Except that it all went horribly wrong when they fucked up Lockett's murder and . . . well, Oklahoma hasn't managed to kill anyone since then.
Of course, Lockett died anyhow, still on the table. They said at the time it was a heart attack. Then pathologists actually did an autopsy and damned if it wasn't the drugs after all. Except they didn't go in his veins so his murder was slow and painful and lingering - even after they tried to stop it. Torture, though we're not supposed to use that word for stuff we do in the spirit of good ol' American decency.
But Warner? They gave him a reprieve that night. Still, he's out there, still waiting to be next up in the Sooner State. And his turn's now just two months off. January 15. Fingers crossed and all to hope that it goes right.
It was 17 years ago, when Charles Warner brutally raped and murdered Adrianna Waller. She was 11 months old. It's the sort of crime that, well, here's what Lou Keel said to KFOR-TV. Keel's the guy who prosecuted Warner. Twice. Death sentences both times.
“This person doesn’t deserve to live,” said Keel. “If you’re going to have a death penalty, if there are going to be some crimes, some homicides, that are so atrocious then the rape and the brutal murder of a child has to qualify.”On the other hand, there's Shonda Waller. She's the mother of Adrianna. She's not living in Oklahoma any more. And she won't come back to see Warner be killed. She doesn't want anyone to see it. She doesn't want it to happen.
That would dishonor my daughter, it would dishonor me and everything I believe in … When he dies I want it to be because it’s his time, not because he’s been executed due to what happened to me and my child. I don’t want that on my hands. It makes me feel like I’m no different than him and I don’t want to feel that way.She's not asking to have him released. Not ever. She wants him to rot in that cell.
“I don’t want to see him to be sentenced to death.” Waller said. “If they truly want to honor me then they will do away with the death penalty for him and they will give him life in prison without the possibility of parole because that’s the only thing that’s going to honor me.”To honor the memory of Adrianna, to show how much they care about what was done to her, Oklahoma plans to kill her killer.
Waller is adamantly against the death penalty. She is a Christian and a victim of a vicious crime, and she believes God alone is the giver and taker of life.
“I can only see him spending the rest of his life in prison and dying in prison without him ever walking outside of those cell walls.” said Waller. “I don’t see any justice in just sentencing someone to die. To me, the justice is in someone living with what they have done to you to your family, and having to live with that the rest of their life knowing they will never get to walk out those doors.”
To honor the memory of Adrianna, to show her the respect she deserves, her mother wants her killer kept alive.
Adrianna "couldn't do anything to protect herself," Lou Keel says. And so it's fitting, he figures, that
Charles Warner shouldn't be able to protect himself, either.
Stripe for stripe.Really we ought to rape him first.
Lash for lash.
Flesh for flesh.
His family, Shonda Waller says, shouldn't suffer the way she has.
I wouldn't wish that on anybody.Lou Keel, on the other hand.
There's a mad rush, these days, to make it a crime to hurt people's feelings. Revenge porn. Bullying. Catcalls.
As long, that is, as they want blood.
Shonda Waller doesn't want blood. The murder of Charles Warner won't bring her peace. It will shame her, offend her, dishonor her. And dishonor the memory of her daughter.
Oklahoma, it hardly seems necessary to say, hasn't shown itself to be particularly sympathetic.