Just in time for Right to Life Month the state of Ohio has executed a man who is accused of some pretty heinous crimes. The whole drama took on the scent of a made for T.V. movie as the pathetic man accused the state prison system of making him obese and, he hoped, making it cruel and inhumane punishment to execute him because the procedure might not work well and painlessly on so much flesh.
Well, be that as it may, it occurred without a hitch, at least not an earthly hitch, and the man is experiencing his eternal consequences whatever they may be. There are two comments in Tuesday’s paper about this death that are deserving of comment. The first concerns his parting words in an article entitled, “Cursing onlookers, Cooey executed.” When the warden asked him if he had anything to say he replied, “ You **** haven’t paid any attention to what I’ve had to say in the past 22 and half years, why are you going to pay attention to what I have to say now?”
Of course, maybe they tried. Who knows? But that lingering comment reminds me of one of the primary reason we are, in general, opposed to the death penalty. As horrible as this man may be, forever now he has lost the chance to redeem his soul. And worse than that is that somebody is responsible for his loss of opportunity. The scriptures said today about others who prevent God’s children from the chance of entering heaven, “This generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you . . . you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” Heavy stuff.
Just as disturbing is the way that it was reported. Painting the man in the most vile terms possible (and arguably justifiably so) it then went to describe the almost pleasant way that he died. “Died peacefully . . . needles inserted gently . . . inserted without difficulty . . . he exhaled with a faint noise . . . and he was dead.” All very clean. All done. We’ve cleaned up the spot on the floor. I find it creepy that there was very little solemnity or notice that a man’s life was taken – even if you believe it was justifiable. Very every life taken lightly the next life is less valuable. I want Cooey’s death to be respected because I want your and my life to be held in high esteem.
Please do not assume because I may be cautious on capitol punishment that I am soft on crime. If someone stole from the parish I would be the first to call the police and persecute (I mean prosecute) to the fullest extent of the law. But (and this may actually sound cruel too I realize) I have always been disappointed in movies where the “bad guys” died in the end. If they die, that’s it. No more punishment. No more consequences (at least in this world). One of the best movies to counter this was “The Shawshank Redemption” where one of the villains who was tormenting our protagonist was so badly injured that he would be in a wheel chair eating his lunch through a straw for the rest of his miserable life. That is punishment. But it would also give him a chance to have a change of heart and soul.
Thanks for reading. This was bothering me and I needed to share. I’m sure not all of you will agree but that is why there is a comment section and a little button above that says, “Start your own blog.” ;)
IN OTHER NEWS:
Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz. (Good job Katherine!)
CPPS Society of the Precious Blood
CSC Congregation of the Holy Cross
CSJ Congregation of Saint Joseph
CSSP Holy Ghost Fathers
MM Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
O de M Mercedarians
OFM Order of Friars Minor (Fransicans)
OSB Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictans)
SJ Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
SM Society of Mary (Marianists)
SSS Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament
FDC Daughters of Divine Charity
HM Sisters of the Humilty of Mary
HMSS Mercidarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
IHM Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
OCD Discalced Carmelite Nuns
OP Sisters of Saint Dominic (Order of Preachers)
OSST Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity
OSU Ursuline Sisters
PCC Poor Clare Nuns
PCPA Poor Cares of Perpetual Adoration
PSDP Little Sisters of the Poor
SC Sisters of Charity
SJSM Sisters of Saint Joseph of Saint Mark
SND Sisters of Notre Dame