Social Justice    AUSTRALIAN BISHOP APPEALS TO GEORGE W BUSH TO SPARE TEXAS DEATH ROW INMATE
Yesterday, Bishop Kevin Manning, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, appealed to Texas Governor George W. Bush to spare the life of Betty Lou Beets, who is due to receive the death sentence.
   Beets was denied a cummutation of sentence and reprieve by the Texas Board of Pardon and Paroles on Tuesday after a new claim by her supporters that she was a physically and emotionally battered wife. The 62 year old, who was charged with the 1983 murder of former Dallas firefighter husband Jimmy Don Beets, was scheduled for execution yesterday in Huntsville, Texas.
   Bishop Manning said: "It seems that very significant evidence was not presented in Betty's defence. While such doubt exists about the adequacy of Betty's representation at trial it would be wrong to proceed with the death sentence."
   He suggested that to end a lifetime of abuse and suffering with an act of State authorised violence could only contribute to a lack of respect for the sanctity of human life.
   - Aust Cath Social Justice Council 24/2/00

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