The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Friday, June 09, 2006

Raw Data: Bolling says 'no justification' for execution delay

From the Lt. Gov.'s press office...

Lieutenant Governor Bolling Disagrees With Governor Kaine’s Decision To Defer Execution

RICHMOND – Last night, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine announced his decision to defer the scheduled execution of Percy Walton. Walton was convicted in the 1996 murder of three individuals in Danville.

The Governor announced that he had decided to defer Walton’s execution so he could conduct an “independent assessment” of whether or not he was mentally competent. In response to the Governor’s announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement:

“I disagree with the Governor’s decision to defer this execution. Mr. Walton was duly convicted in a Virginia court of the brutal murder of three innocent people in Danville in 1996. He shot one individual in the head and stuffed his lifeless body in a closet. He shot another as she begged for her life."

"A jury found Mr. Walton guilty of these crimes and properly sentenced him to death.”

“There is no justification for the Governor’s decision to defer Mr. Walton’s execution. Mr. Walton’s lawyers have argued for years that he was mentally incompetent, but this argument has consistently been rejected by the courts."

"The courts have found that Mr. Walton can and should be executed because he clearly knew what he was doing when he committed these crimes.”

“Interestingly, the United States Supreme Court rejected these very appeals moments before the Governor chose to defer Mr. Walton’s execution. The courts have considered this case in detail. They found Mr. Walton guilty of these brutal murders, they sentenced him to death, and they have affirmed their finding on numerous occasions.”

“I am also concerned that the Governor has indicated that he will embark on an independent 'extra judicial' assessment of whether or not Mr. Walton is mentally competent. "

"Unfortunately, the Governor has not told us how this independent assessment will be conducted, what standards will be used for reaching a conclusion, or what steps will be taken to protect the rights of the victims families or the Commonwealth.”

“We should rely on the judicial process to make determinations of this nature, and the courts have clearly and correctly made those determinations in this case.”