Since coming to know God’s love, through Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, I have also learned something about the great value God places on all life, both the innocent and the guilty – the born and the unborn. I feel the natural life cycle is a soul’s journey to heaven according to his plan, not ours; that life is sacred to God, as we know it from our Christian New Testament teachings, its message of mercy for all, the good news of salvation, as demonstrated by a dying Christ crucified, forgiving the criminal to his right on the cross. Moreover, all spiritual traditions place life at the top. In addition, our instinct to live, that we all know so well, supports the notion that all life is important. Indeed, my Catholic religion teaches such, and I honor that centuries-old, spiritually considered teaching. I taught a sacrament of confirmation course one year.
The deaths of the young hurt me most deeply. Perhaps young and innocent deaths affect us all more deeply. The young and innocent, our “holy” ones amongst us, perish from our midst, our human spirits then commune for that one special occasion, like today, with the young and innocent case of Mr. Thomas LaValley. Today we celebrate his Mass of Christian Burial. Our beloved brother and officer was apparently killed by another man with a handgun who was wanted by authorities! Reports are that a felon in possession of a firearm named Cannon, whose whereabouts were being sought by police, murdered Officer LaValley in a house on a street in metropolitan Shreveport the evening of Auguest 5, 2015! We will learn more. But, this week, our kindred spirits communed for the special event when Thomas’ soul ascended into heaven to enjoy eternity with our Creator and his choirs of angels and saints. What joy that vision gives me. Today, we celebrated his life, and we will see him again, to live forever and ever.
The accused committed the crime here – the same area in which he was being sought, and might have been being managed by local agencies for having committed prior crimes. He had a criminal history, reports indicate. In other words, he was not an out of state fugitive or drifter about whom we knew nothing. We knew he was likely here, hence the local warrant, and we knew he was dangerous since he was wanted in connection with a murder. I want this to be an issue in our campaign for District Attorney; what might we do better, if anything at all? Anticipating this tragedy was impossible, however, and I do not imply particular blame. If there is blame it is with us all. I’ve been guilty of being too lazy to take a second look when something seems amiss. Luckily, nothing happened, but it might if we adopt a more vigilant, but positive attitude.
From all his loved ones, especially Chris Redford, who have published, I know I would have loved Thomas too had I known him. So this is a heart-wrenching event for me too, seeing you all suffer so painfully. All violent death is tragic.
I believe we need to begin serious, fervent prayer in our homes, discussion in our Sunday Schools, and to soberly reflect about whether we as a community of individuals bear responsibility for one another’s well-being, and whether we are doing a good job of that? Can we do a better job, by the way, of reporting criminal activity before a serious incident occurs, and thereby help law enforcement, more effectively, prevent crime? This is an issue we must address, since, if it is possible, but for our ignorance, that we can curtail violent crime, high capacity guns in the streets possessed by one with intent to commit violence, then we need to know so we can stop it. We all agree on that.
As a candidate for District Attorney, my position on the death penalty is as follows:
“As a prudent administrator of Louisiana criminal prosecutions, and a trusted servant of the people, I will consider Capital Punishment in my professional deliberations with assistants as an option to explore in cases such as State of Louisiana v. Grover Cannon, a case in which reports are that a law enforcement officer on patrol and investigating a call was killed by the offender, and otherwise on a case-by-case basis, of course.”
Additionally, I feel its urgent to begin a powerful policy of expert psychological follow-up of incarcerated offenders serving time for violent crimes. We might learn more about the mind that commits serious crimes of violence in the hope of becoming more intelligent ourselves, and thus doing our part as DA, and the public, and ultimately, help prevent future crimes. It takes a community of believers to make a difference, and together we can do it.
Supporting law enforcement, I will be tougher on crime than anyone but also saving money on incarceration, and investing in prevention and recovery for greater future tax savings. That is my position on capital punishment, violent crime, and one innovative idea of how to prevent crime as well as combat it in the courts, based on my 52 years experience, strength, and hope, and my skill, knowledge, moral code, education, and training; A common sense approach that will work because most of my ideas are already working in other areas successfully using expert criminology. Ms. Anne Milgram is one such expert, for example.
May the repose of the soul of our beloved Thomas LeValley rest in peace, and let the perpetual light shine upon him; grant too that we may engage these serious issues in our personal campaigns for justice, if it is your will. Peace be to Thomas’ loved ones. In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen.
J. Casey Simpson, J.D.
Shreveport [Candidate website]
From Casey’s Policy on Capital Punishment and Violent Crime Offenders
This is part of a continuing educational series of articles allowing all candidates space to explain their reasons for running for office as well as addressing questions voters should find valuable. This link will appear at the bottom of all articles in this series and allow easy access to previous articles. Limited to ONE (1) article per week per candidate.