Monday South Dakota Kills Eric Robert, a thought
Monday night we are going to kill somebody. He is Eric Robert. He wants to die. The man is serving a life sentence for kidnapping. Robert brutally murdered prison guard Ronald Johnson in 2011.
Eric Robert has said if he is allowed to live, he will probably murder again. This man seems to know the demons within, and they control him. To his credit he is not avoiding the punishment handed out by the legal system in South Dakota.
For years I have thought about the death penalty. Is it a deterrent? It is the ultimate old testament "eye for an eye?" It is cruel and unusual to stick drugs into a person to terminate their existence on the planet? Who benefits when we execute a criminal? How much time and money do we spend to carry out the sentence?
Here is my conclusion: The most horrible punishment would not be death, but to live the rest of life in a small cell isolated from other humans. We are social creatures, being deprived of contact is a just punishment. The cost and time it takes to carry out the death penalty is excessive. Donald Moeller, committed his crime in 1990. He is scheduled to die later this month. That's 22 years ago. Not exactly a speedy sentence. How many appeals and news articles have his victim's family and friends had to endure the past 22 years? How much money has the state and federal prosecutors and defense attorneys had to spend to carry out this sentence?
I think life without parole is the proper sentence for people convicted of horrible crimes. In other words, "lock the door and throw away the key." The criminal and his crime will disappear from public view. The survivors will not have to relive the crime year after year as appeals and stories about the crime are retold. And the criminal and his mind will have to suffer alone with no publicity about his life, no pictures in the paper, no public statements. I think it will save money and allow the survivors to heal from the horror more quickly.
If the criminal decides he can't live alone and wants to die, we should honor his request, as we are doing with Eric Roberts, and now Donald Moeller. They should be allowed to decide the method to be used. Nobody should be allowed to interfere. In other words, our societal hands would be clean. No intense debates, religious, moral, psychological, or criminal. Let the criminal live or die. It's their choice.
Out of sight, out of mind. Over. Done. Gone. .