Juan Carlos Chavez is next up for grist of the mill in Florida's death machinery.
Infamous for perpetrating the tragic and horrific sexual assault and murder of Jimmy Ryce, a young nine year old boy, Chavez's case evokes no sympathy for the defendant.
And yet, isn't our Constitution tested by the awful cases at the edge?
Don't we want to be judged by the humanity we show to those who deserve none? Because surely if we can treat a person who committed such an unspeakable crime with fairness and provide him the due process the Constitution requires, then we can all feel secure that in less horrible cases the system will work.
Unusual fact: As was pointed out to us yesterday, Chavez's appointed post conviction lawyer screwed up and missed the federal habeas deadline. When a new lawyer was appointed and filed a 2254 petition, it was dismissed as untimely. And since that ruling, Chavez has NEVER had an evidentiary hearing on his federal post conviction claims.
This is the "machinery of death" that Justice Blackmun said he would no longer tinker with.
Chavez is set to be executed tonight at six pm in Starke.
Rest in Peace Jimmy Ryce.
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