Volume 3 #9 March 31, 2002 Capital Punishment. Punishment is not what the death penalty is about. It is about murderers murdering alleged murderers. The punishment aspect pertains to the hopeless existences of those who are awaitees in cells labeled "Death Row Habitats". According to the eight amendment to the Constitution, our ever so wise and kind forefathers scribbled that no man (Nor woman. They excluded us but I won't.) should suffer cruel and unusual punishment. What Webster's edition were they flipping through (if they even bothered) when they came up with the definitions of these two words? Biding your time awaiting to walk the infamous "Green Mile" for two days, two hundred days or twenty thousand days or months or years, is that not cruel and unusual punishment? Contemplating your mortal demise, is that not cruel and unusual punishment? And don't quote that "eye for an eye" bit. That's Old Testament. Doesn't wash any dirty hands, today. And, get this, in some states the considerate government controlled prison tyrants give you (and it is a possibility that it could be you or I) a choice as to how you will be forced to exit this world. What?? You're glancing over a menu and saying "Let's see. Should I order the hanging, electrocution or dropping the gaseous pellets." And yes, some states even give you the side dish of a firing squad! Of course most people opt for the specialty du jour. The "kind" lethal injection. And, whilst we're on the topic of menus, it conjures up the death bound's last meal. Oh! Wow! Golly! You get to eat that big expensive fave of a culinary delight that you could never afford in any trendy bistro on the outside. But you're not. No five star restaurant in the world could demand the exorbitant price for these catered vittles. The only item you have to choose is the in-the-next-hour special. The market price is your life! Who can down any form of sustenance when you know that in an hour or so you won't be loosening your belt as you sit on the living room couch proclaiming to Uncle Bob, "What a great dinner! I don't know if I will ever be able to eat again!" Well, those death rowtees will actually never eat earthly food again. No loosening of gorged out belted guts, there. Just the tightening of the metal shackles that bind wrists and ankles. Then the very limited freedom from the cage that was home for however long "Blind Justice" decreed. The walk to death. You say goodbye to the guards who were your only companions as your life trickled away. You shuffle the shackled walk to that room that's designated for your death while the holy man who follows you quotes the dismal twenty third psalm. They usher you into the chill chamber. You gaze at the last decorative ambiance your eyes will ever witness. And that leads us to the surviving victims of the victims of these alleged heinous crimes. Why would anyone want to watch, not in the heat of passion, but in icy cold blood take a ticket to ride in the observation car of destination death. Oh, I hear the proclaimers of vengeance boasting: "That person did wrong to my loved ones. Now I have the right to watch them die". I do not have the required intestinal fortitude to endure witnessing this finale of torture. Have you zealous proponents of death ever actually seen a person die? I assume some of you have. I have. I watched as a person as close to my own life could possibly be suffer to the ultimate mortal end. It is definitely not how the big or little screens portray it. Ever heard of death throws? I have witnessed them. When forced to die, the spirit may be in a much kinder place but the body's central nervous system is suffering the "I am not dead complex". Back to Death Row. I suggest, very strongly that one of you victimees perform the final deed. Murder as you profess they did. Pull the life ending handle! I could not do it. But maybe a few of you who oh so ardently await the pay-per-death moment could. Face it. You did exactly what you proclaim they did. Try to sleep nights.