Dennis Prager

He doesn't explain why it is "barbaric." In fact, in a lifetime of debating opponents of capital punishment, I have never heard one explanation as to why killing a murderer such as Lockett is "barbaric." They all merely assert it.

So does another proponent of keeping all murderers alive, Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker. He writes in The New Yorker: "The oxymoronic quest for humane executions only accentuates the absurdity of allowing the death penalty in a civilized society."

Again, not a word explaining why putting murderer/torturers like Lockett to death is an "absurdity." He just asserts it.

As for "oxymoronic," this is what's oxymoronic: the proposition that keeping people like Lockett alive is just.

Anti-death penalty activists are preoccupied with whatever suffering Lockett endured for about a half hour. Pro-death penalty people are preoccupied with what Lockett's victims endured.

For the record, here is what Clayton Lockett did on June 3, 1999:

Clayton Lockett, 23, Shawn Mathis, 26, and Alfonzo Lockett, 17, planned on robbing Bobby Lee Bornt, 23, at his house in Perry, Oklahoma. They tied up Bornt and beat him in front of the man's sobbing 9-month-old son. At the same time, Stephanie Neiman, 18, was dropping off her friend Summer Bradshaw at Bornt's home. All three robbers raped the two girls, and then drove the girls, Bornt and his baby son to a rural area. They forced Mathis to dig a grave over which Lockett shot Stephanie Neiman twice. Unfortunately, she did not die from the gunshot wounds, and so she cried and begged not to be buried alive. But Clayton Lockett ordered her buried.

"I could hear her breathing and crying and everything," Lockett said nonchalantly in his videotaped confession.

The cold hearts of the abolitionists are matched only by their mendacity. They and their European allies are the one's ultimately responsible for the botched execution. First, they force executions by lethal injection, and then they make it all but impossible to legally obtain the drugs necessary for such executions.

In virtually every account of the execution I have read, just one sentence is devoted to what Clayton Lockett did to Stephanie Neiman. And in his New York Times column, Charles M. Blow directs his fury not at Lockett -- about whom all he could say is, "Lockett was no angel" -- but for supporters of the death penalty.

Perhaps this near-ignoring of what happened to Stephanie Neiman, and other murder victims and their families, helps explain how people like Toobin, Blow, and the ACLU anti-capital punishment activists can live with themselves. So, in order to make that more difficult, I conclude with excerpts from the statement made by Stephanie's parents:

"Every day we are left with horrific images of what the last hours of Stephanie's life was like. Did she cry out for us to help her? We are left with the knowledge that she needed us and we were not aware of it therefore unable [to] help her.

"We go through the motions of living, we eat, we sleep, Steve [the father] goes to work and comes home again. We do what we have to do to make it through the day and we start all over again the next. We exist."

Jeffrey Toobin and Charles "Lockett Was No Angel" Blow should read that statement.

Not that it will matter, alas. In America today, it appears that the more passionate the opponents of capital punishment are, the colder their hearts.

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”

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