This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Criminal Euthanasia

"Why prolong it? The end result's gonna be the same. The death part don't bother me. This has been a long time coming. It's called karma.
"Someone needs to stop it. The only way to stop me is put me on death row. I ain't saying I'm a better person for killing criminals, but I've never killed innocent people. I killed people that's in the same lifestyle as me, and they know, hey, these things can happen.
"I wasn't there as a father and I'm hoping that I can do one last good thing. Hopefully this is a good thing."
Robert Gleason Jr., on death row at Greensville Correctional Center, Va.

If societally advanced countries that eschew the death penalty, yet agree to implement national euthanasia strategies to respect the wishes of the chronically ill, those suffering from dread diseases, in pain and no longer wishing to live, can agree to medically take steps to ease suffering and hasten death, why is that morally superior to agreeing to place a multiple murderer seeking death to stop himself from further murders in an electric chair?

Robert Gleason has chosen to die by electrocution rather than through lethal injection. It is his considered choice. He insists there is no other way to stop his rampaging murderous soul than to send his soul into the oblivion of death. He doesn't want to die, he says, but because he understands he will never stop killing, and he wants now to present an object lesson to his young children that violent crime has its dire consequences, he should die.

He first murdered a man whose son co-operated in a federal investigation into a drug ring that Gleason was involved with. And while incarcerated after having asked prison officials to move his cellmate who was mentally disturbed, he hog-tied the 63-year-old and beat and strangled him to death. The body went undetected for 15 hours before discovery by guards.

Gleason strangled a 26-year-old inmate through the wire fencing separating their cages in the recreation yard at a highly secure prison reserved for the state's worst inmates, while awaiting sentencing.  And there are others he claims to have murdered; he hints at dozens more, while refusing to provide details. He exonerates himself by claiming to have killed only criminals.

Born in Massachusetts, he attended art school in North Carolina and became an award-winning tattoo artist, eventually opening his own shop. His lawyers claim him to have had a "profoundly disturbed and traumatic life" as a child, suffering from abuse and depression, spiralling into mental health problems as an adult.

He used cocaine and alcohol as a youth, along with meth and steroids. And earned a long criminal record. Lawyers claim his mental impairment should deny him his wishes for death. That his competency to make such decisions is questionable; his death-row isolation has caused him to suffer from paranoia, delusional thinking, severe anxiety and other mental afflictions.

All of which have left him with "a nearly overwhelming urge to end his own life". Yet it is other people whom he has killed; no attempts at taking his own life appear to have been recorded, other than persuading the state that they have a moral obligation to end it for him.

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