Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kelly Gissendaner is no longer among the living...

Back in February of this year, I wrote a blog post about convicted murderer Kelly Gissendaner.  Until the wee hours of this morning, Georgia time, she was the only female on Georgia's death row.  She was supposed to be executed last February after 17 years on death row.  She was spared due to severe weather.  Then, her date with the Grim Reaper was moved up to early March, but was called off at the last minute after the drugs to be used were deemed to be "too cloudy".

Gissendaner was scheduled to be executed at 7:00pm Eastern Daylight Time last night, but her lawyers had filed several requests for delay.  The deed was finally done shortly after midnight.

I am not a proponent of the death penalty.  I am not quite at the point at which I would say it's always wrong, but I do think it's wrong in many cases.  The only time I think death is appropriate is when there is absolutely no doubt of the person's guilt and there is an overwhelming chance that he or she will continue to kill.  When a killer is a genuine danger to the public and likely to re-offend, I have less of a problem with capital punishment... although it still gives me the willies.

I think what I find most unnerving is the callous way some people talk about the condemned.  Kelly Gissendaner gained a lot of weight while she was in prison.  She became almost unrecognizable as the somewhat attractive woman who convinced her boyfriend to kill her husband, Doug.  In more recent pictures, she was quite frankly, huge.  Of course, if you spend most hours a day locked in a small room and eat starchy prison food, you are liable to gain weight.  Aside from that, it's not as if she had anyone to be thin and pretty for.  Food was probably one of her few pleasures.  And since the state meant to execute her, why would she care about preserving her health?

Anyway, I read an article or two about Kelly Gissendaner and the comments, usually from men, were just vile.  One person said it was time to "euthanize that beast!"  Another person said, "Kill it!"  I suppose I can understand the sentiment if it comes from a place of people being disgusted that Kelly commissioned her husband's murder, but it makes me sad that so many males apparently view less attractive women as "beasts" that need to be euthanized.  Others made fun of the fact that Kelly asked for chips with cheese dip, Texas fajitas, and a diet frosted lemonade.

What was even more interesting was reading an article from a British news source and seeing so many Brits commenting that Georgia needed to "get on with it".  I guess some British people are missing capital punishment.

In any case, Kelly Gissendaner is now no longer a burden to the taxpayers of Georgia.  I hope her death brought closure to some people.  I hear that she sobbed and sang and "Amazing Grace".  I'm not sure anyone remembers what Doug Gissendaner's last words and actions were... Maybe that's one more thing wrong with the death penalty besides the fact that it's barbaric, expensive, and not a deterrent from bad behavior.  It makes criminals famous and gives them a platform.      

My thoughts are with Kelly's family and friends who are probably very sad now.

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