Some people will, of course, oppose the death penalty as a matter of principle. But as long as we have it, decisions have to be made about who should face it and who should not. If a case can be made to impose it on anybody, Simon Rios certainly qualifies. Charged with killing his wife and three children, and now the suspect in the abduction and killing of 10-year-old Alejandra Gutierrez, Rios is not exactly a sympathetic figure. But this adds a new wrinkle and will certainly add a layer or two to all the debates about this case:
Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards says it's conceivable the fact Rios is a Mexican National, could take capital punishment out of play. "There may be some technicalities that we are in the process of researching, as to whether or not it's actually possible to file the death penalty against a non citizen," Richards said.
I don't know what the prosecutor's research will show, but my quick Googling of the issue reveals that, as of May 28 of this year, there were 118 foreign nationals facing death in this country, including 50 from Mexico, the biggest group. If we don't have the stomach to impose the death penalty in this case, we need a different excuse. And if it isn't sought here, we need to hear some pretty clear guidelines on when it is appropriate, or it might as well be taken off the table.