Child Murderer on Death Row Makes Surprising Last-Minute Confession

donald moellerIt's hard to see such grim news as good news, but it's at least a relief: Donald Moeller, a man who was convicted of raping and killing a 9-year-old girl 20 years ago, has admitted that he deserves to be executed. "I killed. I deserve to be killed." This summer we wrote about how Tina Curl, the mother of victim Becky O'Connell, was hoping to raise enough travel funds to watch Moeller's execution.

Moeller's execution is scheduled for October 28, but it's being held up by a challenge to the constitutionality of lethal injection. And now the lawyers are saying Moeller isn't mentally competent (because he was abused as a child) to push for his own execution. But what I'm wondering is what this means to Tina, the mother who still mourns the brutal loss of her daughter.

Ordinarily I'm not a fan of the death penalty. I don't think it's much of a deterrent and it uses up a colossal amount of taxpayer dollars to support. But when it comes to adults who murder children -- especially in such a horrific and violent way -- I take exception to my rule. I imagine how that child's parents must feel and I find myself thinking very differently about the death penalty.

Obviously killing off Donald Moeller is not going to bring back Becky O'Connell or undo the terror she faced in the last moments of her life. But I imagine it could give her mother some closure, knowing her daughter's killer is finally gone. Wouldn't that give her a little peace? Wouldn't it bring her nightmare to a close?

As for whether Donald Moeller is mentally competent to insist on his execution -- I suspect he's competent enough. Honestly, I can't imagine hating the death penalty so much that I would stand in the way of the execution of a child rapist and murderer. I think the death penalty is heinous. But I think Moeller's crime is so much worse.

Do you think Moeller is sane enough to know if he deserves to be executed?


Image via South Dakota Department of Corrections

crime, death penalty, in the news, sex crime


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nonmember avatar blh

I'm pretty sure he's competent enough. Obviously something is wrong with a person that rapes and murders, but they know what they're doing. For the love of God why argue with him?? But yeah check your facts.

Mommi... MommietoJB

The death penalty is used for a reason for pieces of shit like this monster. So all these murderers should be put up in prison for the rest of their lives using up more taxpayer money.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

The death penalty cannot be more expensive than housing some shitbag like this guy for his while life....can it? Doesnt make sense. Get rid of these sickos as soon as they're convicted if you ask me....>.<

the4m... the4mutts

How on earth is it a burden on tax payers? I call bullshit. The BURDEN is that they let death row inmates file appeal after appeal, leave them sitting there eating, watching cable, being under a roof. That's the burden. Killing their sorry asses is cheap!

They should go back to bullets. 1$ and poof! Asshole gone.

Boobo... Boobookittt74

I agree with mutts. The only reason it's so expensive is cuz theyre on death row for 20 yrs. there should b a 5 yr maximum to wait to get fried!

loves... lovesouldoula

Of course the old bastard wants to hurry up and die, life in prison is help for child molesters. Those people who do harm to children are marked in there and they are targeted and often victimized by the other inmates. Death would be a relief for him. I say let him rot, he deserves no relief. But then again I'm not God, so.....

nonmember avatar melanie

Do you think Moeller is sane enough to know if he deserves to be executed?

The ridiculousness of that question made me laugh, and then feel a little sad for the world: is he 'sane enough (has he passed the percentage line) to know if he deserves to be strapped to a table and injected with poison until he convulses a bit, and then dies'. If that's the definition of sanity we're all in trouble. No person 'deserves' to be executed period, regardless of how terrible their crime is. And calling for someone else's death (let's put a bullet in them, give them 5yrs then fry them) makes us no better than the monsters/assholes/pieces of shit/sickos/shitbags we so righteously deem them to be.

The more important question is: Are WE sane if we think he 'deserves' to be executed? (the answer is not yes btw) Murder for murder sentences do not bring justice, deterrence, or closure...they are the tools of an ignorant, hateful, pitchfork mob society.

Is raping and murdering a child wrong, yes (obviously she did not deserve what happened to her-nobody deserves that)...but in what way does killing someone in return make either of those acts right again? And in what way is knowing you deserve to be murdered sane?

Personally, I'd rather advocate on the side that hates the death penalty more than the side that hates a human being...rather call for its removal than be in the group calling for the removal of someone's life.

nonmember avatar Matthew D.

In my opinion, I think we are looking (and feeling) at the death sentence incorrectly. If one views it as revenge for crimes commited, it might be accurate to say we are no better than the monster. However, I think the death penalty ensures against the future crimes that would have been commited. To that end, I agree more than 5 years of appeals is 5 years too long to remove an antisocial element (aka monster) from society.

nonmember avatar anabeth

look im not saying that this guy shouldnt pay for what he has done but have you people read your own comments!!!!!! you guys are wishing for another human being, yes this person is disgusting and repulsive, to get killed wouldnt that in some way make you repulsive too and sure some of you might say we are thinking it not doing it but still its sooo wrong. im actually disgusted to see that you guys are happy that another person is being killed even if the person commited a crime like that

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