So Travis James Mullis will die. Mr. Mullis will be murdered by the State of Texas as the result of his conviction for stomping his 3-month-old to death along the Galveston seawall back in 2008.
But that won't bring back his 3-month-old son. It will satisfy our bloodlust and our need for revenge. It won't fill the holes in the lives of those involved. It will satisfy our desire to be seen as tough on crime. It won't change what happened that night. It will be notch on the belt of Jack Roady, the Galveston County District Attorney.
A jury found Mr. Mullis guilty of capital murder. There was no dispute that Mr. Mullis killed his son. The only issue was intent. Well, Mr. Mullis' videotaped confession to Philadelphia police made that a moot point as far as the jury was concerned.
Mr. Mullis was born into an unhealthy life. He was hospitalized for 71 days as an infant suffering from a disease that destroys the bowel. His mother was morbidly obese with a host of other medical conditions at the time of his birth. She died when he was 10 months old. Mr. Mullis was then adopted by his mother's half-brother.
As a child, Mr. Mullis was molested by his adoptive father until he reached the age of six. Mr. Mullis then turned to molesting young children while he was teenager. He was sent to the Jefferson School in Maryland (where he lived) until the age of 15 when he was discharged right about the same time the insurance benefits ran out.
None of this excuses what Mr. Mullis did on that January night over three years ago. It does make you wonder what was going on in his head that night, though.
In the end the State of Texas will murder a man -- but it won't change a thing.