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Friday, May 13, 2005
Finally, the state of Connecticut has decided that enough was enough. Michael Ross, one of the state's most notorious serial killers, was executed via lethal injection at 2:25 am today. Here's a link to the Courant's coverage of the execution.
There has been a lot of handwringing and navel-gazing in the area, which is prone to view capital punishment as an unnecessary evil. The fact that it has been 45 years since an execution in New England, and the fact that Ross was convicted and sentenced to death 21 years ago attest to that. Talk radio was full of opinions from both sides of the debate, but the ones that particularly caught my attention were of those individuals who actually cried over the extermination of this individual.
Let it be said that in many, if not most instances, the death penalty is not the appropriate punishment. And let it also be said that the appellate process, while lengthy, is a necessary mechanism for making sure that an innocent person is not executed. However, in the case of Michael Ross, neither of these axioms apply. Take this item, for example, from the Courant:
Ross was a 25-year-old insurance agent in June 1984 when he confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing young women over a three-year period. His victims ranged in age from 14 to 25. "They were dead as soon as I saw them," he said in a 1994 interview.
Eight victims. All young women. All raped and murdered. Don't tell me this personification of evil didn't deserve this fate.
Another astounding statement comes from public defender Thomas J. Ullmann:
"It's just that they're shocked this is really happening. To me, as a human being, I feel I have an obligation to be here and help out. We know we're on the right side of this issue. To say that it's the law - well, so was slavery at one time. This is another human rights issue and eventually, we will prevail."
Slavery? There is a stark difference in the lynching of innocent human beings and the execution of cold-blooded killers. Nothing about human bondage and exploitation was right. Even if you disagree with me about the merits of capital punishment, this comparison is hyperbolic at best, and disingenuous at worst.
I believe one of the victims' relatives, Robert Baribeault III, said it best:
"His death will give us some closure, but will never bring back the lives he has taken," Baribeault said. "There will always be an open wound in the hearts of the families and friends who knew and love these young ladies. To Michael Ross, may you rot in hell."
All I can add is that it's about time this ordeal has come to an end.
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