First Woman Inmate to Be Executed in Years Speaks Volumes About the Death Penalty in This Country

Rant 52

death penaltyThe crime Kimberly McCarthy, an inmate in Texas, was convicted of committing is horrific. She murdered an elderly woman, stabbing her to death after she asked to borrow some sugar. Today, Williams will pay for that crime in the ultimate way. With her life.

McCarthy will be put to death by lethal injection. She will be one of the few women ever put to death since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976. She will be number 13. Even though women commit about 10 percent of all crimes, death penalty crimes have to have some "extra" aggravating factor. Extra violence, extra cruelty. MCarthy's case certainly applies.

The case was infamous because of how awful it was. Her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, was trusting and allowed McCarthy into her home on July 21, 1997, only to be stabbed to death. She then cut off her ring finger and sold her diamond in a pawn shop. There is no doubt that the crime was evil. But the death penalty is still not right.

It makes me very uncomfortable, as a citizen of this country, to be able to say that only 13 women have been put to death. If women commit 10 percent of these egregious crimes, why are they not put to death in the same number? Amnesty International finds that race is often a huge factor in deciding which prisoners get life versus death.

Are you really comfortable with that?

As a general rule, the death penalty is kind of an idiotic punishment. Sure, it's the ultimate way to pay for a crime. But it's biblical in nature and our laws shouldn't be based on the Bible given not everyone believes in it. But it's more than that, too.

As someone who doesn't necessarily believe in an after-life, I think the death penalty lets people off too easily. Personally, I would PREFER the death penalty than life in a tiny cell with no good reading material and no freedom to see my family and friends. That sounds awful.

Of course, the worst part of the punishment is that we are one of a handful of countries who have it, most of whom we would likely not want to be associated with. It's barbaric and not befitting of the kind of country I want to live in.

Further, it isn't doled out in a just way. If women commit 10 percent of murders, they should be executed 10 percent of the time, right? The fact that they aren't speaks volumes about the punishment. Clearly, it's being given with bias. That makes us complicit in murder. It's not justice. It's murder.

McCarthy's crime and suspected crimes are despicable and she should pay for them for the rest of her life. But by paying WITH her life, she is winning. She proves she is just a product of the society from which she came. Is that something we should be proud of?

Do you believe in the death penalty?


Image via Patrick Feller/Flickr

crime, death penalty


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jessi... jessicasmom1

I believe a eye for an eye. tooth for a tooth

nonmember avatar Sirena

That statistic said ten percent of CRIME, not ten percent of MURDER. Women are much more likely to commit check fraud, identity theft, etc than they are to commit murder. They are also more likely than men to commit murder in the heat of the moment such as after walking in on a partner with another person, etc. They are more likely to use hands off measures such as poison and hiring someone which often lacks the "extra" aggravating factor. Don't get up on your soap box and preach unless you have the facts. Crime is not just murder. You love to mislead your readers to get your point across and it's not necessary. You could have talked about the process, which is painful, or how some inmates are executed without DNA evidence. Going this route just waters down your argument and makes you sound stupid.

nonmember avatar blh

Not all murdurers are put to death. Only the really brtual ones and the fact is women are way less likely to be serial killers or rapists are anything like that, therfore, they don't get the death penalty as often.

bills... billsfan1104

I am pro-life and that means I am not for the death penalty. The problem is is the prisoners have more benefits than our soldiers do. They get FREE three square meals a day, free education, free medical benefits to the point they can have a sex change and the list goes on. They don't sit in a cell with no reading material and they do see their family. So it is only natural that people support the death penalty.

Katy Khan

I'm atheist and I believe in the death penalty. 

bills... billsfan1104

I want add on that many of our laws are based on "biblical" laws, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't be in place. Thou shall not kill, so should we make murder legal, because God forbid, it has biblical connotations.

B1Bomber B1Bomber

Women may commit ten percent of all crimes, but I strongly doubt they commit anywhere near ten percent of capital offenses ('extra' violence and cruelty).

Melis... Melissa1508

Definitely for the death penalty.  The taxpayers are paying to house those prisoners for "life", paying for their food, their TV's, their weight lifting equipment, their college degrees, etc etc.  I don't necessarily believe in an afterlife, either.  I also don't think race has anything to do with this particular case...she cut a woman's finger off while she was still alive to steal her ring, which she pawned to buy cocaine.  She beat the woman to death.  I believe the punishment should fit the crime...cut her finger off and then beat her to death.  Sorry if that's too harsh for some, but maybe if the punishments changed there would be less violent crime in this country.

nurse... nursemama88

Prisoners are treated better than the elderly in the nursing homes...are you comfortable with that? I'm not...prisoners are treated better than other people and they shouldn't. While I beliebe people should rot in prison for life, I do think there are situations where death is appropiate.

kelti... kelticmom

I'm not sure where I stand on the death penalty. Like bills, I am very pro-life. Yet the thought of our government executing people, who actually could be innocent (it's happened) makes me uncomfortable. Yet at the same time, letting a cold hearted murderer live in a safe, warm cell with free meals, access to a gym, yard time, even tv, etc on the taxpayers dime makes me angry. I honestly don't have an answer.

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