It's May 12 as I type this. Will be for another hour or so. Has been for the last 23. For a small group of men in Ohio, though, it might as well be December 25. They just got their present:
They won't be murdered this year.
Most of us won't be, of course. I wish and hope that every one of my readers can avoid it. But then, few of us face Camus' monster.
What then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be an equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal, who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him, and who from that moment onward had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.
But there are those who do. Here in Ohio, as I write this, there are 168 men and women on death row in Ohio. 16 of them, are not currently under sentence of death. One, Michael Beuke, is to be murdered by the state at 10 tomorrow morning. When Beuke is killed there will have been one murder a month since December. Six more are scheduled be be murdered, one a month, from June through November.
The question in the air has been, naturally enough, who will Ohio kill for Christmas.
This morning, it appears, we got an answer. Two new death sentences. But only after a Christmas vacation: Two months off.
God bless us, every one.
May 13 - Michael Beuke
June 10 - Richard Nields
July 13 - William Garner
August 10 - Roderick Davie
September 15 - Kevin Keith
October 6 - Michael Benge
November 16 - Sidney Cornwell
February 17 - Frank Spisak
March 10 - Johnny Baston