Hot Potato: Food for Thought
This Won't Hurt a Bit
The Happy Families
1997 August 20

The family and friends of a victim whose killer has been sentenced to death often speak of a desire for closure in the loss of their loved one. To seek closure in the death of another is grotesque.

In the years and decades it takes to put someone to death, the wounds are reopened each time the execution is scheduled. The survivors would probably deal better with their grief and get on with their lives sooner if they knew that the killer would spend the rest of his days in jail without possibility of parole.

Some years ago, a friend of mine discovered that his stock broker had defrauded him. Confronted with this discovery, the broker shot my friend. The killer was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life without parole. My friend was an only child, much loved by his parents. They were satisfied by the life sentence and relieved that their son's killer was not to be put to death. As soon as the trial was over, the whole terrible affair was for them concluded and they were able to get on with salvaging what remained of their lives.

Is it healthy to harbor for years an urge to witness an execution?

  E-mail ©
Site Map