Teresa Lewis apparently has an IQ of about 70, which, according to some definitions, is borderline developmentally delayed. She met a couple of men in a line at Wal-Mart and, in exchange for sex and money, persuaded them to come to her trailer and kill her husband with two shotguns she purchased for the purpose. She also persuaded her daughter to have sex with one of the men.
The NYTimes Account
Within hours of the deed, she had confessed all to the police and was subsequently sentenced to die.
Some people who support the death penalty object to the execution of a woman. Why? If you like to have people killed– don’t fool yourself: that’s what it is– then why should you object to a woman being executed just because she is a woman?
The fact that the authorities want to execute a woman of borderline intelligence is obscene and repulsive.
The fact that the two men who actually pulled the triggers got off with life sentences is unjust.
Her defense lawyers argue, as a mitigating factor, that Lewis is afflicted with “dependent personality disorder”. Hallelujah, thank the Lord, we have a label!
Do the readers of the story in the New York Times and elsewhere automatically believe that this is a real mental illness and that she could be treated and possibly cured of it given time and effort? Why? Just because some two-bit lawyer with the connivance of some amateur psychologist decided that there must be such a thing as “dependent personality disorder”? And that this is not the same thing that we more commonly know as “needy”? Oh no– needy won’t cut it.
“Ladies and gentleman of the jury, we ask you to find her not guilty because, even though it is proven that she hired someone to kill her husband and son, she was, after all, very needy at the time.” No no. It’s, “my client was confused. She had lost control of her life. She could no longer make rational decisions, because she suffered from Dependent Personality Disorder.”
Teresa Lewis should be spared execution because capital punishment is an act of savagery and revenge, not because she is woman.