Timothy McVeigh is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
Two words — good riddance. McVeigh deserved much worse than he got, and that's why I was against his execution. He got off too light. Even his lawyer admits it.
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ROBERT NIGH, MCVEIGH'S ATTORNEY: He prefers to be executed than to spend lengthy life in prison without the possibility of release.
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Now, Timothy McVeigh did send a powerful message, the killing of him did, no question about it. Some Americans believe the death penalty is a deterrent. Others do not. We'll look at some evidence later in the broadcast. But, talking points believes that McVeigh would have suffered much more had he been sentenced to a life of hard labor. Putting him to death cost the taxpayers around $100 million. Putting him in a military style prison on federal land in Alaska would have cost far less.
Once again, people who commit crimes against humanity, killers, rapists, major drug dealers, major arms dealers should be sentenced to a life of hard labor in prison. These people would be effectively banished from society and forced to work 10 hours a day, six days a week. They would not have TV or computers or phone privileges. Mail would be screened and only a few visitors would be allowed each year. If the prisoners did not cooperate, their food rations would be cut and they would be housed in solitary confinement. Believe me, that kind of punishment would deter violent crime and allow America to escape the moral question of taking a life.
The overwhelming majority of Americans support the death penalty because, as it stands now, our prison system is not nearly punitive enough and most intelligent people know it. Take serial killer Richard Speck, for example. He murdered eight nurses in Chicago and spent 24 years in prison before dying of a heart attack at age 49. But inside prison, Speck took drugs and often dressed up like a woman. He admitted his debauchery on a videotape. Richard Speck should have been chopping rocks in sub freezing temperatures, not getting high on narcotics. If this kind of high profile monster can get away with that kind of stuff inside prison, you know the system is corrupt.
Simply put, America has been far too lenient with violent predators. The McVeighs and Specks of the world deserve to suffer and not just for two minutes. They deserve to suffer until they die a natural death. If real punishment was mandated by our government, I believe many Americans would accept it in place of capital punishment. Our criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul. We cannot allow people who commit crimes against humanity to do what they want in prison. This is just another crime against those who have been victimized.
As for Mr. McVeigh, I'm just glad I'm not where he is right now.
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Guess who's on the cover of this week's TV Guide? Here's a hint. People write him nasty e-mails. Here's another hint. He's one of the most misunderstood people in America. That's right, your humble correspondent is now a cover guy. Look at that.
And my question is, how on earth did this happen?
And the article inside, by Mark Laswell, is actually fun to read. What's going on here? This is an outrage. A good piece about me, that is intolerable and ridiculous! But we like it. Hope you do too.
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