TEN BY TEN FOR LIFE
What purpose does the death penalty
serve other than giving first degree murderers an easy way out?
If you've ever had a surgical procedure you know the drill. Dressed in a
nightgown open at the back, you're propped up comfortably on a gurney with
metal struts on each side that will keep you from rolling off once you're
sedated. A surgical nurse will insert a catheter into the skin just above your
wrist. This tube will serve to deliver anesthetic as well as keep you hydrated
during and after the operation.
The first concoction of chemicals slides effortlessly down the tube of the
catheter and into your bloodstream. Whatever it is it chills you out. It
relaxes you and alleviates any anxiety you may have regarding the operation. It
makes you chatty and happy until it begins to soothe your fears, leaving you a
bit dopey and out of it. Then you're wheeled into the operating suite where a
team of medical assistants are gathered to assist your surgeon. There may even
be music coming out of speakers mounted somewhere in the room. You can't see
them because you're flat on your back watching the bustle of surgical masks and
eyeballs hovering over you.
Then the doctor, or the surgical nurse, will say bye-bye as the juice that puts
you under is administered into the catheter. This stuff puts you away with a
velvet sledge hammer. No human being stays awake for more than just a few
This same technique is used to put the condemned to death, except that instead
of waking up they go nighty-night forever.
Isn't death a much easier departure than spending the rest of your life locked
up in a ten by ten foot cage for twenty three hours a day with only sixty
seconds to exercise and unwind? If anything is effective in deterring first
degree murder this would seem to be the most punishing. Frankly, I'd lose my
mind no matter how many mantras I chanted. The thought of being locked up
forever would certainly keep me from intentionally plotting to extinguish
anyone's fragile mortality.
If you consider the death penalty to be the ultimate deterrent to murder, think
again. The nineteen year old accomplice in the Boston Marathon bombings, given
the expected longevity of his generation, could spend the next sixty one
maddening years of his life all by himself instead of in the company of
others. That, it seems to me, is far more horrifying than a hasty exit into