On Saturday a tragedy struck the state of Arizona in the United States as someone opened fire fatally injuring several people and putting many others into hospital with potentially life threatening injuries including a member of the US Congress Gabrielle Giffords.
Before I go any further with this post I wish to associate myself with the many messages of condolence and support for those involved directly and indirectly in this terrible and tragic incident. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost friends and family as a result of this tragic incident and also with those, and the families of those, who have suffered injury.
On Saturday evening Twitter was alive with tweets regarding the shooting of US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Much was made of the fact that Sarah Palin had posted a map on Facebook using gun targets of people to be targeted over the Health care reforms brought in by president Obama and a tweet made by Sarah Palin.
I tweeted about the question of whether there could possibly have been a link between the shooting and Palin’s campaign. I admit that I am not a fan of Sarah Palin, particularly her politics. I find many of her policies disgusting and vile and will generally turn of the TV if I hear or see her on it (which thankfully is not all that often these days). There is a possibility of a link between Palin’s campaign and the shooting. For a congresswoman named on such a target list to be shot in the head is an a rather large coincidence. However, it may be just that. It is reported that a Federal Judge was killed in the incident. It is possible that maybe he was the intended target and Gabrielle Giffords was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
There are of course many other possibilities to be explored and it is the job of the police to look at these possibilities and find the evidence to allow a court in the United States to consider exactly what offences this person is guilty of and the penalty he should pay for these offences.
The police must now be allowed to get on with any investigation into what happened, who was involved and try to establish why. Once that has been done the due process in the state of Arizona must be allowed to take place. I’m sure that by the time the legal process has concluded and a verdict arrived at by a court we will know whether the images posted and tweets made by Sarah Palin motivated the offender in any way or not.
Death Penalty in Arizona State
It is worth noting that the State of Arizona still allows for capital punishment (lethal injection) making it a possible sentence upon any conviction. The state has 135 people on Death Row and has executed only 24 people since the Death Penalty was reintroduced in 1976. Of course, those who are “insane” cannot be executed [Ford v. Wainwright, 477 US 399 (1986)]