Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Verdict in the Malvo case

The Washington Post reports that Jurors Spare Malvo Death Sentence . While I think that the crimes committed by the two men were horrendous, and while I know that they terrorized the entire D.C. Metro area (I remember talking to friends and relatives in the area during that time, and recall how frightened everyone was: dashing through parking lots to carry out normal, daily activities, afraid to be outside for even a moment longer than necessary), I am relieved that the jury did not impose the death sentence.

I'm not particularly sympathetic to Malvo, even though, as this article points out, his appearance is very youthful, and he had a troubled, unstable upbringing. Many people have such upbringings - may people have worse. He was directly involved in the taking of human lives, and he should face consequences as decided by a jury of peers.

People who commit horrible crimes should certainly be punished, but no one should have the power to decide if another human dies, and no group of twelve ordinary citizens should be pressured to make such a decision, one which will be with them for the rest of their lives.

My two cents, as a longtime D.C. Metro resident who still has family in the area, and as a current resident of a state in which the reinstitution of the death penalty has been seriously considered by elected officials in the last few months. Look at all the other countries that have outlawed the death penalty: why is it commonly accepted that the death penalty is inhumane in many other parts of the world, but here in the U.S., it's still and accepted form of punishment?

- posted by laurie @ 12/23/2003 03:26:00 PM
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