Death Row shouldn’t mean life in prison
“There is no right to kill people who are doing their duty or minding their own business or children who are innocent in every way. Those are the people who perished in Oklahoma City. And those who claim such rights are wrong and un-American.”
—President Bill Clinton
I am an angry, Caucasian male.
Some in the peanut gallery would define me as racist because of my race and gender.
I would tend to disagree.
On that note, you should perhaps hear of the plight of one William Patrick Castillo. A Caucasian male—his surname notwithstanding—approximately aged 34. Castillo is on the Silver State’s death row—as it were.
I say, “as it were,” in that this man, who committed a heinous crime at the age of 22, is still alive after more than a decade availing himself of free housing, food, medical care and an ample supply of lawyers—all at taxpayer expense.
Allow me to elaborate. Or more to the point, I shall perhaps just be, ah, gauche.
As of this writing, Castillo is scheduled to die by lethal injection for the 1995 murder of a retired, 86-year-old, Las Vegas teacher with a tire iron. (At this juncture, I feel it utterly insane to illustrate the point any further: A 22-year-old male with a tire iron; and an 86-year-old, sleeping female. Violence. Get the picture?)
Comically enough, however, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty has asked the state to delay the execution, apparently in furtherance of said comic relief.
As I understand it, evidence of Castillo’s “troubled childhood” was indeed presented at his trial. He was a runaway at age 9 and charged with attempted murder and arson by age 15. He’d used marijuana, speed, cocaine and alcohol and been emotionally and physically abused, and came from a dysfunctional family.
Although, it is not like the rest of us screw-ups butchered an 86-year-old sleeping woman.
So sayeth the editors of the local metropolitan daily in a recent editorial: “The issue right now is whether lethal injection is an appropriate method for executing prisoners.”
Mr. Shakespeare was wrong about killing all the lawyers. They should perhaps start with some editors.
Forgive me here: A sterile needle is not the “appropriate” method of dispensing with vermin?
Apparently, I must revisit my P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) teachings.
Just for giggles, at http://vadp.org, I found this from the good people of Virginia:
“Torture and the death penalty are never an expiation but simply the most primitive and criminal mode of revenge and personal satisfaction of primitive, criminal, irresponsible and unreasonable humans, whose intelligence quotient and humaneness rests far below those of the delinquent being tortured or sent from life to death for his wicked deed.”
I will admit that I may be primitive, but I am at heart all about helping those I care about. (Perhaps you might invite one of these people—like Castillo—into your homes?)
You will also note that on Sept. 13, 1994, the former president signed a crime bill making dozens of federal crimes subject to the death penalty.
This perhaps brings the whole thing full circle. It seems that liberal Bill and I have more in common in our thinking than I would have imagined.