Governor Bentley will not Commute Derrick Mason's Sentence

This afternoon Governor Bentley's press secretary informed the press that the Governor would not intervene and commute Derrick Mason's sentence to life, as requested by the sentencing judge. One of the reasons cited was the fact that the jury had recommended a death sentence.

Not only had the original sentencing judge, Judge Little written in his letter to the Governor that Derrick's attorneys were inexperienced, indeed it was their first capital case, but that he himself was also inexperienced. The judge went on to state that if that had not been the case, the jury would have reccommended a life without parole sentence and that this would have been the appropriate sentence, which he would have imposed.

Furthermore, this is Alabama where the judge routinely overrides the recommendation of the jury for life. The question is why do we now use the jury as an excuse for legal homicide when we do not respect it when it votes for life?