Many have accused Gov. Warner of doing this for political reasons. It has been said that it was done to pave the way for Kaine commuting all death sentences, it was done to prevent Virginia from getting the recognition of executing the 1,000th person, or perhaps for Gov. Warner to pander to the dems for his presidential bid.
Folks, you will never find a stronger proponent of the death penalty than me. I think it is a very worthy institution that should be allowed. That being said, we need to do everything we can to make sure we do not execute innocent people.
If you want someone to blame for this clemency, blame the Arlington County Clerk for destroying the scissors used in the murder. I am personally not sure that was enough evidence to stop the execution, but I understand where Gov. Warner was coming from. I am sure some of the political reasons played a role in this clemency, but former AG Mark Earley as well as Ken Starr (Lovitt's lawyer) were in favor of clemency in this situation.
I would encourage GOPs (and some dems I guess) to not point all the blame on Gov. Warner, not yet anyway. Until we find this was done for solely politcal reasons (which we never will), place the blame on the Arlington County Clerk.
I hope we can all be reasonable about this.