State should pursue death penalty
August 28, 2008 · Updated 2:06 PM
The late King County prosecutor Norm Maleng was a dear friend of mine and I would have liked to see him become governor but he had one little flaw that irked me.
That was his hesitation, even reluctance as I saw it, to pursue the death penalty when it seemed called for to me. He wasnt opposed to the death penalty per se, I think he was just super wary when it came to adding up the cost and time involved in seeking it.
Because of the bleeding hearts in the legal and judicial professions, death penalty cases require vast sums of money and are years in resolving. It is to the financial advantage of public defenders we pay to represent most of those on Death Row to string it out as long as they can. Counties have nearly gone broke under the financial strain of such cases.
There also is great concern expressed over the pain some rotten killer may suffer in meeting his end.
Personally, hanging never bothered me, even when that fat slob who killed two women bank tellers near Olympia got off because his lawyer was afraid his head would come off.
This, while he was deliberately stuffing himself with candy bars so he would become so gross that could be raised as a possibility. As I recall, he died in prison awhile back, I believe it was his case that generated the change in this states executions to offer a choice between lethal injections or hanging.
But lethal injections have come under scrutiny as two Kentucky prisoners have taken to the U.S. Supreme Court the question of whether they are pain free, which they feel entitled to expect. Nearly all the states except a dozen back east that dont have the death penalty and Nebraska, which allows electrocution, use lethal injections now.
The argument heard by the justices Jan. 7 was whether the three separate drugs process used by most of the states (and us) should be reduced to one drug similar to whats used to put animals to death. Justice John Paul Stevens, in particular, was worried about one of the usual three, a paralytic drug used to mask muscle spasms that might upset witnesses and cause an undignified death. He thinks thats the cause of the pain.
Well, that should be no problem, although why we worry about an undignified death for these sleazebags is beyond me. Let em twitch. Witnesses, who include representatives of the families of the victims and their killers, media persons, judicial and law enforcement officers and Corrections department employees, probably dont need to be advised its not going to be a pretty sight but the star of it all chose twitching over pain.
Anyway, it peeves me to hear and read that Norm Malengs successor in the King County prosecutorial job, Dan Satterberg, is trying to decide whether to seek the death penalty for that Carnation woman and her boyfriend who shot to death her parents, brother and sister-in-law and two small children.
Whats there to think about? If ever two people deserved to be put to death, its them.
Yet the groundwork already is being laid for getting them off with life instead. News stories pointing out that no woman has been executed in this state and that the boyfriend did most of the shooting but the woman was his Svengali. She did shoot her dad.
I note the boyfriend also is publicly regretting his failure to keep in touch with his mother. Hes setting her up to testify at the trial that he was a good little boy. The father of the murderess will eventually be portrayed as a cruel abuser.
I dont want to see any plea deals here where these two murderers plead guilty and get off with a life sentence to avoid the cost of a trial, For what they did, Id like to see them kicking at the end of a rope, but Ill settle for some twitching.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.