Taking a Stance on Capital Punishment

Who are we to decide who should live and who should die? Who are we to decide that the punishment should not fit the crime? Who are we to consider mercy for the merciless? These are just a few questions I would love to be able to ask someone like Carrie Marie Scott, Janna Bruce, or Sheila Whalen but I can not, they all were murdered by Stephen Peter Morin. Stephen was one of the “botched” executions by lethal injection. It took the technicians almost 45 minutes to find a suitable vein to administer the sentence. I wonder how long it took his three victims to die as he raped and tortured them in a van he sound proofed.

As for the time he suffered on the table getting needles stuck in him, I hope it does not happen to anyone that did not torture and kill three innocent people. Where is the humanity for the victims? Then there is the botched execution of John Wayne Gacy. This man tortured and killed over 25 people after his first conviction of child molestation in 1968; yet it is inhumane that his execution took 18 minutes longer to complete than normal because of a clogged IV tube? Perhaps we should ask the family of his victims if it took longer than 18 minutes for them to get over the death of their loved ones. Where is the humanity for the victims?

What of the Hodges family? Richard Hodges and his 75 year old mother Mildred were both murdered by suffocation by Bert Leroy Hunter and Tomas Ervin. On December 15th, 1988; Hunter and Ervin broke into the Hodges’ family home at gun point to rob them. The Hodges’ were bound with duct tape and had plastic bags put over their heads causing them to suffocate. Death by suffocation can take upwards of eight minutes to happen; try holding your breath for a minute and you will realize the agony of this death. When hunter was executed his body convulsed violently; but this is the inhumane aspect of this entire ordeal.

I feel that I would be cheating the family if I did not mention that this crime was committed after Hunter got out of jail for his first conviction of murder and in jail is where he met his accomplice Ervin. Where is the humanity for the victims? What is a lethal injection? It is a very basic process where Sodium Thiopental is used to put the person to sleep, then Pancuronium is administered to paralyze the muscles, and Potassium Chloride is used to stop the heart; if this is not given the person would die of asphyxiation from the Pancuronium. The person has an IV in both arms although one is only used as a backup in case the main fails.

The person on the execution table will always have one right that he or she did not allow their victim to have; the right to die with their dignity. When you look at the very basic facts of this, that no one should take a life; everything is very simple. When people say that “this poor person died on the execution table in a horrible way;” it is really easy to take a stance and say that it is wrong. The problem is that this is a heavily flawed perspective based on initial reactions without digging further and finding the details about how the ended up on that execution table in the first place.

It all comes down to protecting the ones we are supposed to protect; the people who do NOT break the law and their rights have far been overlooked for rights of the ones who victimized them. So you ask for a stance and I will take one: Killing people is wrong, but the people who have killed people should not have a voice in their treatment of way they die; their victims did not. I support lethal injection and capital punishment. So long as people are willing to kill other people in cold blood; I am willing to see them off to their demise and not stand in the way.

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