Statement by the campaign of Tim Kaine for Governor: “He will enforce the death penalty in exactly the same way as have the eight previous governors–four Democrat and four Republican.”
Action by Governor Tim Kaine, April 1, 2008 (Unfortunately not an April Fool’s joke) . ...Governor Kaine imposes a moratorium on the Death Penalty in Virginia.
Statement of Attorney General Bob McDonnell on Governor’s Reprieve of Bell Execution
-Governor to Stop All Scheduled Executions Pending Decision in Baze v. Rees- Richmond- Today, Governor Tim Kaine announced a reprieve to Edward Bell, a convicted capital murderer scheduled for execution on April 8th. In addition, the Governor announced a moratorium on all executions in the Commonwealth until a decision is reached by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Baze v. Rees, involving the constitutionality of lethal injection as administered in Kentucky. In response to today’s decision by the Governor, Attorney General Bob McDonnell issued the following statement: “While I recognize the clear authority of the governor to grant reprieves to death-row inmates, and understand the rationale for his decision today in Bell’s case, that decision is premature due to Bell’s pending request for a stay in the United States Supreme Court. The question of whether a stay should be granted is first and foremost a legal decision to be made by a court. The Governor
appropriately waited for the United States Supreme Court to rule on a request for a stay last October in Christopher Emmett’s case and I see no legal reason why Bell’s case should be treated differently.” “Further, I respectfully disagree with the governor’s decision to impose a blanket moratorium on all executions in Virginia. This moratorium will pre-empt the United States Supreme Court’s ability to decide whether other Virginia capital murderers present sufficient legal grounds to stay an execution. Additionally, other death-row inmates affected by the Governor’s actions have yet to select a method of execution as Virginia law provides, and only lethal injection cases are at issue in the Baze case. Finally, without knowing the date on which the United States Supreme Court will rule in Baze, a moratorium may unnecessarily delay justice in other Virginia cases.”
“It is for these reasons that I disagree with today’s actions by the Governor.”
I've pointed out before that Tim Kaine is quite the unprincipled pol on this issue: personally despising the death penalty for religious reasons, yet willing to be party to executions, at least until now, when he sees some viable political cover for imposing a moratorium despite his campaign promises.
I guess if you think capital punishment is immoral but you'll violate your deepest held principles to carry it out anyway, you're not the kind of man to honor something as simple as a campaign promise.