The Austin Chronicle

Perry vs. the European Union

By Richard Whittaker, August 22, 2007, 3:10pm, Newsdesk

Apparently, nicely asking Gov. Rick Perry to stop executing kids and people with mental retardation is tantamount to imperialism.

Yesterday, the European Union issued a statement asking Perry to contemplate a moratorium on executions. Perry responded quickly and in no uncertain terms. Sometimes it's just best to let the press release from the governor's office speak for itself. According to Perry's flack, Robert Black, “230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.”

Erm … which would be fine, but the real gist of it is that the EU was concerned about the fact that Texas is just about to have its 400th execution since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. Oh, and that four of the five executions scheduled nation-wide this week take place here. And the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the execution of minors and people with mental retardation unconstitutional. Oh, and that Texas didn't actually get rid of European rule until Spain left in 1821, but that's nit-picking.

But Chronic is just wondering: if the governor is thinking about a vice-presidential run, he better learn that playing to the base might not always make for good diplomacy training.

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.