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Capital Punishment and Compassion


This week a new wave of outrage against capital punishment was given rise when the execution of Oklahoma killer Clayton Lockett was botched, taking three quarters of an hour to complete. This is the epitome of incompetence, I will admit, but it’s nothing more than a by-product of this new society of ours – this kinder, gentler, ultimately idiotic society we now live in. They had to issue the man a ”cocktail” of three different drugs at three different times to do this, then they screwed up the amounts – what absolute liberal idiocy! I’m going to tell you right now, anyone who has had a serious surgery knows all this is so much bison excretion. Anyone who has had surgery has watched the nurse inject that stuff into your IV while you’re lying on the table and heard the doctor say “count backwards from ten” – nobody makes it to five. We don’t need three different drugs to do the job. Just give them a double shot of that and the final hit of belladonna, and let everyone go home. It’s more than they deserve, especially in the two cases at hand.

Clayton Lockett, 38, was convicted of killing 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman when she and a friend arrived at a home Lockett and his men were robbing. A four-time felon, Lockett was found guilty of shooting Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun then watching as his two accomplices buried her while she was still alive.

Worse still, the planned execution of murderer Charles Warner two hours later was postponed until a full investigation into the injection protocol could be conducted. Warner, 46, a human monster, was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter in 1997. (An 11-month-old child…)
Immediately The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty put out a statement, saying, “This night will be a catalyst for those aggrieved and outraged to continue to fight to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma and every other state in America.” CNN noted that Adam Leathers, co-chairman of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, accused the state of having “tortured a human being in an unconstitutional experimental act of evil.”

Don’t you dare talk to me about torture and evil when we’re dealing with people who rape babies and cold-bloodedly murder young girls.

Death and compassion seem to be two of the high topics in this society of ours. Personally, I think compassion is often over-exercised and death is just plain over-rated.

Compassion is like a paintbrush – it works really well in some circumstances and it’s near to useless in others. Compassion is a wonderful thing until you find yourself in a situation where it just doesn’t work – all the love and understanding in the world won’t stop a violent mugger, or cure a vicious sociopath.

The great argument about compassion and death is capital punishment. The debate about whether capital punishment should be used at all has raged continuously since it was re-instituted in the United States in 1976. Now, the new great debate is on lethal injection, and whether it is “cruel and unusual punishment.” To me, this is the paintbrush syndrome at it’s best – the radical progressive’s perfect dream.

Just so we have some perspective on this – this type of punishment is only used in the most heinous of crimes – premeditated murder, brutal murder, murder without conscience or compassion, then, you’re basically put to sleep, then they stop your heart. If only the people they slaughtered had been given such compassion…

The argument is, of course, do we have the right to kill another human being? The truth is, innocent people are killed every day by very bad people here in this country. We can catch the bad ones and we can all pay for their incarceration for generations (or eventually let them go after reduced sentences), or we can put them out of our misery and make the world a safer, less costly place for all of us.

We all seemed to be so concerned about judgement, and having to make it, but when I see creatures like Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner I believe it becomes the responsibility of society to cleanse itself. While I haven’t read all of The Bible, there are parts I like. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is one of them.

The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.

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