John Allen Muhammad was put to death on Thursday night in Virginia. He was the man, who with his 17-year old accomplice, terrorized our area for about three weeks. I remember traveling south during that time and not stopping for gas until we were well on the other side of North Carolina; we were that scared. Muhammad and Malvo were finally found not too far from where we live, sleeping in their car.
Some time before this all happened, I met a man who works as a psychiatrist in a prison for the criminally insane. I asked this quiet man with a quick smile what he thought of the death penalty. He answered me quickly and assuredly. "I'm all for it." I was really curious. Wouldn't a psychiatrist understand the gargantuan strength of mental illness and have compassion for its victims?
He said that mental illness aside, he believes that society has the responsibility of protecting its innocents as best it can from predators, those among us who will never be cured, never affect change, but provide a substantial and formidable danger to society. I'd never thought about it that way. I have thought that life in prison is probably more cruel, more unnatural than a lethal injection, but never thought of capital punishment as a means of protection.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.