Today the State of Alabama, on behalf of its citizens, will strap convicted murderer Walter Leroy Moody to a table, stick a needle in his arm and then pump a series of poisons into his bloodstream until he’s dead.
This is wrong for all sorts of reasons.
First, if you support the death penalty, then lethal injection is hardly retribution (it’s painless) and it’s not much of a deterrence (it’s hidden from view). It may be justice in a procedural sense, but killing someone is usually about more than just law enforcement.
Second, if you’re against the death penalty, the citizens don’t have to face the reality of what their state is doing (again, it’s hidden) nor the gruesomeness of the act (again, it’s painless and oddly sterile).
That’s why, for these reasons and more, the State of Alabama should bring back public executions — hangings, firing squads or even the guillotine.
That would sure focus our minds a bit more on what’s happening, like it or not.
The man being put to death today is guilty. Moody used pipe-bombs in 1989 to murder U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Vance Sr. of Mountain Brook and civil rights attorney Robert E. Robertson of Georgia. Vance’s wife was also seriously injured in the blast.
Moody is a convicted domestic terrorist and a murderer, no different than those we’ve locked up at Git’mo. He not only murdered our fellow citizens, he attacked our nation by targeting its justice system. Case closed.
Alabamians overwhelmingly support the death penalty for such crimes. I didn’t even need to cite any polls or surveys to write that — it’s self-evident.
And while our Christian faith teaches that God will forgive Moody for his sins, our human need for retribution will demand execution just as our human need for mercy will seek commutation.
But as long as we’re “administering capital punishment” behind closed doors in dystopian “Giver”-like sterility, neither cause will be served.
So, Alabama … get a rope.