Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Counting the wrong thousand

Recently I learned that Kenneth Lee Boyd could become the 1000th murderer executed since 1977, when capital punishment was reinstated. I’ve given the issue of capital punishment serious thought over the past few years and publicly shared some of my thoughts about this issue on occasion. Death penalty foes and the media have focused on a grim statistic, one that demonstrates their confusion about the issue in general. My point here is that they are counting murderers as if they are some kind of victim.

The statistics that persons who advocate against the death penalty often fail to acknowledge are the lives of innocent victims who died at the hands of these condemned/executed inmates. I found the following information on the Internet:


1977 - 1997 Executions





1998 Executions



1999 Executions



2000 Executions



2001 Executions



2002 Executions



2003 Executions



2004 Executions





It’s easy to see that there is an average of nearly two victims per murderer or inmate who gets executed. Another statistic that death penalty foes fail to acknowledge is that 100% of these condemned inmates were guilty of the capital murders they were executed for.

I don’t make a point of attending death penalty related rallies or protests. Persons like me who support capital punishment are not “bloodthirsty” or vengeful. We only expect that the law be carried out to its fullest (so that the innocent might be better protected). Death penalty protests are usually held or organized by persons who have some tie to condemned inmates. Such persons are quick to equate convictions with executions or an acquittal with actual innocence. There is no sense in trying to reason with such persons. Many of these rallies are attended by students whose knowledge of the judicial system comes from fictional works such as “Dead Man Walking”, “The Green Mile” or the “The Fugitive”. They’ve already made up their minds. Their motivations are often very selfish or narrow minded. They are there to dance for the cameras, to court the media and each other.

I would consider going to Central Prison on the night of an execution. I wouldn’t join the protesters in the parking lot though. I sent Warden Polk an email a while back requesting to be a witness for the state if space were made available. I have my own reasons for supporting capital punishment and if I were asked to attend an execution it would be to confirm my beliefs about this subject. I doubt it would change my perspective much though.

There don't seem to be any questions of guilt in Boyd’s case, he’s admitted to the murders. It seems like a slam dunk in terms of an execution this time. To my knowledge, family members of the victims support this sentence. I plan to send a letter to Governor Easley supporting the execution of this double murderer today.