Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Execution if a Killer's Name is Dupont

By Stephen Millies
Published Dec 15, 2010 9:35 PM

Dave Schultz was murdered by one of the richest men on the planet: John Eleuthere DuPont. Nancy Schultz, Dave’s partner, witnessed the Jan. 26, 1996, killing of the father of their two children.

After pumping three bullets into Schultz — who won a gold medal in wrestling at the 1984 Olympics — DuPont retreated to his mansion. It’s a replica of President James Madison’s Montpelier house built on a Virginia slave plantation.

DuPont was known to be heavily armed. He used to drive a tank around his 800-acre Delaware County, Pa., estate west of Philadelphia.

Did police shoot their way into DuPont’s mansion? Did they drop a bomb on it, like they did on the MOVE house in Philadelphia’s Black community on May 13, 1985, killing six children and seven adults?

No. Cops don’t do things like that to a parasite with a $250 million fortune. They patiently waited two days before tricking the great-great-grandson of E. I. DuPont to come outside.

Delaware County District Attorney Patrick Meehan immediately ruled out the death penalty, saying there was “no aggravating circumstance” in the case. (New York Times, March 13, 1996)

That was a smart career move for the Republican Meehan, who has just been elected to Congress.

Three months before he murdered Dave Schultz, DuPont pointed a machine gun at Dan Chaid, one of the wrestlers training on the millionaire’s estate. Newtown Township police ignored Chaid’s complaint. (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 31, 1996)

USA Wrestling, which oversees the country’s Olympic wrestling programs, did nothing when DuPont kicked three Black wrestlers off his “Foxcatcher” team. According to the New York Times, “Mr. DuPont told one of them that the wrestling center was affiliated with Ku Klux Klan.” (Feb. 4, 1996)

DuPont was deranged, but there are plenty of mentally ill and mentally challenged people on death row.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, then Gov. Bill Clinton went back to Arkansas to sign the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a man with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old. Rector told the guards taking him to be executed that he was leaving his last meal of pecan pie “for later.”

The brutal, 50-minute execution of a mentally challenged Black man on Jan. 24, 1992, was a vote-getter for Bill Clinton in the following month’s New Hampshire Democratic primary.

“I don’t know of a wealthy person ever executed in the United States,” said Sing Sing prison warden Clinton Duffy, who conducted almost 100 executions. (1996)

Warden Duffy was right. “Them without the capital gets the punishment,” were the final words of John Spenkelink, who was strapped into Florida’s electric chair on May 25, 1979.

John DuPont had plenty of capital. He was convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 13 to 30 years in prison, where he died on Dec. 9.

The lead prosecutor against DuPont was Joseph McGettigen, who is now First Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia DA’s office is demanding the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man.

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