On Tuesday, June 12, former Blackfoot resident Richard Leavitt became the second Idaho man in 17 years to receive the death penalty.
Boy, do I feel safer.
Taxpayers can now sleep soundly knowing their hard-earned tax dollars have successfully ended a man’s life.
Let’s not worry about the fact that when all is said and done, it has cost thousands of dollars more to execute a prisoner than it would have to simply keep them in prison for life.
Why? When was the last time you looked into the appeals process for those sentenced to death row?
The numerous trials, security and confinement costs quickly rack , only adding to our nation’s staggering deficit.
But I’m sure it was a matter of regular dinner conversation, with mother fretting away over the safety of her wee little ones.
Well fear not, dear lady. The killer has been killed. Justice has been served, but who’s to make that call?
Oh, right, thanks to our government, it was the decision of a man. Indeed, a man trained and appointed to make such daunting decisions as this, but a man nevertheless.
“I think justice was served today,” said Tom Moss, the prosecuting attorney for Bingham County at the time Leavitt committed the crime.
What gives you the right to choose who lives and who dies? No man should be given that freedom of choice.
But I’m glad that your years of experience and monetary expenditures on a legal education have qualified you to decide the value of a life, even one as horrifically tainted as Leavitt’s.
Granted, this man committed one of the most gruesome crimes in Blackfoot’s history.
In 1985, Leavitt was convicted for murdering and mutilating Blackfoot woman Dannette Elg.
A jury deliberated for nearly three hours before finally convicting Leavitt of first-degree murder.
Leavitt has been incarcerated since 1984. As a prisoner on death row, Leavitt, along with the 12 others sentenced to death in Idaho, lived a life of structure—painfully servised structure—and rightly so.
An ordinary day on death row includes 23 hours in a secure cell. Each prisoner is provided the option of one hour outside in a recreational area.
Other than that, it’s solitary confinement unless you consider a handcuffed escort to the shower, a meeting with lawyers or treatment at the medical services a field trip.
If that’s not justice being served for the inhumanity of a crime, I’m not sure what is.
In fact, Leavitt’s own son, who after pleading guilty to statutory rape and being incarcerated with his father for a few years, said he was glad his father was receiving the death penalty because it would get Leavitt out of prison.
Well, good thing we made the humane choice of lethal injection.
Perhaps justice would have been better served by letting him reap the consequences of his actions in a 12-foot by seven-foot cell for the rest of his life.
“Oh well, I’m sure glad he’s dead. I was really worried about my daughter’s safety with a monster like him behind bars,” said no one ever.