Scott Peterson gets the death penalty — that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
No question Peterson is a sociopath (search), a man with no feeling for anyone other than himself. The jury stared at him for months and decided he did not deserve to live after they convicted him of killing his wife and unborn son on Christmas Eve. This was a pure vengeance play, and you can understand it. Peterson had no excuse. As Laci's mother said, he could have gotten a divorce.
Obviously, emotions ran high in this case.
Laci's stepfather said this after the death penalty was delivered by the judge:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON GRANTSKI, LACI PETERSON'S STEPFATHER: Scott got what he deserved. We're fortunate we have this law that we have. It's a double murder. He killed our grandson and our daughter. Every state should have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Again, vengeance pure and simple, and, for many Americans, justice. Even though I don't believe in the death penalty, if it is the law, it should be considered. That's how our system works.
Last night, I criticized Atlanta D.A. Paul Howard (search) for refusing to immediately seek death for Brian Nichols after he murdered four people last week. Howard's obligation is to seek the maximum penalty allowed by Georgia law: death. That's his duty as a public servant.— His personal view should not be a factor.
Now Scott Peterson is 32 years old. He faces decades of appeals in California, which rarely executes anyone. A better penalty, in my opinion, for Peterson would be a lifetime of hard labor and banishment. He should suffer every day as Laci's family will suffer. Giving Peterson a sedative and a needle is the easy way out for him, although, again, it's not likely to happen.
"Talking Points" wants to deter other Scott Petersons, wants to punish killers and rapists in a way that would discourage those crimes. Decades of hard labor would do that. A five-minute lethal injection — I don't know.
But it's a moot point. Peterson will sit in prison for years appealing everything. The ACLU (search) will protect his rights. He'll get fan mail and might even have some fun. That's the state of justice and vengeance in America today.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
The Associated Press is reporting that Michael Jackson (search) is receiving advice from Jesse Jackson (search) on both spiritual and personal issues. Earlier in the case, Jackson was getting advice from the Nation of Islam. Now he's going to Christian route. Jackson says he's a Jehovah's Witness. But, if he comes to my house, I will get a big dog.
Otherwise, there really isn't much to say except — all together now — the whole thing is ridiculous.