Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I meant to write about this last week, or whenever it was that the state of California killed that old man in the wheelchair. You know, the guy who was like 70 something and blind and immobile? He was, apparently, a very bad man who was sent to prison for murdering some folks and then, once he got there, he ordered a couple more hits and some more people died. That's the gist of it anyway. I didn't really pay that much attention because I was so fascinated by the mummified image of him that was broadcast on the news and published in the paper during the appeal process.

All I could think about was how he looked like he was already dead. I also pondered how bad it would suck to be him. Not because of the whole looming execution issue, but more about the being in prison AND old AND blind AND wheelchair bound. I mean seriously! No matter how badass you are it seems like it would be hard to survive in that environment in that condition. Or even one of those conditions. Old. Blind. Stuck in a chair. Hard to defend yourself against prison rape.

I'm completely and totally against the death penalty. The idea of it makes me physically ill. I have no problem with the idea of hunting someone down and shooting them vigilante style, but strapping them to a table and killing them? It reminds me of the hunting clubs that Dick Cheney and his pals go to. The ones where they release a bunch of birds into a cage and then the VP and his buddies shoot them with automatic rifles. It's so calculated and cold. I don't really get it as a punishment or a version of gun sport.

I do however support euthanasia, or mercy killing, just not in this case. No. To me it seems like in this case the proper punishment would've been to let that bad man sit there getting older in his wheelchair, unable to see anything, helpless to the whims of his fellow prisoners. It seems like universal justice was being meted out as I would imagine incontinence was right around the corner.

I'm not sure what exactly the point of the death penalty is when it's a reprieve from a life worse than death.

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