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Are Death Penalty Methods Too Antiseptic?

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posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 10:09 PM

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — FOX News correspondent Adam Housley was one of 39 people who witnessed the Tuesday morning execution of Stanley Tookie Williams.

This is Housley's report of Tookie Williams' last minutes:

I have seen death before, but never actually witnessed a last breath. Tonight that changed.

Tonight I saw the deep breaths of nervousness, the breaths of annoyance when an IV couldn't be inserted easily ... and the last quick breaths of air as a man's chest went still. This man wasn't a friend, a member of my family, or even an acquaintance. This man was convicted of brutally murdering four innocent people and later bragging about how he watched their last breaths. Tonight I saw his.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I spent my lunchtime today reading the story linked above. That probably wasn't too smart - lunch didn't sit very well. Here I was, calmly reading a detailed, almost clinical description of how the State of California took a man's life. I was particularly disturbed wtih the painstakingly planned, bizzare rituals surrounding the whole procedure.

I think that those that say that the death penalty is about revenge have a very valid point. When I read about rapists, murderers, and other violent criminals, my blood boils - especially when I think about it happening to one of my loved ones or to an innocent child. It is during those times that I want a death penalty. I get this gut feeling that our society needs to respond with viciousness towards the kind of people that would do such things. Just not this quiet, antiseptic, insane ritual that it has become. When I think of these kinds of scum, I just want them to disappear off the face of the earth in the same kind of horrific fashion that they perpetrated on their victims.

But that's not what we have anymore. The accused gets a trial. If it is a high profile case, all sorts of courtroom antics ensue. Months go by, perhaps a year or two. If justice is served, the perpetrator becomes a convict. Years and years pass while appeals are filed and argued. The minutae of our legal system are poured over in excrutiating detail. I don't know what the average time between conviction and execution is, but if the Williams case is any guide, it sure seems like an awfully long time. When the time for execution finally comes, we get what we had last night.

And that just seems wrong to me.


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