When he signed South Dakota's heartlessly draconian take-no-prisoners abortion bill into law earlier this year, Governor Mike Rounds seemed to be positioning himself as "pro-life." Some folks, with more than a little schmeer of bigotry, hinted that his actions were to be expected since, after all, he is a Catholic. But now, with South Dakota's first execution in more than half a century in the offing, the governor appears to be distancing himself from any hint of pro-life-ness--and incidentally from the teachings of his church.
The governor's reasons for not blocking the execution of death-row inmate Elijah Page are at best peculiar. "Gov. Mike Rounds could stop it by ordering a delay or by changing the sentence to something less severe," writes the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader. "But he believes in capital punishment and calls Page's deed a crime of extreme cruelty. 'At this point, I don't have any plans to intervene,' Rounds said."
No one argues that Page is innocent (not even Page), or that he shouldn't be punished. Hell, I'd say most of us agree that life in prison without parole is probably too good for the murder