Saturday, December 09, 2006

Riveting Inhumanity by the Commonwealth

The Washington Post has a riveting article that details every horrific aspect of the gruesome task of executing condemned felons by the commonwealth of Virginia.

Howling Latina remembers editing a book by a sociologist/professor who'd witnessed the execution of a condemned serial killer in Florida. Like a majority of murderers, this convicted killer had suffered untold agony and torture as a child while an indifferent society looked sideways.

The Post reports:

Candy Couch, [a] candle shop owner, had seen other men put to death, but they had been flat on their backs, feet facing her, arms splayed on a gurney, waiting for the needle. She rarely saw their eyes before the life drained out of them. But this man, her fourth, stared her down as he walked to the electric chair.

"He's staring at me," Couch said. "Oh my God, he's looking right at me."

For nearly 100 years, broad public support for capital punishment has helped the Virginia Department of Corrections maintain a rotating list of about 20 to 30 volunteers, although only six are required to witness each execution. Some come only once. Others repeatedly return. One man, a paint store salesman from Emporia, has seen 15 men executed.

Witnesses aren't paid. No special skills are needed. The death house doesn't require much from volunteers beyond state residency, a basic criminal background check and an ability to sum up in three lines or less on a written application why they want to watch convicted killers die. Some say it's their civic duty to watch; that it's no different than sitting on a jury or voting. Others say they're just curious to see whether death equals justice.

Howling Latina thinks that every person who supports the death penalty should be forced to join a pool from which witnesses are randomly selected and made to watch the ultimate act of brutality and outrage by the government. Can there be anything more ghastly that strikes against the very consciousness of the human spirit?

Well, according to Little Miss Candlemaker, not only should the condemned be killed, but hell, they should suffer a little along the way. "She is not religious, but she believes in God and Old Testament eye-for-an-eye justice." The crown to her glory will be when gets to see someone actually fry in the electric chair. Forget the Master's words on the subject of forgiveness; too much of a burden; besides, she ain't really churchly.

State sanctioned murder is an aberration to the vital principles that make each of us human; and for all those phony Republicans who profess to surrender to the teachings of Jesus, liars, Pharisees, every one of you; and yes, this post is especially for Mr. Scott "One-Hundred Percent Pro-life" Lingamfelter.

Howling Latina:

I am a death penalty supporter. I have witnessed executions in Virginia in the past. Doing so did not cause me to revel over the event, nor did it shake my support for having capital punishment. The deaths were very clinical and quick, much better than if one were in a vicious car wreck or dying slowly of cancer for that matter.

As a witness, I was there because the men who were strapped down to die committed premeditated, grievous and wanton murder(s). It's unfortunate that they ended up there, but it was their choice whether or not to commit murder in free society.

You can have your opinion about the death penalty, but please don't characterize all witnesses as being nut jobs. Thanks!
Typical, typical, use the worst case scenario to garner support for crimes that are not the worst of the worst, as get tough crowd keeps adding more and more crimes to the too-long list eligible for killing.

Case in point: Justin Wolfe, a 19-year old, not old enough to buy beer, but never mind. He is convicted of the contract killing of a drug kingpin. The guy who did the killing gets 48 years, Justin gets the needle.

The worst of the worst??? HARDLY!

Same scenario in Loudoun County. A young college student hires someone to kill her world renowned scientist father.

Her penalty? Forty-eight years, in jouridicional justice.

Sure, Justin should be punished, but executed?

If killing is wrong as the Bible states, then it's wrong for the State to do so in my name.

My only wish is that the nine women and three men who convicted Justin and sentenced him to die hav children of their own, and in like-manner, their kids are shown the same kind of merciless justice they showed a misguided kid who'd watched to many "Miami Vice" shows and too many ganster rap music videos.
Clara Schwartz's father was murdered in Loudoun County, where prosecutors have never sought the death penalty. In contrast, Justin Wolfe made the mistake of contracting the murder in Prince William County, where Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert regularly seeks the death penalty in cases of capital murder.

You have it wrong - the Bible specifically said, thou shall not murder which is different from thou shall not kill.

Murder is most commonly defined as 'unlawful killing'. God realizes that killing is necessary in some circumstances, such as self-defense, war, hunting (of animals) and the like. If you are so concerned about the death penalty, you needn't worry about it, provided you won't sit on a capital murder jury or choose to commit an act of capital murder on your own.

There are only 13 aggravating factors with Virginia's death penalty - and unlikely to be more.

Of the ones specifying aggravating factors of rape of the murder victim, robbery of the murder victim, two or more murders in the same instance, murder of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, murder by an inmate in prison, murder for hire or murder as part of an act of terrorism, which is most 'unfair' in your view?
When Peter asked Jesus hom many times he should forgive his fellow man, Jesus didn't say, make the call!

In fact, Peter haughtily asked, Seven times seven Lord? As if that would be enough. And Jesus rebuked him and said, "NO, SEVENTY TIMES SEVENTY."

In other words, ALWAYS!!!
As for the fact that Loudoun never asks for a death sentence, how equitable is that?!?

I hope to be out of the country when that dark day comes that Justin is executed. And pray and hope I can talk Kaine into granting him a stay and commuting the death sentence to life in prison.

It is on my agenda whenever and wherever I run into Kaine next year during the campaign season.

I've talked to his mother; and have correspondended with the kid. Misguided, clueless, but certainly not the worst of the worst!

This is my passion, my reason for living, my mission in life, as spoken by the Holy Spirit.

oh yea, it's that important to me.
If you are so forgiving, then why are you lynching Lambert?
The death penalty clearly isn't a deterrent to violent crime, and it usually costs the state more money than it would to simply keep someone in prison for the rest of their natural life.

While I doubt that we could ever complete end violence, there are certainly steps that could be taken to catch people falling through the cracks on their way to a life of crime. Ending poverty, improving education, making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

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