Saturday, June 19, 2010

laying underneath the stars, strung out and feeling great

Perhaps a first for Twitter, an announcement that Ronnie Lee Gardner was going to be executed.

Now, let me be frank: Gardner was not a serial killer under any definition of the word. There was nothing mystical or horrifying, he did not skin people alive, he did not braid intestines into hats. And I realize there are people against the death penalty, because they believe--and they may well be right--that the taking of any life cheapens all life; that there should be a better way.

Maybe there should. One of my friends holds this issue dear to her wounded heart, because her brother was arrested for a crime he did not commit, sentenced by people who didn't care to investigate the case fully, and died in Texas because that's what they do in Texas, after all: kill large numbers of prison inmates.

But Gardner--for all that he wasn't spectacular--arrived quite understandably on Death Row due to premeditation. In 1984, he was arrested after a robbery went bad; he shot and killed Melvyn John Otterstrom, and that was originally what sent him to jail.

He successfully made an appeal, and had been transported to Salt Lake City's original courthouse to face final sentencing. His girlfriend had hidden a gun on the premises; Gardner found it (as he was intended to), and shot and killed attorney Michael Burdell, and shot and wounded Nick Kirk, the court bailiff. (He himself was also shot in the process.) New charges were levied, and after a lengthy trial, the court re-sentenced him to Death Row.

It has taken twenty-five years from that original sentence to now, to actually confirm the death sentence: in Aprille, the choice was presented to Gardner of lethal injection, or firing squad.

He chose the firing squad.

Only two firing squads remain in the American judicial system--one in Utah, one in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has never used theirs, oddly enough, but both states hold to the same dynamic--five men, trained sharpshooters, using matched rifles.

When this first broke on Twitter, there were cries of outrage, which I find morbidly amusing. As I said, he was no Albert Fish, but the callous disregard shown in shooting the three men he did (resulting in two lives lost, and a third, the bailiff's, cut tragically short due to the bullet lodging in an inoperable place internally) puts my mind, at least, at ease in terms of him dying by firing squad--or dying at all.

It does prove to me, though--people will use Twitter for any and all purposes. This, I actually think, is not a bad thing. One simply must be selective in what one chooses to hear.

"A dream about a burning river...

"You dream that you're flinging books happily on to the Stolen River, the one they used to call the Thames. Quite abruptly you wake. Er, you're crouching over your fireplace, smearing your hands and face feverishly with ashes. You pause there in the dark. Perhaps you need a little holiday."


Indeed. My nightmares are rising towards 9 and I'm not utterly raving yet. Perhaps I do need a small break from the rigors of Fallen London...save, where else is there to go?

Tch, I mean besides SL.

In more news from FL, not SL, it's taken me three days to track down the problem with my main computer, and burn all the information off that I can't simply download again from the net. It will likely take another day to set up a second working computer--and hope it's good enough to build. If all that works out, I can get back to building on Monday.

I am fervently hoping this is true. If not, then I'll begin slowly chewing my fingernails down to the elbow; happens all the time. I never handle the spectre of net disconnection well.

In the meantime, I'm off the Big Bad Blogger Challenge until I pick up the old entries; I'm thinking I carried it fairly well though, considering right in the middle of it, my comp started going haywire, restarting randomly, and eating its own feet. But--just for my own sense of completion, if nothing else--I will be going back and picking up the last of the questions for answering and posting in a day or so.

(Again--hopefully. Keep a good thought.)

3 comments:

Alexandra Rucker said...

And I realize there are people against the death penalty, because they believe--and they may well be right--that the taking of any life cheapens all life; that there should be a better way.

There will always be those for whom the death penalty will be appropriate - premeditated, uncaring, no interest in living with society, etc. etc. My issue is only like that example you cited; the friend who's brother died for a crime he didn't commit. It's far too easy for people to be convicted and railroaded, and thus "justice" becomes more travesty than truth.

For what it's worth.

I am fervently hoping this is true. If not, then I'll begin slowly chewing my fingernails down to the elbow; happens all the time. I never handle the spectre of net disconnection well.

{{{HUGS}}} and hopes that works out. Losing touch is never fun. :(

Emilly Orr said...

Well, see, and remember, this is me--it's not that I'm specifically pro-death penalty, I'm just pro-death. Cataclysm, firing squad, disease, tornado, earthquake, nuclear winter...it all works.

I am not unopposed to helping as much as I can after disaster, I'm just thinking we don't have any other major predators.

Alexandra Rucker said...

Heh! You have a good point there... :)