Having killed her husband after years of sexual and physical abuse, she was found guilty of murder. The charge that allowed the prosecutor to demand and get the sentence of death for her was that she had murdered him, not because of the physical and sexual abuse, but in order to recover the $100,000 life insurance policy he held.
Now, you ask yourself, if all of this is true, shouldn't she pay for that crime, the crime of murder for money? If it were actually true, then possibly. (Although I can never accept the government's moral or ethical right to murder a murderer). Sadly, of course, it isn't true, folks.
What the truth actually consists of are these two facts.
First, her attorney only took the case in exchange for all rights to her story, meaning that he would only have valuable merchandise (her story) and be paid for his time if she was convicted or found not guilty due to some amazing legal maneuvering by himself. Since it appears that he was never capable of any amazing legal maneuvering, then she obviously had to be found guilty. He accomplished this by simply never rebutting the prosecution's claim of murder for money by withholding the evidence that showed that Betty Lou Beets wasn't even aware of the policy until a year after his death. In fact it was only when her attorney, E. Ray Andrews (who has since served a three year prison sentence for extorting a bribe in another murder case) told her about its existence after the trial that she became aware of the policy.
Second, due to being stricken at age 6 by measles-encephalitis, Betty Lou Beets suffered from organic brain damage which also resulted in a substantial hearing disability. Even though Betty Lou Beets could not hear most of the proceedings at her trial, the judge refused to offer her any assistance, such as state funded hearing aids or translators or even allowing her to read that day’s transcript of the trial, which would have allowed her to at least follow the testimony and direction of her case.
Tumbleweed has often claimed that there are only two aspects of a death penalty sentence that he looks at when deciding whether or not to grant clemency. First, he claims to take into account a person's personal history, which supposedly includes issues such as past sexual abuse or family violence. Second, he claims to weigh the decision based on whether or not the accused was given a full hearing and fair trial.
The Beets case falls directly under both supposed criteria that Tumbleweed claims to consider. Her history of abuse; raped at five, beaten repeatedly by an alcoholic father and physically and sexually assaulted and abused by a string of five violent husbands, should stand alone as the reason to commute her sentence. Add to that the fact that her own attorney withheld valuable evidence of her innocence of the charge of murdering her husband for money and this should be one instance in which even Tumbleweed would have no choice save to commute her sentence to life in prison.
In the past, Tumbleweed has slithered out from under his responsibility to justice by claiming that he cannot offer clemency to any prisoner unless the Texas State Board of Pardons and Parole sends him a recommendation to do so. This little shifting of guilt is nonsense in as much as every single member of the 18 seats on the board were hand picked by Tumbleweed, himself, and every one can be removed and replaced with very little effort on Tumbleweed's part. Therefore, should Tumbleweed decide that a defendant such as Beets deserves clemency, he has but to make a few phone calls and, viola, the recommendation for clemency would be on his desk in a matter of days.
If this nasty little gnome truly wants America to believe that the oxymoron of "Compassionate Conservatism" exists anywhere but within the fevered brows of the handlers and sycophants, the canaille who he counts as his campaign team and main supporters, then this case is a no-brainer. Beets' sentence must be commuted to life immediately. Otherwise, the lie that Tumbleweed invented as his slogan will be exposed before the world. Nevertheless, want to bet that she'll be dead before the November elections? I wouldn't advise taking that bet, gentle readers. You'll lose.
Note: Betty Lou Beets was murdered by the state of Texas through lethal injection on Feb. 24, 2000. Tumbleweed has consistently refused to answer any further questions by reporters regarding this state sponsored crime.
She is the second woman executed by the state of Texas since the Civil War and the fourth woman murdered by government proclamation since capital punishment was reinstituted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. Her death brings the always increasing tally of murdered Americans in Texas under Bush to 120. Bush gleefully allowed her murder even after receiving 2,108 calls and letters asking that her sentence be commuted to only 57 that were in favor of her state sponsored homicide. ( 1, 2, 3 )
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