My Word for June 9, 2001

Considering the fact I'm sitting in front of the federal death chamber, I probably ought to say something about the death penalty.

I'm for it. If somebody like Tim McVeigh kills 168 people, and expresses no remorse, saying it was his intention to kill some children ... I think that he chose his own punishment. What's good enough for 19 children is plenty good for McVeigh.

What about all of the others on death row around the country? Are we all less human, as the Europeans would have us believe, if we kill people who kill people?

The answer is no.

You didn't do anything wrong in supporting the death penalty. If McVeigh hadn't killed people, he wouldn't be facing the death penalty.

If the Europeans think they are now a more advanced civilization because they put a killer in jail for life ... fine.
But I bet the Europeans don't have to endure the killing sprees of Texas or California or Florida.

What do you do with so many people who think it's okay to kill someone? Texas has a lot of those people. Evidently, the Europeans think Texans should let them stack up in jails like cordwood, and just go on feeding them, and paying their cable TV bills until they die in jail.

If they're going to die in jail anyway, why not now? Why wait? Why should anybody care if a killer lives?

Some people do have religious or moral beliefs that preclude them from participating, and that's fine. The rest of us will shoulder the cosmic responsibility of ordering the end of life for someone like McVeigh.

There's one caveat.

We ought not execute anybody unless it is absolutely certain, beyond any doubt, that the person being killed actually did the killing.

McVeigh meets the test.

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