To Kill or Not to Kill

This 200th post is a controversial one.

Last week’s coverage on the lethal injection execution of the Washington Area sniper John Allen Muhammad featured an interview by Larry King with Bob Meyers, whose brother Dean was shot and killed by Mohammad in 2002.  Meyers witnessed Mohammad’s execution, and while one might expect someone in Meyers’ position to have an ‘eye for an eye’ mentality, he voiced a different opinion saying the entire situation filled him with sadness. 

Another witness, Nelson Rivera, whose wife Lori Ann Lewis was among the shooting victims, said he was glad to watch Mohammad die, as it meant Mohammad could not hurt anyone else.

Another woman interviewed outside of the prison on the night of the execution voiced her opinion that perhaps the condemned killer should have been kept alive and locked away so society could study him and better understand what makes killers like him tick.

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Canada does not support the death penalty, having abolished it in 1976, so any conversation and debates Canadians have on the topic are just that – conversations and debates.  We do not put people to death as punishment for their crimes, and I do not see that changing at any time in the near future. 

But it still makes me think – should we keep the Dalmers and the Bundy’s alive in order that we may study them under the microscope like a sample in a petri-dish? 

I’m not sure it can be done.  Look at Canada’s Clifford Olsen.  He is serving a life sentence for the early 1980’s murders of two children and eleven youths. 

What have we learned from him?

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