Taking off on a book title from Texan gadfly Jim Hightower: If the gods meant us to give an endorsement for Monroe County District Attorney, they would have given us a candidate... who firmly opposes the death penalty.
Unfortunately, both candidates on the ballot, Mike Green (Democratic and Crime Prevention parties) and Ann Marie Taddeo (Republican and Conservative) support capital punishment.
During her campaign, Taddeo has promised to seek the death penalty whenever it's applicable and not contrary to a victim's family's wishes. Ironically, as a Family Court judge, she earned high marks from court watchers for her compassion. (This and other bits of evidence suggest her election persona has been manufactured for the occasion.)
Mike Green shows no enthusiasm for the death penalty; he told us basically that in regard to capital cases, he'd do his job as defined by current law. Moreover, he feels there must be an extraordinary punishment for the most heinous crimes. We take him at his word on these things, since he's already served as prosecutor on several capital cases. He's also been a high-ranking member of outgoing District Attorney Howard Relin's team --- and Relin has long been a vocal death penalty supporter.
In many ways, Green seems preferable to Taddeo, who despite her Family Court record is running as the toughest kid on the block. Especially worrisome is Taddeo's promotion of Neighborhood Protection Zones where plea bargaining would be prohibited. This violates equal protection, we believe.
But this newspaper cannot in conscience actually endorse any candidate who supports capital punishment while seeking an office where it may be an issue. We can only hope Taddeo and Green both will come to oppose "judicial murder," drawing on the decency they've quite separately shown in the past.
--- Jack Bradigan Spula, for the editorial staff
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4. For more information, call the Monroe County Board of Elections at 428-4550 or visit www.monroecounty.gov and link to "Board of Elections."
To view City Newspaper's profiles of the Democratic candidates for Rochester City School Board, visit:City School Board Profiles.
The rest of our pre-election coverage can be found in our news archives at:News Archive.
Following is a list of the website addresses for various candidates running for public office:
Maggie Brooks, candidate for county executive:www.monroegop.com
Bill Johnson, candidate for county executive:www.billjohnson2003.com
Mike Green, candidate for District Attorney:www.mikegreen4da.com
Ann Marie Taddeo, candidate for District Attorney:www.monroegop.com
Jason Crane, candidate for City Council:www.jasoncrane.org