I am pro-death penalty. I think there are some people who simply deserve to die for their heinous acts. I also understand the argument that there is no true certainty in the criminal justice system and there should therefore be no death penalty. One innocent person executed is one too many. That’s for another blog.
That is not the issue that troubles me today with regards to the Ronnie Lee Gardner execution. I am comfortable the right man was sitting in the firing squad chair. I am troubled by the fact that witnesses saw him move after the bullets entered his body. Did he suffer? Who knows. Could have been normal body reactions to such trauma. That is not the point. The point is that any thought that this cruel murderer may have suffered and died by bleeding out in his last moments churns at my stomach and soul. I don’t know why. Is compassion for even the worst of society a bad thing? I am not sure how that defines me. It reminded me of a scene from Monsters Ball where the prison guard played by Heath Ledger vomited during the transfer of the condemned man to the electric chair. The head guard played by Billy Bob Thornton attacked him for ruining the man’s “last walk”. Regardless of the heinous nature of that man’s humanity and viciousness of crime, he was entitled to as much peace as a human being in civilized society can have during those last moments in life. This of course is not a movie. Randy Lee Gardner is dead. In my opinion justice was served. I am just not sure my sense of humanity was.