Friday, April 19, 2013


Dudley Sharp

For those who have lost loved ones to murder, the execution of the murderer definitely brings closure.

The execution is closure to the legal process, whereby execution is the most just sanction available for the crime and the family is relieved that the murderer is dead and can no longer harm another innocent - a very big deal.

It is the closure of justice.

The confusion with "closure" is when some imply that execution can bring psychological or emotional closure to the devastation suffered by the murder victim's loved ones.

I know of no victim survivor who believes that execution could bring that type of closure. How could it? No punishment can, nor is that the intention.

The concept of emotional "closure" via execution is, often, a fantasy perpetrated by anti death penalty folks, just so they can denounce it, with a talking point, as in: "Those supporting capital punishment claim that closure is a major reason to support the death penalty - but there is no closure."

When pro death penalty folks state that the death penalty brings closure, I think they are, equally, in error, except in the stated context.

Do you know of any murder victim survivor who says that their emotional or psychological pain was closed once the murderer was executed? Me neither. And I have known a lot of them.

There is no balancing of the scales, here. There is no comparing the unjust taking of an innocent life by a guilty murderer and the just taking of that murderer's life.

Murder victim "Mary Bounds' daughter, Jena Watson, who watched the execution, said Berry's action deprived the family of a mother, a grandmother and a friend, and that pain will never go away."

"We feel that we have received justice," she said Wednesday after the execution. "There's never an end to the hurt from a violent crime. There can never fully be closure. You have to learn to do the best you can. Tonight brings finality to a lot of emotional issues."

Ina Prechtl, who lost her daughter Felecia Prechtl. to a rape /murder said, after watching Karl Chamberlain executed: "One question I ask myself every day, why does it take so long for justice to be served?" It took 17 years for the execution (both the above from "Texas executes 1st inmate since injection lull", 6/11/2008, MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press Writer, HUNTSVILLE, Texas).


Dr. Willam Petit, Jr., whose wife Jennifer, daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, suffered through torture, being burned alive and murdered, in a home invasion, stated: "It’s helpful that justice has been served with an appropriate verdict (the death penalty). I don’t think there’s ever closure. I think whoever came up with that concept is an imbecile. . . . many of you know it who have lost a parent or a child or a friend, there’s never closure. There’s a hole… it’s a hole with jagged edges and over time the edges may smooth out a little bit, but the hole in your heart and the hole in your soul is still there. So there’s never closure." Dr. Petit was nearly beaten to death in the same attack.
"Suffering has no redemptive value", By SHMULEY BOTEACH The (Bergen) Record, November 18, 2010 

"(Kidnap/rape/murder victim) Cheryl Payton's sister, Susan Payton, said, "On this (execution) day, we're uncertain that you could define today as closure. It is like a chapter in a book that you just read the next chapter and you hope that the next chapter might be better" ( "Victim’s Family Reacts To Execution", by Steve Alexander, WKRG, Mobile News, Alabama, May 27, 2010).


"There may not be closure today. I think there is peace," said Judge Brendon Sheehan said, after the execution of his father's murderer. ("Judge Says 'No Closure' After Execution of Father's Killer" By Bill Sheil, Fox 8 I-Team Reporter, Cleveland, Ohio, February 18, 2011)


“Right now, it's a feeling more of relief . . . there's a little more closure for the whole family. I wanted that closure.”  Mary Ann McEntee, mother of Holly Washa, a rape/torture/murder victim, upon hearing of her daughter's murderer's execution.

"She said thousands of dollars in tax money was wasted in the past 19 years to house, feed and clothe Brown."

"Over the next 36 hours, Washa was tortured and raped in a Seattle motel"  "Brown was arrested four days later in California, after a brutal rape and knife attack on a 33-year-old woman in a hotel there. That victim lived to call 911."  ("Relief found in killer's execution", John Ferak, (Omaha) WORLD-HERALD, September 15, 2010, 6:14 am)

Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims