Prosecutors are considering the death penalty for Army private Isaac Aguigui, the alleged militia ring leader who plotted to kill President Barack Obama.
Aguigui, along with Sergeant Anthony Peden and Private Christopher Salmon, is charged with malice murder, felony murder, and criminal gang activity for the killing of another soldier, Private Michael Roark, and his girlfriend Tiffany York. Their secret militia was stockpiling weapons to overthrow the government. It sounds crazy, but these guys weren't just big talkers. With over $87,000 in weapons stockpiled, they were a real threat to someone.
Still, I have always been conflicted about the death penalty. The justice system is far from perfect, and with the risk of one innocent person being wrongly convicted for a capital crime, I find it hard to support.
Though this isn't your typical crime, is it? If the investigators are to be believed, these guys not only killed two people to cover up their plan, they may have ultimately killed many more to carry it through. On top of that, isn't planning to overthrow the government and murder the President treason? Anyone with a plan like this seems to have little value for other human life, so I wonder, why should I value theirs?
That said, I don't necessarily think putting Aguigui to death is the best way to make him pay for his crime. Prison is no picnic. Why not strip him of all the comforts he so greatly treasures as a free man and send him to a dank, dark cell where he can rot alone for the rest of his life?
Depending on which correctional facility he may end up going to, it could feel like a death sentence anyway. I'm not talking about Club Fed. One of the worst prisons I've ever heard about was La Sante Prison in Paris, France, where prisoners have to sleep on concrete floors in cells teeming with rats and lice. Not sure if they are so bad stateside, but New York's Rikers Island and California's San Quentin are reportedly two of the most awful prisons in the country. My point is, if convicted, this guy should suffer for his crimes. So should his cohorts. Let's just figure out the right way to do that.
See more on the investigation here:
If convicted, do you think Aguigui should get the death penalty?