What kind of man rapes and murders a 16-year-old girl and then dismembers, burns and disposes of her body in a septic bond?
The kind of man, in my view, who ought to be executed.
Thankfully, President Trump and his attorney general agree.
On July 25, 2019, Attorney General William M. Barr directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to adopt a proposed Addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol, which clears the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after nearly two decades. The order will deliver final justice to the victims of the most horrific crimes and their families.
According to a Justice Department statement, “the Attorney General also directed the Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society — children and the elderly.
“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” noted Mr. Barr in the statement. “Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”
Five men are scheduled to be executed in December 2019 and January 2020. The Justice Department stated that the five men are Daniel Lewis Lee, Lezmond Mitchell, Wesley Ira Purkey, Alfred Bourgeois and Dustin Lee Honkin.
Lee, a member of a white supremacist group who murdered a family of three, including an 8-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou.
Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her 9-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30- to 40-mile drive.
Purkey raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. He was also convicted in state court of using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane. Bourgeois physically and emotionally tortured, sexually molested and then beat to death his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
And Honken shot and killed five people — two men who planned to testify against him, and a single, working mother and her 10-year-old and 6-year-old daughters.
According to the Justice Department, all five men have exhausted their appeals.
As Dave Boyer reported here on Sept. 2, Mr. Barr also drafted a proposal to speed up the executions for people convicted of mass murder and the murder of police officers.
“Shortly after mass shootings last month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people, Mr. Barr said he would propose legislation to expedite the death penalty for mass murderers and cop killers,” Mr. Boyer reported. “We will be proposing legislation providing that in cases of mass murder, or in cases of murder of a law enforcement officer, there will be a timetable for judicial proceedings that will allow imposition of any death sentence without undue delay,” the attorney general told the Fraternal Order of Police convention in New Orleans on Aug. 12. “Punishment must be swift and certain.”
Unfortunately, in many states swift and certain punishment does not happen. Vicious, heartless and unrepentant murderers receive the proverbial “three hots and a cot” in prisons for their entire natural life. These violent killers are given free gym memberships in prison, which makes them a bigger and stronger threat to guards as well as to other inmates. And they are also given a free education and free medical care, courtesy of the taxpayer.
For example, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is serving a life sentence for murdering 25-year-old Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1982, received for free the antiviral medication for Hepatitis C. This costly medical treatment is something the former Black Panther militant and cab driver would not have been able to afford prior to shooting Officer Faulkner.
As Mad’s Alfred E. Neuman character said in an old issue of the humor magazine, “Prison inmates are treated to cable TV, hot meals and a college education, while on the outside some people can only afford these things through a life of crime.”
Other heinous murderers like the five slated for execution should also be given swift and certain justice.
• Paul Davis covers crime, espionage and terrorism.