The Corner

Conservatives and The Death Penalty

From a reader:

JUDGE: It is the sentence of this Court that you serve no less than 75 years and no more than 125 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

DEFENDANT: But Your Honor I don’t think I can do that much time.

JUDGE: Then you do as much as you can.

Dear Jonah,

That was an actual exchange between a judge in Wayne County Circuit Court and a defendant being sentenced for second-degree murder. As a prosecutor in Detroit who has first-chaired 25 murder trials, I find it appalling that so many people are now trying to give martyr-status to someone as devious and just plain evil as Stanley Williams. As a conservative, I am not in favor of the death penalty. I suppose some of that belief is based on my Catholic upbringing. But it is also based on exactly what we are witnessing with the very vocal fringe left wing.

When it comes to the punishment phase of any adjudication, it pains me to see how the focus of the matter changes from the suffering of the victim to the impending discomfort of the felon. In a state like Michigan, at least that bizarre-o-world view is short lived. The felon gets a lengthy sentence, the surviving victims get some sense of closure (hopefully), and justice is served. And after a short time, everyone forgets about the criminal that committed such a heinous act in the first place.

If people want a death penalty, then so be it. But there is something to be said for caging an animal until his time runs out. I like how Michigan handles its most dangerous felons (for the most part). And I especially like the judge who had those words of wisdom for that murderer.

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