"On the Day of Atonement a live goat was chosen by lot. The high priest, robed in linen garments, laid both his hands on the goat's head, and confessed over it the iniquities of the children of Israel. The sins of the people thus symbolically transferred to the beast, and it was removed to the wilderness. The people felt purged, and for the time being, guiltless."
—from the Book of Leviticus
This is a collection of not-so-various remarks about a man convicted of rape and murder and serving a life sentence in solitary confinement,
hereinafter referred to as "the prisoner". Each comment appears in italics, and is an estimation of the appropriateness of this sentence.
One gentleman writes:
"I think I have a partial solution to the problem. I call it the self-imposed death penalty...
why not, in the cases where the killer has not taken their own life, don't we make it easier
for them to end it right then and there. If the police swoop down on a suspect in a vicious
murder case, maybe instead of them trying to take him down before he hurts himself,
they should surround him and then slide him a gun with one bullet in it. Therefore they can
make the decision and some might choose the self-imposed death penalty route. But maybe
that's too dangerous for your liking. How about we just let convicted murderers have shoe laces
in their cells. Or better yet, how about a noose under their bed, just in case they find some
goodness in their heart and want to save society all the money and trouble of dealing with them
over the next 40 or 50 years. Surely this is a moral way to deal with a very touchy problem.
Some would argue we should turn him loose in the general population and see what happens...
or maybe the more moral way to approach it is to just put a noose or some sleeping pills or
a cyanide tablet in "the prisoner's" jail cell and let him decide.
You'd have to think that a truly innocent man would keep fighting for justice. However the truly
guilty may just find one day that there's no point in going on. He's never getting out of prison so
the self imposed death penalty is an option we should grant him. It is the only thing that I would
be happy to see him succeed at.
Until Tomorrow, Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger"
I hesitate to say this, since this blogger is my neighbor—and so friendly—but it’s difficult to fight for justice when you’ve been barred from speaking publicly about your case since two years before your conviction.
Other suggestions were more succinct:
"He can fucking die as far as I'm concerned."
This one is from a newspaper report:
"As he was driven away from the courthouse to begin a life behind bars, the crowd waiting outside,
numbering in the hundreds, cheered, hurled insults and applauded.
’Rot in hell,’ screamed one person in the crowd."
A former corrections officer and one-time guard for "the prisoner" had some kind enough words to say, and they stand in stark contrast
to the feelings his fellow inmates have for him. According to the corrections officer, the crimes perpetrated by "the prisoner", though horrific,
pale in comparison to some of the acts of depravity committed by other inmates.
”He was always cheerful on my watch...it's his notoriety that draws the comments among other hardened criminals.”
'Did you slip cyanide in his meal?’ the former guard quoted one inmate as saying."
And this person would probably say that cyanide's too easy:
"Friend of mine says "the prisoner" is suffering, being in solitary confinement for his own protection and he says that "the prisoner" will suffer
by spending the rest of his life in prison.
I say hell no...he cannot feel remorse....I say he should be introduced to the general prison population and whatever happens, happens. I feel
he is getting better treatment than some of us...trying to make ends meet. He gets 3 meals a day and we pay to have him in solitary for how
ever many years the miserable waste of human life lives."
The author of this post seems not to notice, it is possible to lack remorse, and still suffer.
This is a small selection but you can find a site that will offer these suggestions as to what should be done with "the prisoner", almost
with your eyes closed. To summarize, they've included:
- offering him a loaded gun
- a ready-made noose
- a large number of sleeping pills
- housing in the general population, letting nature take its course
- he could either fucking die
- or rot in hell
Knowing this was the last opportunity they’d have, the cheering crowd waited for hours to catch a glimpse of "the prisoner", in handcuffs and leg shackles
and on his way to a solitary isolation cell.
They say the decision to oblige "the prisoner" with life-long solitary confinement was due in large part to the sadistic nature of his crimes.
A sadist is defined as one who takes pleasure in meting out punishment, to another.