Maryland, Capital Punishment and the South Carolina Malicious Miscreant
–Richard E. Vatz
Has there ever been a case wherein the perpetrator deserved execution (deserves in fact torture followed by execution) than the human beast who killed 9 innocent people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina?
In these cowardly assassinations against unarmed citizens, he was in his confession to police, as reported by The Washington Post, “unrepentant and unashamed,” and then he reiterated his trite and uninteresting racist views to the officers questioning him.
He also took sadistic delight in the communication of his actions. Good thing Brian Williams is no longer at NBC.
The premeditation was excruciatingly long, with his interacting for a full hour with his intended prey. During the murderous rampage, he reloaded a number of times. Furthermore, according to his roommate, the planning for his evil began a full six months before the criminal act.
The obnoxious delusionary self-importance is there: it has been repeatedly reported that he thought he would start a race war.
In the short term the answer is execution, however long the absurdly lengthy appeals procedure requires.
What if this had happened in Maryland and there were no basis for charging the murderer with a federal offense?
Forget capital punishment – not only is it no longer used in the Free State, it is no longer available to prosecutors since it has been erased from the books.
On many media I – and one time with the Baltimore County States Attorney Scott Shellenberger – have made the argument that eliminating the possibility of the death penalty makes it impossible to appropriately punish monsters like the executioner of the massacre at Charleston. It also makes the plea bargaining start at life without parole and work its way down.
To my knowledge no anti-capital punishment Maryland legislator has even publicly bothered to address these issues. Of course not; the policy can not be justified.
Let’s hope there is a quick dispatch for this odious murderer. It couldn’t happen here – the punishment, not the crime.
Professor Vatz teaches at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall-Hunt, 2013)