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Another Death Penalty Case in South Dakota

Are we in for another long and drawn-out death penalty case in South Dakota? That remains to be seen.

A jury in Sioux Falls has recommended capital punishment for James McVay for the July 2011 death of Maybelle Schein, and the defendant has admitted to his crime.

Now, I think I’ve said before that I’m not particularly bloodthirsty, and to be honest, the idea of capital punishment sickens me.

But at the same time, murder sickens me. And if you are categorically opposed to the death penalty in any and all circumstances, I understand that.

For the most part, I am, too. But take a look at this situation:

By all accounts, Maybelle Schein was a really good person, and McVay picked her out at random. He chose her so he could kill her, steal her car and get started on his way to Washington, DC, where in his mind he was going to kill President Obama.

I don’t need to go into details to say this was as cold-blooded as murder can be, regardless of what McVay might have said.

Usually in death penalty cases there are appeals after appeals, all designed so we can be assured an innocent man is not being put to death (this has happened in South Dakota, albeit many, many years ago).

Will there be appeals? I don’t know, of course, but as I said before, this is a man who has admitted to his crime. And if we as a society are levying the death penalty, we’d better be sure of it.

So we will all see how this plays out. But as it does, let’s not forget Maybelle Schein.

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