Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Execution

Tropical storm Ida, the remnants of Hurricane Ida, is rolling over my area right now. The sky is black, tree limbs are snapping, we have torrential rain. My yard is a carpeted with dead leaves which have been ripped off their stems.

This all adds to my mood for today. Because today is the day that the DC sniper, John Allen Muhammad, is to be executed. We lived in Virginia when he and his teen cohort, John Lee Malvo, went on their horrific killing spree. This changed my life forever, because I had always been against the death penalty. Then this thing happened, and my beliefs changed radically.

There is no way you can possibly imagine the hell these two put the people of my area through. We were ordered not to go out of our homes unless absolutely necessary. Malvo and Muhammad had let it be known that they were going to execute another school child and, because they were in my area near Richmond Va and had shot and killed their latest victim not all that far from my community, the FBI came in and ordered our schools closed down. For a week, my kids could not attend classes, which is fine because they were terrified to venture out our door. Just going to the grocery store or fill up our gas tanks was a frightening thing. The Guardian Angels, a pseudo vigilante group from NYC, came down to man the gas pumps in my area. Even crossing the street to visit a neighbor left one looking over a shoulder, just in case the white van, we had been erroneously warned to be on the watch for, came rolling by with a high powered rifle aimed at our heads.

Eventually they were caught. And I, the staunch defender of human dignity and anti death penalty beliefs, wanted them dead. I wanted them to fry. I wanted these monsters who had scarred my kids and taken away peace of mind, to suffer, to hurt, to be obliterated off the face of the earth.

This left me tormented. I truly believed it was a horrible desire. I could no longer honestly say I was against the death penalty. I had spent so many years arguing against what I believed was another example of mankind's atrocity against mankind, and now I hungered for it! It took me a long, long time to reconcile my heart.

Now the day has come. Tonight at 9pm Eastern time, John Allen Muhammad will die by lethal injection. Am I glad? Do I feel vindicated? No! I want to cry. I want to lie down and curl up in a ball. I continue to be tormented because this man destroyed my sense of altruism. A part of me will not recover. There is no justice. There is nothing but sorrow and despair.

I feel I should say a little prayer for his soul. But I can't bring myself to do that. Instead, I will eat breakfast, take a shower and head out to work. I'll come home tonight, fix dinner, read, go to bed. And before I fall asleep, I'll turn on the news to watch the reports of the execution. Then I will turn off the light and go to sleep. And hope I do not dream.


  1. 'The evil that men do' eh?

    I can't make you better over this but, you just have to shrug and say 'I'm fine, I'm not a victim, life goes on'. You can do no more babe x.

    'You live you die....the bit in between is called life. Enjoy' - Grant Naylor.

  2. Hi Four Dinners. I went out on my porch at one minute before the death walk was to start and watched the rain fall. Then I went inside to the announcement that he had died at 9:11. How ironic is that.

  3. I remember this about two years ago or so now right?? I could be wrong. Time seems to be flying by on me for some reason. But I remember this happening over there. Its sad that he got that young child/man to do this for him.Bad acts to teach children.

    I read this yessterday and didnt have time to comment. I have loads on my mind with this and the damned war we are in.. I just wish our troops could come home.. My brother in law is in the Airfoce and I am thankful that he isnt over in Iraqu. He is still on base as a MP (Military Police). Sorry for specifying.. Most people know what that means.. LOL.. Anyway hope you slept well and didnt dream.. Esp about this..

  4. Not an easy topic. And I don't believe we are written in stone. I can imagine that it must feel painful to feel an innocence is lost and what you once believed to be one thing you feel differently about today. I don't think it's a topic anyone can easily feel ease with...it's a lifelong challenge.

    My feeling is that either one has faith in life, or karma or god...serindipity...fate? I don't know...but for the sake of my comment either one has an approach to life to let karma or god work things out...or one has a choice to not allow karma or god to work things out.

    I am of the camp that I feel I need to let karma or god take care of these things. I believe it's dangerous to our soul to practice capital punishment...that is "god's work" not for us humans. I don't want that kind of power.

    More amazingly...I can't believe you were still in Virginia only seven years ago. I know this is changing the topic...but hasn't a lot happened in life in those last seven years? It's like it's flown past...I feel like I emember very post you've made in the past few years and so many details of your life. Could it really only be 7 years ago?

    The D.C sniper was a terrible event, and that poor kid he ruined his life too. It's not a story from life that anyone can reconcile or reconcile lightly...I don't think we should. I believe the struggle you are feeling is a blessing, I really do. It means you are close to the source of life. I hope you feel some peace today, Beej. I'm thinking of you.

  5. Tweetey, thank you for your post and well wishes. Actually, Lee Malvo was not a young child; he barely made it under the 18 yr old mark. Of course he was influenced but he was definitely old enough to understand the horridness of this.

    Candy, thank you so much for understanding what I am talking about. I copied this and posted it over at Constant Reader where a debate, tho a genial one, developed on the moral issue of the death penalty. My point was the inner dilemma, how I realized my belief system changed as soon as it hit close to home. INW, I want to be anti dp, I declare myself as being anti dp but as it turned out, in the depth of my soul, I actually was not. am I dismayed now, so many years after the fact, that he was executed? No. Well, maybe a little regret that any of it happened, but that's all. And that is what makes me despair.

    Do you really suppose my struggle is a blessing? very interesting and possibly true because the honesty to myself, that is the root of this, will, in fact, allow me to grow. Self discovery is always a blessing, I suppose.

  6. Yes, I do believe your debate is a blessing. These are important issues. We should feel weighed heavily by them.


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