Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

Death for one, life for the other...

I'm thankful that I could be able to ignore the trials of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the media dubbed beltway snipers. Even though, as determined in a court of law and by the preponderance of facts, they were involved with the shooting two miles away from my domicile (the shooting that Malvo was convicted of in the court trial that has ended, of which he recieved life in prison), I guess I am thankful that that murder spree that occurred last year has receded back into the general dissonant background chords of unease that has come with life since the big terrorism attacks back on the idylic day of September 11th, 2001. No one I knew died, and that twist of fate is all that has prevented me from being consumed by those men. The victims and their relatives did not have such a luxury

Muhammad was sentenced to death. Malvo was sentenced to life without parole. Neither case is over. Appeals and more appeals will be filed. Malvo will probably be tried in other states where he is connected to a murder, where he could still get a death sentence out of it.

On a level, I can understand the disappointment of the victims, most of whom expressed outrage that a killer is set free. (No he wasn't, but I can't imagine outrage would be greater if Malvo was found not guilty, or not guilty by insanity.) One made mention of his fear that Malvo may escape to kill again. This is a boy who with John coldly and nonchalantly terminated the lives of strangers who were simply living life.

But I think that it is best that he is locked up in prison for the rest of his life. Not because I don't doubt he deserves to die, but death seems to be a too easy end for him. I'm living in the naive belief that waking up every day in the pen with the realization that you have no future, and realizing that you do anything to escape the endless days of this realization is a more fitting punishment. And if that even leads to a feeling of self-interested remorse, it'll be a far better punishment than a year or three of blanking his mind to the deeds and death until they finally inject the poison in his veins. Of course, maybe I'm wrong in how he will react to life in prison. He could just possibly deaden his mind and just accept his lot as the way things are, with no future ambition to anything. And if that is so, then he is dead already.

That said, I hode no such hope for Muhammad. As the nature of these things are, he is no longer redeemable at all. He lost his mind, and his humanity to his grievances... to his hatred of his his hatred of all those around him... and his ability to corrupt those around him. I see no reason to hold out hope for his redemption. Unchristian, yes, but it is how I feel. He doesn't deserve life.
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