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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


October 27, 2015

Is Capital Punishment Equitable?

Harry M. Covert

All kinds of discussions result when the topic comes to state’s rights, sanctuary cities, school busing, a certain historic flag not from Fort McHenry in Maryland, or capital punishment.

 

Such considerations are explosive more often than not, good versus evil, for example. These are important and generally don’t come up with reasonable good feelings. Usually the reactions are hard-lined, and create most common “knocked downs” of the most vociferous types.

 

Each of the 50 states, including the Free State, and territories and possessions, has its own peculiarities for numerous self-centered practices.

 

On the last day of September, it can be recalled that after 18 years on death row, the State of Georgia, put the needle to a woman. First time in 70 years the Peach State executed a female.

 

This brings about some considerable thought to the situation. The woman didn’t do the killing of her husband but arranged it. Her boyfriend did the job and got a life sentence. When the murder happened she was 27.

 

For the record and from research, there are 3,002 people on death row in the nation, 746 in California, 701 in Florida, and 271 in Texas. Maryland’s death row is nonexistent now since the state has outlawed capital punishment.

 

From the federal side of things, 62 inmates are awaiting execution: 11 in Texas, nine in Mississippi; seven in Virginia; three in Georgia; and two in Maryland. Remember these sentences are from U.S. federal courts.

 

It is quite easy to say, and think, “kill ‘em” for their crimes. Yes, there should be a “payday” for such awful crimes. But, keeping people imprisoned for several decades while awaiting “that moment” seems to be rather harsh punishment beyond measure.

 

Similar crimes in states that don’t have capital punishment perhaps should be considered elsewhere. No, this is not excusing felons for inconceivably vicious crimes. Far from it.

 

Lots of people have said without equivocation they’d be glad to be on the firing squad, insert the needle, turn on the electrical current, open the gas jets or be the hangman or hangwoman.

 

Feelings of vengeance are understandable. This bureau hasn’t turned easy on crime or penalties for perpetrators. Questions must arise when serial killers get life sentences for horrendous deeds while in another state non-killers pay the supreme price.

 

In light of all the subjects so popular today, time has come to restudy the matter of national executions.

 

Georgia kept up its record and did the job on Kelly Gissendaner on September 30. She sang – a cappela – “Amazing Grace” as she met her Maker.

 

A terrorist like Zacarias Moussaoui is serving six life terms in the federal Supermax prison. Why no execution for him?

 

Other names could be listed. There is no easy answer. The idea that prisons and jails are corrections facilities sounds nice and sweet. They are hardly that. They are jails and penitentiaries.

 

There is no such thing as “luck of the draw” when it comes to equal penalties for all.

 

Imagine the sentence for the parents who drowns their children. One state has the needle, another has life imprisonment? The crimes are beyond terrible.

 

No flippant comments should be available here. And, I haven’t gone soft.

 

hmcovert@gmail.com

 



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