TO: The Vengeful                                                                                                                    HOME
FROM: Bill Swart
RE: Capital Punishment


What, you say, if a man did a great evil, suppose murder, to one of my loved ones, wouldnít I wish him dead? Of course I would. I would like to watch his face as he is strapped into the chair, and I would like to see terror in his eyes. Indeed, I would like to watch his face as he observed me reach slowly for the switch to fry him. I would like to see his body convulse, and even to see a plume of smoke flow from the skull cap.

But then what? I watched him suffer. I watched him convulse. Then he went limp, and his suffering was done. But Iíll go home to suffer, for the rest of my days. He took from me a loved one. All I took was his life.

No, donít kill him. Let him live to 110 -- in a cage. I will suffer my loss every day for as long as I live. Let him suffer for what he took from me. Let him think every day of how sweet it would be to stroll down the street on a hot Saturday afternoon, to kick tires on a new car, then stop for a cold beer, and to unfasten a bra strap that evening. Iím vindictive. I want him to suffer for as least as long as I do.

It is essential to my vindictive position that he must be denied hope. Yes, where-thereís-life-thereís-hope. But ďLife Without ParoleĒ comes close enough to denial of that hope to satisfy my lust for vengeance.

Might he, though, eventually adjust to prison life to the extent that his suffering subsides, and he finds some degree of contentment behind bars? Maybe. But as long as he can remember, and can envision the sweet perks of freedom, he will suffer. And, being a vindictive sort, thatís what I want.

Oh, yes, if one day he should be found innocent of the crime, we can turn him loose. There is also that to say for Life Without Parole.