Justice is meant to be blind. She’s blind to all of the outside factors that would affect an outcome of fairness. I’ve seen a lot of people in the last week oppose the use of the death penalty for Walter Leroy Moody, 83, due to his age. They were wrong.
The state was right to execute him. He was sentenced to death in 1996 for the capital murder of Judge Robert Vance.
The death penalty isn’t an outcome that our justice system hands out lightly. There are far more avenues for those convicted to escape it than there were for their victims to escape their fate or their families and loved ones to escape living in the shadow of reality of that included a heinous often violent crime.
There are ways to get out of the death penalty. The courts allow an appeal process that often leads to years and years of waiting to see justice served. This process should not be allowed to be an automatic get out of your sentence card if you can take up as much time as possible.
The question of fairness or kindness should not fall to a system that is rendering a punishment chosen by a judge and/or jury. No magic age or magic turning point in health should mean one deserves compassion over justice.
Where was compassion when the defendant committed the crimes that got them there?
If anything this latest execution should serve as a motivator for justice to move more swiftly for everyone involved. If it is unfair or unjust to execute the old, than once they’ve exhausted all reasonable appeals, let the punishment be handed down without further pause.
Was justice served, yes. Due process allowed this man more years than he probably should have had but it owes him no more. The court doesn’t hand down sentences based on the old man you may become in an over burdened criminal justice system.
The sentence is given based on the acts of the man sitting in court. That is what is right that is what is fair.
The physical treat posed by this man may not have been grave today but the threat posed by setting a precedent that you can evade justice with time is and was grave.