where the writers are
Revolutions and the Death Penalty

Before I begin this article I am going to tell you I don't know if I am for or against the death penalty. I really don't. When I am reading about heinous crimes people commit and what it does to the families of the victims you will hear me screaming, "Kill him! He must die for his crime!" BUT then, I see a picture of the killer and read about his background and my sorrow takes over for the person the killer could have been and how the the offender was failed and abused and used, and hung out to dry on his own. Mostly, I feel so bad that the killer was so failed as a child that his only recourse to make himself known, feel powerful, and in control is to take the life of another.

We will never truly know why some victims of physical, sexual and mental abuse grow up to be functioning adults, blending in with society and why others take the path of crime, drugs, and torturing, mutilating and terrorizing others.

The defiinition of a revolution is: a fundamental change that takes place in a relatively short time. Do criminals or killers, all of a sudden have a personal revolution that no one else knows about that can violently change the lives of their victims and their families? When one has a violent revolution on their own is killing them the best way to punish them?

Last night the DC sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammed was put to death by lethal injection at 9:11 pm at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

Some of the victims families came to watch him die. Muhammad stepped into the death chamber and within seconds was strapped into the gurney. His warms were spread wide with a needle in each. His left foot tapped the side of the gurney. He was injected with three lethal doses, he twitched and he died.

He refused to say any last words leaving the victims families with yet more saddness and no answers at why their loved ones were chosen to die. One of his victims was middle schooler on his way to class. My son is a middle schooler, and oh the pain to think of him dying from a man just shooting randomly for fun would haunt me forever. But would I want him to die?

Muhammed's attorneys said Muhammed was mentally ill. Was he? Can a mentally ill man calmly gun down random people in the DC area for three solid weeks if he is mentally ill?

I think Muhammed's last reign of terror on his victims family was his silence. I am sure the families wanted to hear how sorry he was for killing their loved ones. Or at least an explanation. But they didn't get it, and in my mind walked away with the pain of their loved ones death all over again. Anger was probably brought to the forefront again, for this man Muhammed got the last word by not saying a word!

Comments
2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Well done, Heather..

You've done a good job here seeing all the conflicts that such crimes and punishment present to us. I say I am against capital punishment, but I know I am not telling the complete truth. I did not feel a bit of sorrow or let myself get sucked into sorrow about Muhammed's death. I remember being so terrified for a dear young family that I knew that had just moved to Washington, D.C., when this happened. And I felt so sorry for the young protege of this man. I always think a person must be mentally ill to do something like this, and I do not think we should execute mentally ill people. But a mass murderer? I am wavering already... Your last sentence was quite insightful. Maybe these murderers are just spiritually ill rather than mentally ill. Maybe the best we can do is to reduce executions. Over 50 years ago in a government class, I read a fat book that contained over 600 cases of innocent people executed before their innocence was proven. (Yet they had been "proved guilty.") I wonder how many more innocents have been executed since that book was written? If we don't approve of murder, we can never justify killing an innocent person for a crime they did not commit.

Comment Bubble Tip

Death Penalty/ Capital Punishment

Hello Heather,

I came across your Redroom blog on the Death Penalty. I usually respect peoples writings/views, and listen to what they have to say. But you kind of hit a little nerve.
Who cares about the DC snipers pasts or how society failed them, or even thier potenial, etc. The bottom line is that these two murders are effecting the victims presents and futures.
Does this mean we as a society should stop trying to help children who need help, absolutly not. But, these were adult men on a shooting rampage. They need to pay for thier actions.
Both DC snipers were guilty. The case was not circumstancial at all: 100% guilty!!
I have two children, and God for bid something like this would ever happen to them.
I would have no problems taking one of my guns and taking care of them myself. Im my opinion, the injection is way to easy of death for these two. At least bring back the Chair.

I sound like a big HillBilly.

I enjoy your writings.

John Engfer

P.S.
I don't know if you remember me, but we went to H.S. together.
I really don't blog and to write this I had to become a member of Redroom. If you want to discuss this futher, my email is engferj1@gmail.com