Basic competence used to be an assumption

I mentioned this scenario last week when I wrote that I’m against the death penalty.

A death row inmate escaped from a county jail after he obtained civilian clothing and a fake ID badge, authorities said.

Charles Victor Thompson, 35, of Tomball, was being held Thursday in the Harris County Jail after he was resentenced last week in the 1998 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.

“He had changed out of the orange jumpsuit that inmates ordinarily wear,” Harris County sheriff’s Lt. John Martin said in the online edition of the Houston Chronicle. “He may have been taken out of the cell block and put in the attorney booth in the guise of having an attorney visit.”

The facts of this case don’t change my opinion. That’s not a huge leap because this prisoner escaped from a jail after a resentencing and not a maximum security prison, but I stand firm that death row inmate escapes indicate a need for better security, not a quicker, more determined execution schedule. If nothing else, this example shows that we have stupid people in law enforcement. Presumably the legal system is better staffed, but I seriously question whether or not the jury box is. Even leaving the moral question aside, until there are reasonable assurances (professional juries, for example?) that this tendency for mega-foul-ups is accommodated, forget it. My belief stands.