Letter to the Editor

April 29, 2014

Dear Editor:

Governor Haley needs to issue a statement condemning a recent attack ad against her opponent. The Governor, by her own words, the words of the Republican Governors’ Association and through her spokesman, stated that her opponents’ work as a criminal defense lawyer could somehow make him unsuitable to run for our State’s top office. These ads an affront to the Constitution and unpatriotic.

Our Governor, sworn to uphold the Constitution, should understand that persons accused of crimes are not “criminals” and that they are presumed to be innocent. Surely Governor Haley understands that each and every person charged with a crime is entitled to a defense? As Governor, she should also understand that criminal defense lawyers are following the oaths they took; much like the oath she took to uphold the Constitution (see Bill of Rights), and in the words of another Republican, “when defense lawyers do their jobs, they make us all safer.”

I would expect the Chief Executive of our State to understand how our criminal justice system works. If our Governor, does not understand these concepts, I recommend she Google The Innocence Project, or for a more local flavor Edward Lee Elmore, an inmate who was released after being wrongfully sentenced to death in Greenwood County.

Governor Haley’s oath included the following: “… that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States. So help me God.” In accordance with that oath, Governor Haley needs to print a retraction and disavow the RGA ads. Or, at the very least, she needs a civics lesson.

W. Chad Jenkins