Last night the State of Texas murdered Ricky Lynn Lewis. The government felt the need to exact blood in the name of revenge - and they got their wish.
Strangely enough, George Newman, the man he was accused of killing, didn't come back to life following the ritualized murder. The killing didn't cause the memories from that evening back in 1990 to be erased from Connie Hilton's head, either.
Yes, I know it's a tired refrain, but nothing was accomplished in Huntsville on Tuesday night. Maybe Professor Thane Rosenbaum is happy because the government exacted an eye-for-an-eye - well, except that the victim was too dead to enjoy the act of revenge.
The death penalty is not a deterrent to anything. Most of the people on death row didn't plan their crimes. They just kind of happened. They didn't sit down and weigh the benefits of committing the crime against the cost of being strapped down and poisoned.
I find it ironic that we're outraged that a sharia court in Saudi Arabia decided that a man should be paralyzed because he caused another man to become paralyzed years ago. We're outraged that an Iranian court ordered a man to be blinded with acid because that's what he did to a woman.
Tell me, Professor Rosenbaum, what's the difference between those sentences and the death penalty? What makes their punishments barbaric and ours noble? More to the point, if we have decided as a society that it is wrong to take the life of another, what makes what the State of Texas did last night any different from the crime Mr. Lewis was convicted of?