I personally don't think it will be a big issue
. Death penalty
opponents are not about to make this mass murderer
a poster boy
. Sure, some will vocally protest the death, but I doubt the cry will be much louder than at your normal execution
. I am personally of the mind that such protests are wasted breath
, and that the only meaningful capital punishment
reform will come through the appealing to legislature
and/or the courts
, when the public attitude
is ready. It may be a while, and last-second protests aren't speeding things up. Abolishing the electric chair
is within reach, and I think it will happen during Bush's term, even if it comes in the way of phasing them out rather than legislation.
While my belief is that the government should not be putting anyone to death, McVeigh killed 168 people. If any human being deserved the death penalty in America in the last hundred years, it's McVeigh. I wish the decision for death had not been made, but it's a brick-over-the-head obvious one for believers in the death penalty.
George W. Bush has very little to do with this. His opportunity to stop the execution passed a long time ago, and there were absolutely no compelling reasons to do so. What politican is going to stare the families of the victims of this tragedy in the eye and tell them McVeigh is not going to die? It's political suicide, and I think that Bush's administration is merely carrying out that which was ordered during the Clinton years. No hardcore opponents of the death penalty are particularly thrilled to the gills about Bush anyway, so I can't imagine any additional political fallout.