Monday, January 24, 2005

A Stay of Execution - For Now

Execution of Michael Ross Postponed.

So he won't die early Wednesday, then, but probably some time in the weeks to come. We'll all hold our breath until then, some praying he'll be spared, others hoping he'll die, and the rest just wishing it would all be over and done with.

It's been agonizing, hasn't it? No one has been executed in New England since 1960, and it isn't something we're taking lightly. We've been debating the death penalty all over the state for months, now. I won't rehash the arguments here, if you're from this country you've heard them.

A lot of people are going to be ashamed of Connecticut after this is done. We're going to feel a little sick. I live only a few miles from the prison in Somers where he'll die, and I've driven past there and thought about what's going to happen inside early on some cold, dark winter morning. It's close to home. It's us, this time, instead of Texas or some other state where this happens every other week, and many of us just aren't comfortable with it, whether we believe in the death penalty or not.

We shouldn't be comfortable. Executing a man isn't a comforting thing. It's something that must be done, perhaps, but heaven forbid we ever get used to it.

Is the death penalty justice, or is it vengeance? Is it a real deterrant to crime or just a distant threat? Are we doing the right thing?

I don't know. But I'm glad we're asking.

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