Friday, April 19, 2013

IS EXECUTION CLOSURE? Of course.

IS EXECUTION CLOSURE? Of course.
Dudley Sharp

Closure and support of the death penalty are very different things. 100% of capital murder survivors can support the death penalty, with 0% finding that do not get emotional/psychological closure from it, as reality, closely, reflects.

I know many survivors in murder cases.  0% find emotional/psychological closure, with any sanction.

No one expects that type of closure. Why would they? Their loved ones were unjustly murdered and the murderer is justly sanctioned.



For those who have lost loved ones to murder, the execution or other death of the murderer(s) brings three types of closure.
1) Sparing Innocents. The trauma of losing a loved one to murder is horrific. Survivors do not want anyone else to face that. The closure of execution is that it is the only sanction which guarantees that the murderer cannot murder or, otherwise, harm, again. It is a call for mercy. Living murderers do harm and murder, again. Executed ones do not. Obvious. 
Survivors want there to be no chance of more innocents being murdered or otherwise harmed. Execution is the only guarantee. 
Those opposing execution are willing to chance more innocents harmed. They are willing not to close that future harm.
2) Justice. The survivors find that execution is the most just sanction and when the execution takes place, justice has been served, a claim confirmed by the jury, which imposed the sanction. Such is the same for all survivors or victims in any cases where the survivors and victims approve of the sanction, whether execution or other.
3) Chapter. All survivors/victims are different and have different paths that they must follow. For many, it is going through various stages, which can be described as chapters in a book, chapters which differ as they go through their lives. The execution/sanction is the closing of the legal chapter.

Emotional/psychological closure

The confusion with "closure" is when some imply that execution or other death 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 or other death could bring that type of closure. How could it? No punishment can, nor is that the intention or expectation.


No one, other than the clueless, would expect that type of closure.Their loved ones were unjustly murdered, often with torture, and the murderer is justly sanctioned.


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."



Does anyone believe that rape victims have "all-of-a-sudden" emotional/psychological closure because their rapist is justly sanctioned? Of course not. It's absurd and lacks all empathy.
All violent crime victims and survivors of those murdered travel different paths in healing with some, tragically, finding little and, others, rising, powerfully, like a phoenix from the ashes and everything in between.
Do any survivors, ever, leave behind all emotional, psychological trauma from such violence? I don't know but doubt it and think it would be, exceedingly, rare.
Do we think that any sanction would magically, "all-of-a-sudden" erase all emotional, psychological harm from rapes and murders? Of course not.
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.

Some cases.


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).


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NOTE: The unjust, cruel delays are, in large part, the fault of irresponsible judges, who should be condemned. Virginia, since 1976, has executed 113 murderers, within 7 years of full appeals, on average. How? Responsible management.
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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 
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"(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).

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"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)

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“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)

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Wendy Cadwalader's daughter, 20 year old Carrie Martin, was murdered in 2004. Her murderer, serving life, died, in prison, January 2020.

Wendy: “I honestly now feel closure. I cannot explain the feeling that took over my body. It’s like a relief. It’s done. I don’t have to worry about more appeals or seeing him again in court,” Cadwalader said. “I feel awful saying this because he has a family, too. In all honesty, his family were just as much victims as we were. My heart goes out to them. But, for me, it’s a relief.”  

While she feels closure, Cadwalader knows (the murderer's) death won’t ever end the despair she feels over the loss of her beloved daughter. “It’s not bringing Carrie back by no means." 

Visiting Carrie's grave, “I told her she could rest in peace now."

("Woman Finds Closure in Death Of Man Who Killed Her Daughter", Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice, Januart 3, 2020, https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/woman-finds-closure-in-death-of-man-who-killed-her-daughter-1.2578619 )

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