Child Rapist's Last Words Before Execution Make It Really Hard to Oppose the Death Penalty

lethal injection control panel

Excuse me but did the convicted inmate recently executed for the rape and murder of two 13-year-old Arizona girls, Richard Dale Stokey, say what I think he said before meeting his maker recently for the 1991 crime? Perhaps I'm reading too much into the ramblings of a crazy person who's thankfully gone from this Earth anyway, but one of his last statements before they gave him the death shot was particularly baffling and inappropriate. Oh and this was after he refused to outright apologize to the families for the crimes. He said: "I do wish that I could die doing something meaningful, you know, this seems like such a waste." Yeah, ya think?


Maybe it's because he refused to apologize outright for helping to lure 13-year-olds Mandy Meyers and Mary Snyder away from an Arizona campsite to a ghost town, where he raped and killed them. Or maybe it's because he's making these last minutes alive all about him and not about the two innocent lives he viciously snuffed out.

So he wants to die doing something meaningful. Like doing what? Rescuing children from a burning building? Defending our country on the front lines? How about simply saying you're sorry and mean it -- it's a mere trifle at this point, but it's something,

I'll tell you what's a waste, it's that we kept this guy alive for so long on the taxpayers' dollars only to have him leave it like this. All the families of Mandy and Mary could have hoped for at this point, as they watched their children's killer prepare to die, was a little bit of closure, a true-felt apology, a meager gesture that would do very little to wipe away volumes of pain and loss, but a gesture nonetheless.

Instead the families only got something just shy of an apology. He said he made "grave and irreversible errors," and that he was sorry he "was mixed up in these awful events that brought me to this."

He should have just kept his mouth shut and said nothing. If I was one of the girls' mothers, hearing this would have made it even worse. Those girls' lives were something valuable, something way more valuable than his, and ending them so prematurely was the real "waste" here. Tales of people like this make it really, really hard to oppose the death penalty.

Do you think people like Stokey deserve to die?


Image via dbking/Flickr

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