As of this writing, Joshua Komisarjevsky’s final fate — whether or not he’ll get the death penalty for taking part in the brutal murders of Dr. William Petit’s wife and daughters over two years ago — remains unknown. We do know that Komisarjevsky’s partner-in-crime Steven Hayes is already on Death Row, since his murder trial ended almost a year ago. Of course, the real question that many Connecticut residents are asking right now is: will justice be truly served if the killers of Dr. Petit’s family are executed in the near future?
But a far more important question that everybody should be asking is: by executing both Hayes and Komisarjevsky for their violent crimes, will it really send the powerful message — to both Death Row inmates throughout the country and criminals who use death and violence for reasons both dark and delusional — that crime doesn’t pay? For most of our country’s history, the death penalty has been used to not only punish those who’ve committed heinous crimes, but also warn others devoid of conscience and remorse of what might await them should they commit the murders of innocents who mean nothing to their killers. In our country alone, most states have already eliminated capital punishment as a means to punish violent criminals — while a number of states, including Connecticut, continue to use it.
Personally, I’m pro-life and believe that the death penalty shouldn’t decide the final fate of criminals who kill for any and all reasons, even if some of them are twisted. But at the same time, I also believe that the victims murdered by the aforementioned criminals — including Dr. Petit’s family — didn’t deserve to die, partly because they had a lot to live for; executing murderers doesn’t — and will never fully eliminate the personal pain that their victims’ families and friends experience as a result of the violent and (mostly) pointless murders that have existed since Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, an emotion that is (in many respects) pointless, depending on your perspective.
The best — and perhaps only way — to punish those criminals who kill without remorse is to sentence them to life in prison without any hopes of parole (a practice in many states throughout America that’ve long since abolished the death penalty — not to mention many countries around the world), under the watch of vigilant guards and using the latest technology to help insure that the criminals never escape from prison, while giving them a lot to think about. Not to mention regret the profession they chose — one without any benefits, but a lot of consequences. Perhaps someday the rest of the United States will do away with capital punishment for good — a decision that may work to its advantage, and not just in its judicial system (both federal and states). If anything else, it’ll prove that some concepts like capital punishment are more trouble than they’re worth when it comes to punishing murderers. And more importantly, we can prove that justice can prevail — not through execution, but done rationally and with the dignity and wisdom that has helped defined mankind at its finest.
John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons and Chameleons To The Rescue, as well as close to three dozen articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet – to learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (http://jlavernoich2008.web.officelive.com/default.aspx), as well as his pages on Windows Live Spaces(http://cid-ef88d131988ab38f.profile.live.com), Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace(http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), and Twitter(http://twitter.com/JLav65). Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube(http://www.youtube.com/user/JLav65?feature=mhsn).
©2011 John Lavernoich.