I make it no secret that I think the death penalty is awful. Innocent men are sometimes killed. There is racial and economic disparity among those given death as opposed to life sentences. No evidence has proven killing a murderer deters the next criminal.
I worked with inmates for many years, and met some very ugly characters. Some I hope never see the light of day. I can only imagine what the victim's family feels. Those who feel revenge, however, satisfy nothing with their blood thirst. Revenge executions are ethically no different than the honor killings found in the Muslim countries.
Meanwhile, our government is spineless about their own involvement. They shield those doing the killing from the certainty they personally caused another man's death. Back in the day when we would shoot the men, one marksman received blanks, opening the door for doubt. I believe the judge, or governor, should be the one pulling whatever lever transmits the poison into the condemned man, without some post-modern, separated from reality factor tossed in.
Today, I read that one judge has no guts at all. She feared an appeal. Her name is Sharon Keller, pictured on the left. She denied a death row inmate an appeal not because of some legal issue, but because she wanted to close up court. She is blaming her mistakes on a communication break down, but, whatever the reason, I hope she loses her position. Her incompetence shows she is not fit to judge. The blood of Michael Wayne Richard, who may or may not have been guilty, is on her hands.
I suppose she'll go into private practice if she is found guilty of being a blood thirsty judge without scruples. If she is, in fact, guilty of the professional misconduct, I hope she personally apologizes to the family of Mr. Richard, and offers financial restitution. It will not be enough, but, if guilty, she needs to see the pain in the eyes of the one who was murdered by whomever pulled the lever.