Where Jubilation Is Due

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I oppose the death penalty for one reason, and one reason only; the likelihood of executing the innocent. 

And of course, when people are executed for crimes of which there’d seem to be very little doubt – Saddam Hussein, for example – I’ve solemnly intoned that I find no joy in the execution of the sentence.

That is true.

But I’ll make an exception for this piece of filth:

Jurors deliberated about four hours before returning the verdict against John Evander Couey in the slaying of Jessica Lunsford, who was snatched from her bedroom in 2005 about 150 yards from the trailer where Couey had been living.

Her body was found in a shallow hole, encased in two black plastic trash bags. She had suffocated, and was found clutching a purple stuffed dolphin.

As the father of a two kids who watched the whole horrible, miserable spectacle of the kidnapping, the investigation and the arrest of this piece of animated rot, I will celebrate, boisterously, when Couey is finally excised from this earth.  If the needle goes in wrong and he endures one of those long, painful executions that the media occasionally barbers and phumphers about, I’ll buy a round for whatever table I’m sitting at.  If somehow Jeb Bush offers me the chance to dispatch him myself with a blunt knitting needle to the abdomen – so as to make Jack Bauer look like Mike Brady – I’ll take the challenge on with a smile, and pay my own airfare.

I will rejoice when Couey is executed, and possibly throw a party at the Berg house, and I won’t apologize to anyone about it. 

This, of course, is why we have an Eighth Amendment.  More’s the pity, in this instance.

That is all.

7 thoughts on “Where Jubilation Is Due

  1. It is an interesting thing.

    On the one hand, if anyone ever did something like that to someone I love and I somehow managed to get a hold of them, I have a hard time believing that I wouldn’t give them a slow and painful death.

    On the other hand, I feel very strongly that if I did such a thing, I should be tried, found guilty and pay the consequences for having done it.

    For some reason, feeling both these things does not create a conflict within me.

  2. Here’s a question for you Mitch.

    Sufficient proof aside, do you believe it is possible for a human being to commit a crime so terrible that the state is justified in putting him or her to death as an act of justice? Not vengeance, not to protect society from this individual or to provide a disincentive to others, but purely on the principle of what is just?

  3. Geez, what’s justice?

    In my mind, justice is when the victim has the damage restored and the person who committed the transgression has to cover the “costs” of that restoration.

    In rape, murder, etc., there is no possibility of justice. There are only the questions of what response is appropriate for the crime and what can be done to lessen the suffering of those effected.

    For the most part, I find Sharia law to be the antithesis of progressive values. However, on one count, I think they have it right – for certain, inherently “unforgivable” crimes, I have read that some countries that follow Sharia law give the option of the death penalty to the family of the victim.

    The family can choose to carry out the sentence or choose to grant forgiveness. If they carry out the sentence, they do it with their own hand. If they grant forgiveness, at a certain level, they are responsible for the future conduct of the transgressor.

    Interestingly, I am given to understand that the option of forgiveness is taken more often than I would expect.

    I will confess, I have no material support for this understanding, its just the sense I currently have. I am more than open to being proven wrong.

    But in any case, when you cause me material damage and the courts require you to compensate it, we can have Justice. In some crimes, Justice can not happen – the only question left to us is what is the “best” response for society to give?

    Rape? Senseless murder? Torture of the innocent? These are crimes which diminish us all. In the shadow of them, there can be no justice.

  4. Jason Lewis brought up a good point in regards to the death penalty. In states that have 3 strikes laws, and the death penalty, how in the WORLD can you justify giving life in prison to a convicted pedophile murderer, while at the same time, giving lif ein prison to someone convicted 3 times of having enough marijuana that they fall under the “intent to distribute” category?

    How can you say those two crimes are equal?

    And ignoring the “marijuana should be legal and the war on drugs is a horrible farce” argument, let’s subsitute intent to distribute with say, 3 charges of embezzlement? Or even 3 charges of breaking and entering an empty home where no one was physically hurt?

    There is no way any of those crimes can be equivalent on a justice scale to what John Couey or Alfonso Rodriguez or Donald Blum did.

  5. phaedrus-
    I think a simpler definition, and more accurate because it is simpler, is that justice is a person getting what they deserve. This leaves the state with the responsibility of determining what a heinous murderer deserves. Obviously the murder victim cannot be brought back to life as they deserve, but it is within the power of state to punish the murderer.

  6. You were ahead of me on this one. I posted about it last night at 10:00. I ended with this line: I don’t want sex offenders registered. I want them caged. Permanently.
    I suppose I could have added that a 3x6x6 hole is an efficient and cost effective containment system.

  7. “If somehow Jeb Bush offers me the chance to dispatch him myself…”

    Jeb Bush is no longer the governor of Florida. The new guy is Crist.

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