I followed the Jody Arias trial closely. Her testimony struck me as the height of disingenuousness. She remembered shooting Travis Alexander alright, claiming he was trying to kill her. “The gun went off” she said about her first volley, denying any connection between conscious thought and pulling the trigger. As for stabbing her lover and moving his body, that she couldn’t remember. Getting rid of the gun? Her mind was blank on that too. Evil conniving little you-know-what. If it hadn’t been for a conversation with TTAG contributor and combat medic Jonathan Taylor, I would be bitching about the fact that Arias avoided the death sentence for her heinous deed and inability to admit her true nature to the world . . .
“I’ve seen a lot of people die,” the Bronze Star recipient said as we drove up to Georgetown to check-up on STI. “Up close and personal. I’ve seen people go fighting it until the last second and I’ve seen people go peacefully. I’ve also seen a state execution.”
“It was . . . nothing,” he said. “No emotion. Nothing.”
I kinda understood where he was coming from, but I wasn’t convinced. Who cares what kind of send-off a convicted murderer got? At least the victims’ family and friends got some satisfaction, albeit in an Old Testament kinda way.
“There was no closure,” Jon said, shaking his head. “And there’s also the fact that we’ve put to death people who were innocent of the crime they were convicted of. But that’s not it. The whole thing was bureaucratic . . . I’m just not comfortable with the government being into the business of killing its own people.”
That did it. At the tender age of 55, in a single instant, I switched from being pro-death penalty to anti. As a Jew whose grandparents were exterminated by the Nazis, a man whose father barely survived as a slave laborer for the regime; as a gun owner who knows all too well what the antis would do given their head, I too don’t want to see the government get comfortable with killing people.
Neither Jonathan nor I nor millions of us would think twice about shooting and perhaps killing anyone who posed an imminent credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to ourselves, our family and innocent life. But should the State have the ability to execute those it considers a danger to society? No thanks. Not anymore.