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Democratic Voices

March 4th, 2005

Response to Criticism of column The Electric Chair for Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell

Stephen Crockett of Democratic Talk Radio has issued a response to criticisms to his recent Democratic Voices column, “The Electric Chair for Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell.” The column issued a public call for tightening criminal penalties for massive campaigns of denying Constitutionally guaranteed voting rights to large numbers of citizens and vote suppression/fraud. Crockett advocated the death penalty in extreme cases involving top public election officials. Crockett cited Harris and Blackwell as persons who if convicted would have deserved the death penalty under the new legal standards in his ideal world. The column is published HERE .

Crockett admitted that the actual possibility of actual prosecutions or convictions of Harris and/or Blackwell is zero. Both are protected by the Constitution from being tried and convicted of crimes much less face new punishments for crimes that were not crimes when committed. There were no death penalty crimes on the books in 2000 and 2004 concerning the actions of Harris and Blackwell. The column calls for new laws that severely punish what Crockett considers “crimes against all American peoples and the Constitution.” Crockett announced his intention to include the column in his upcoming book along with the press release defending the column to limit misunderstandings.

The columnist and talk show hosts stated, “even if they could be convicted and sentenced, the possibility of actual executions is zero. Republican chief executives have established records of using their pardon powers to give Republican political figures involved in illegal activities and scandals get out of jail privileges We have seen it during Watergate and the Iran-Contra Affair. In Ohio,” I believe Governor Taft would use his power to keep Blackwell out of jail much less away from the gallows. The situation in Florida, with the brother of the principal beneficiary of voting rights denials serving as Governor, is very similar. I believe Jeb Bush would pardon Harris. George W. Bush would pardon both in my opinion.”

“In practical terms, Harris and Blackwell are completely safe from effective prosecution”, according to Crockett. “As a conservative Democrat, I fully support the Constitution, even when it protects officeholders like Harris and Blackwell. The rule of law, legal processes and Constitutional principles remain my top priority. We need to focus on changing the law to stop future abuse although investigation into Harris in 2000 and Blackwell in 2004 would help highlight the practices to be banned.”

Crockett strongly denies advocating “murder” or “executing political opponents” as he has been accused of by Internet activists on Right Wing websites. He says he has received many emails accusing him of “treason” and calling for his execution because he wrote the column.

“As a conservative Democrat, I support the death penalty and believe in a strong law and order platform that does not give a pass to the rich and powerful among us”, said Crockett. “Crimes that systematically threaten our free election system and Constitutionally guaranteed voting rights is a crime against every American- living, dead or yet to be born. The ability to have our individual day at the polls is at the core of what it means to be an American.”

“I simply do not believe that the death penalty is murder. The arrest, indictment, trial, conviction and sentencing procedures are not just simply window dressing,” according to Crockett. “I would never support any political assassination or political violence. I just see massive campaigns of denying citizens their voting rights as extremely serious crimes that could result eventually in dictatorship if left unchecked.”

“Our Constitution protects every belief or opinion, and almost all speech, from criminalization in America. We only prosecute for actions instead of ideas. It is the genius of our Founding Fathers in action. In America, it is never treason to hold views critical of officeholders or to share those views. It is actually both a right and a duty!”

“The strong language and the example of the Harris-Blackwell duo were meant to draw attention to two issues in the column. The first was the issue of vote denial and suppression by government actions to manipulate the election outcome. The criminalization of these actions and possible degree of punishment and deterrence were highlighted. The second issue was how the death penalty should be applied in America since it is the law of the land. I believe it would be better applied to business figures involved in illegally destroying the lives and savings of hundreds of thousands. Their criminal behavior is based on greed for money and power along with the greed of the Constitutional vote denying officeholders/criminals. As members of the ruling classes in America, these persons have great power and can do great damage. The lust for power and wealthy even at the cost of other human lives can be controlled by our ruling classes when their actual lives might be put at risk,” said Crockett.

Crockett refuted criticism that his comments were “over the top” by stating that Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter use much more extreme rhetoric every day. “Democrats are expected to stay wimps always acting meek and mild in the minds of the media, the Republicans and unfortunately some Democrats. As a result of the rise of progressive or Democratic talk radio, the emergence of blogs and the Dean factor, Democrats are going to fight the war of words as enthusiastically as the Republicans,” stated Crockett.

Written By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of ).
Mail: 234 Johnstown Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921. Phone: 443-907-2367
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