1912. At 9 p.m. September 23, 2010, Teresa Lewis, 41, has a date with the execution chamber.

Lewis Conspired in her Husband’s Murder

Associated Press (AP) has outlined the circumstances that put Teresa Lewis on death row. On October 30, 2002, two men, Rodney Fuller and Matthew Shallenberger, entered the Lewis trailer through a door Teresa had left unlocked. They were armed with shotguns she had paid for.

Julian Clifton Lewis, Teresa’s husband, and his son Charles were in the house asleep. “Shallenberger and Fuller came in,” writes AP, “and shot both men several times with shotguns. As Julian lay bleeding, Lewis grabbed his pants and wallet and gave the men the $300 inside.” The motive was to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy Charles had taken out on his father.

Teresa Pleads Guilty to Murder

At her trial, writes Caroline Black of CBS News (“Teresa Lewis Last Meal Request: Fried Chicken, Apple Pie,” September 23, 2010) Teresa “pleaded guilty in May 2003 to two counts of capital murder for hire in the 2002 slayings.” She received the sentence of death.

“The triggermen, Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, were sentenced to life terms. Shallenberger, who Lewis’ attorney, James E. Rocap III, names as the mastermind, committed suicide in prison in 2006.”

Questions about Lewis’ Mental Capacity

Teresa Lewis has an IQ of 72, making her borderline mentally retarded. According to Maria Glod, writing in the Washington Post (“Teresa Lewis to be Executed Tonight,” September 23, 2010) “Prosecutors say Lewis was a mastermind of the deadly plan, giving the men money to buy the weapons and orchestrating an earlier failed attempt to have her husband killed.”

Attorney David Grimes told the trial judge that, “Instead of pulling a trigger on a gun, she pulled a couple of young men in to pull the trigger for her.”

Teresa’s defence team says she has a dependent personality and doesn’t have the mental capacity to organize the murder and in fact she was manipulated by Shallenberger.

Execution of Women very Rare

Since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976 only 11 women have been put to death. Finlo Rohrer of BBC News (September 23, 2010) spoke to Victor Streib, a professor of law at Ohio Northern University and an expert on female death penalty cases. He is quoted as saying, “The death penalty for women is extremely rare. They tend to be screened out.”

He points out that women commit between 10 percent and 12 percent of capital murders in the United States but receive only two percent of death sentences.

Lewis’s supporters say her gender is not the main issue; they say the fact that she is being executed while the men who did the actual killing were not sentenced to death is blatantly unfair.

Teresa Lewis has Lost her Last Appeal

The Daily Mail (September 23, 2010) reports that “Lewis’ fate was sealed earlier this week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block her execution.

“The court’s decision followed Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s refusal to reconsider a clemency request, which he rejected last Friday.”

With these last-ditch efforts losing, the execution by lethal injection is unstoppable.

Protests around the World

The execution of Teresa Lewis has attracted condemnation all over the world.

The Christian Science Monitor (September 23, 2010) reports that, “In a letter this month to [Virginia Governor Bob] McDonnell, the European Union asked the governor to commute her sentence to life, citing Lewis’ mental capacity.”

In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post novelist John Grisham made a plea for mercy, writing, “Why, then, did the triggermen get life without parole while Lewis received a sentence of death? Ostensibly, it is because she was the ringleader and thus more culpable. But what could make a killer more culpable than repeatedly shooting a sleeping victim?”

And, Ariane de Vogue at ABC News (“Teresa Lewis: 12th Woman to Be Executed in U.S. Since 1976,” September 23, 2010) reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in New York that “the Western media devoted ‘millions of Internet pages’ to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman who was sentenced to stoning for adultery, but that ‘nobody objects to the case of an American woman who is going to be executed.’ ”

Read more at Suite101: The Execution of Teresa Lewis http://www.suite101.com/content/the-execution-of-teresa-lewis-a289302#ixzz10RysuPr8

 
Usa: governatore Virginia respinge richiesta clemenza per Teresa Lewis
 
ultimo aggiornamento: 18 settembre, ore 08:52 -Adnkronos
 
Washington, 17 set. (Adnkronos/Dpa) - Il governatore della Virginia Bob McDonnell ha respinto la richiesta di clemenza per Teresa Lewis, la 41enne condannata a morte per l'omicidio del marito e del figliastro. Gli esecutori materiali dell'omicidio, l'amante della donna e un complice, sono stati condannatri all'ergastolo. Quella della Lewis e' la prima esecuzione di una donna fissata in Virginia da quasi 100 anni.
 

On the last night of life for the first woman to be executed in Virginia in nearly a century, those close to her remember Teresa Lewis for her faith and positive outlook. (A.J. Chavar/The Washington Post)

Related

Va. executes woman for first time in nearly a century
JARRATT, VA. - Teresa Lewis, who plotted with her young lover to kill her husband and stepson for insurance money, became the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly 100 years Thursday night when she was killed by lethal injection.