Thursday, June 17, 2010
Utah Execution is a Barbaric and Cowardly Act
Draper, UT—I visited the prison here several years ago on an adoption matter. It’s a clean appearing seemingly well run institution for men that have done vile and horrible things. Many are dangerous career criminals housed there that should never be set free until they’re too old to hurt anyone.
After midnight tonight Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49 is going to be escorted to and strapped into a chair and five men will fire .30 Caliber Winchester rifles at a small target on his chest.
Gardner’s crime was a despicable act. He was convicted of capital murder 25 years ago for the 1985 fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt. He was desperate and 24 years-old back then.
It’s disturbing to me that an entire quarter of a century has passed. That much time would change anyone. There is no evidence since that mad act that indicates he’d re-offend or not find a peaceful way to somehow serve society even if it was behind bars. Killing Gardner now is almost like killing Peter for Paul’s crime.
Gardner made quite an exhaustive appeal to the pardon board. It served no purpose and was a total waste of breath.
Gardner can’t be blamed for the 25 year appeal process since he did not create it. I can’t help but to believe that the freakish delay and half of Gardner’s life was spent dreading his own killing at the hands of the government. At some point this should qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.
Gardner sat on Death Row for so long he watched young prison guards grow old and retire while he was waiting to die or get a commutation. That certainly qualifies as “hard time”.
I guess this execution is raw vengeance in its purest form. Taking a captive human to a death chamber is in itself a disgusting act. Being part of this kind of barbarism carries the mark of Cain. There are no heroes here.
I oppose the death penalty not because people don’t deserve that fate but because no government should have the power to kill their own citizens. Every government on earth will abuse that power sooner or later. I have no qualms about killing in legitimate self defense or defense of another.
As for Gardner he’s about to cease to exist or cross over to the “other side” if you believe there is one. One thing for sure his earthly tormentors can punish him no more.