31 May, 2017 by Charles D. Raby
I have been listening to the news for many years now, and I have heard many people who are in support of the Death Penalty. They always have something to say about their views on it. And during the last few days leading up to, and after the executions of those inmates in Arkansas, I heard one of their attorneys, along with the prosecutor talking; giving different thoughts on the executions. And I heard the prosecutor say he personally had no problem knowing they may suffer while being put to death. Then they took some phone calls, and it was more of the same. “Who cares if they suffer?” “They should suffer”, etc.
But there is something that I never hear mentioned. And that is, let’s turn the tables for a moment and put your child here on Death Row for one of the most god awful crimes you can think of. You know he did it. You know the state is going to kill him, and there is nothing you can say or do about it. As a loving father, mother, brother, sister, friend, whatever, would you want your loved one to lay there knowing they are going to suffer? I mean, be truthful with yourself, would you want them to suffer? It is bad enough knowing that you will see your child die before your very eyes, if you chose to witness it. Do you feel he…or let’s take it a step further…would you want to suffer? Of course not.
I know there are many who will say, “I will never have to worry about that; I raised my son or daughter right.” That may be, and good for you, but I bet every mother and father of those who have been put to death, and those here now, would say the same thing, “I raised my child right, I would have never in my life thought I’d have to witness my child’s death.”
You don’t know what runs through your child’s mind. Did Charles Manson’s family ever think he would turn out that way? Did Jim Jones family think he would have his followers drink poison? Did Jeff Woods’ mom and dad know their son would hang around with someone who went into the store and killed the store clerk while Moods is sitting in the truck; music blaring so loud he didn’t even hear a gun shot? And what about Michael Johnson, who was sentenced to death even though someone else, his ‘friend’ David Vest confessed, saying, “I did then and there shoot and kill Jeffrey Wetterman’. And who by the way, only got 8 years TDCJ time, while Mike Johnson (like Jeff Woods) was sitting in the car.
Or either one of the guys around me. Do you think their parents didn’t raise them right? And their sons, with minds and friends of their own, just one night…a bad night..did something that could never be changed. Do you think that people who have raised good, honest, church going children, ever thought their child would end up on Death Row? Of course not. You are a fool if you think otherwise.
Do you think they like knowing their child (even if they did a bad thing, or in the case of Jeff Woods, just sat in the truck) should have to suffer for a crime that he didn’t even have anything to do with, other than being there listening to the radio, and not knowing what the hell was about to take place? That is insane if you think otherwise.
But of course…we are not your children, fathers, daughters or loved ones; we aren’t even your friends. So what? Do you say it, just to say it? Just for the sake of looking and sounding tough on crime? You say “Oh I don’t care if they have to suffer…who cares?” It is easy to say such a thing. But I bet you Mr. & Mrs. Prosecutor wouldn’t say that, if it was their child here. So why don’t these people who are doing these interviews just make mention of it? “Would you still feel that way, and say that, if it was your loved one laying there, fixing to suffer? Would you really say, and feel that?”