What in the world is wrong with us? Sandra Cantu, this pretty 8 year old girl, was found stuffed in a suitcase in a dairy pond near her home in Tracy, CA. Her autopsy is scheduled for later today. The grief for her family must be unimaginable. How tragic to lose someone this young and crippling to let thoughts run rampant about her last hours and moments on Earth. As someone that interacted with sex offenders during my years of service in law enforcement I can tell you that this type of deviant is simply the worst among us. To be definitive, there is no cure for the type of animal that did this to an innocent child. Recidivism rates skyrocket and even the touchy-huggy rehabilitation types find no statistics to back their theory of returning "rehabilitated" offenders back into general society.
My view on the death penalty has softened over time. I used to be a member of the "kill them all" chorus. Well publicized mistakes and cases of innocent men and women being convicted and in some cases executed for crimes they didn't commit seems just as dastardly. However, why do we fight so hard to modify laws that would adjust to a sort of legal common sense? Why does it have to be a death penalty versus no death penalty argument exclusively? Can't we modify the death penalty debate to include specificity and absolute knowledge? In other words, if DNA links the suspect to this girl's savage murder, light him up Jack. If eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence convict the suspect beyond a reasonable doubt without DNA, then let it be life in prison. And for you child molesters entering the prison system, don't drop the soap if you get my drift.
It doesn't matter whether or not the death penalty reduces the number of vicious crimes in each respective category or not. The death penalty remains in my eyes as a specific punishment for a specific person for having committed a specific act. Case closed. I've interrogated sex offenders myself and winced with a knot in my stomach while eliciting a confession. They like it, they want to talk about it. You have to rationalize with them and it is as sickening as anything you'll ever sit through. One guy told me about a three year old girl he abused and that she "wanted it." I wanted to tear his throat out with my bare hands. Thankfully I didn't but as I get older I'm happy to say I might handle things with a pipe if given half a chance.
When examining your own thoughts regarding the death penalty's place in society, try not to make it an all or nothing argument. If DNA connects the suspect to a victim scientifically beyond any doubt, it's barbecue or killer cocktail time. If evidence convicts him without the positive link of DNA it's life in prison. The important thing is to keep innocent adults and children safe from roaming predators that serve no benefit to society now or in the future.