…before killing someone. One of today’s headlines at the Strib talks about the guy who confessed to murdering a local college student three years ago and how the trial for life imprisonment versus death penalty is going. The victim’s parents spoke, but so did the accused’s. His mother, specifically. And she asked for him to get life imprisonment because she would “suffer greatly” otherwise. Now, I want to be sympathetic to her situation – she is not in control of her son, or the justice system, or what happens to him. If he gets the death penalty, her life will be irreversibly changed, and I’m sure she will grieve greatly for him. Regardless of what he’s done, she loves him, and the loss of a child is a terrible pain no one should have to bear.
However. Perhaps, perhaps, her son should have thought about the consequences of his actions when he was killing that girl. It’s not really right, as far as I’m concerned, in my extremely limited knowledge of our judicial system, to make the jury feel guilty for any emotional distress they may put on his mother. Yes, I realize that this whole part of the trial is probably almost entirely emotional pleas and I would hate to be on that jury. I’m also against the death penalty, for a number of reasons, though not militantly so. Primarily, I think that life imprisonment is a far greater punishment than death. (Also, given problems and corruptions in our judicial system, as highlighted by my fair home state when the governor pardoned or converted the sentences of a whole slew of people before leaving office because of rampant corruption, and since there’s always going to be room for error, life sentences seem to be a bit safer than executing the wrong person.) Personally, I would prefer to be executed rather than have to live out the rest of my life in prison, whether that be ten years or fifty. Fifty years in prison followed by death does not seem to be my idea of “getting off easy.”
Today’s History Lesson: before you do the crime, think about your mama. (Don’t, however, think of her all the time, before making every decision. That’s just weird.)