Monday, January 01, 2007

Death Penalty Poseurs

I am beginning to understand, by the nature of some of the strident talk I hear in the media (and within some of my comments), that opposition to the death penalty is de rigour among those aspiring to the label "liberal", or "progressive". No different that a "free Tibet" bumper sticker, I suppose (and see how effective that has been in actually freeing Tibet), except of course in the case of Saddam it would mean letting a mass-murdering meglomaniac live to once again assume power and slaughter his naive pro-democracy opponents. Well, as long as it is bad for America....

Anyway -
Toby Harnden informs me of a group I never even knew existed, called Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. Apparently, the victims being referred to here are not those poor souls who simply wound up as innocent prey for sicko rapists and killers, no - the victims are actually the families of the perpetrators, and we should feel their pain, and take their feelings into consideration too.

It's the same moral equivalence, I suppose, that allows one to blame Israelis and Palestinians equally for the "cycle of violence" - after all, if the Israelis didn't retaliate every time the Palestinians blew up a schoolbus full of children, there would be no "cycle", right? And everyone would live happily ever after?

Anyway, Harnden makes his point with a few choice examples:

Billie Jean Mayberry's brother Robert Coe was executed in Tennessee in 2000. "There's no way to describe the hurt my siblings and I had to go through when we watched our brother die," she told the report's writers.
Maybe the relatives of
Cary Ann Medlin, who was eight when she murdered by Coe would also struggle for words. She disappeared after he lured he into his car as she rode a bicycle near her home.
He confessed to sexually molesting and then trying to choke her. When that did not work, he stabbed her and watched her bleed to death.
He informed detectives that before she died she told him: "Jesus loves you." He never apologised for what he did.

How far back can one go in time and still be able to claim victim status? Apparently, never far enough for the loony anti-death penalty left:

Some of this new class of victims are even more remote from the execution but still, we are told, are severely affected. Janis Gay's grandfather was executed in 1924, when her mother was nine.
But she still feels a "survivor of this". She points out that "Mom's interior life was pretty absorbing to her" and she was distant during their childhood.
An execution "is a violence that has shattered the family", Janis says, and reports by way of explanation that "I'm not married, intimate relations are difficult for me".

Sure, blame your parents because you're a cliche, Miss Gay!

Toby Harnden hits home with one more:

Christina Lawson complains that when she went to see her husband executed people "wouldn't look us in the eye" and she realised she was being "punished for something David did".
This was among what the report describes (but does not detail) as a "litany of dignity violations" she experienced on execution day.

The victim of her husband
David Martinez suffered some rather more, er, serious violations.
Kiersa Paul, 24, an art student from Minnesota was raped, sodomised, strangled, her throat slit several times and an "X'' carved across her chest. Her body was off a hiking trail in Austin, Texas.

Mrs Lawson is upset that her daughter feels she is surrounded by murderers at school because "the people of Texas had killed her father".
Kiersa Paul, of course, was never able to have any children to feel uneasy or otherwise at school.

And the world is better without Mr. Martinez in it, getting free meals, TV, and fresh air and exercise daily while enjoying conjugal visits from some attention-starved prison groupie.

Same goes for Mr. Hussien, incidentally....

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