April 03, 2010

Suicide by Death Penalty

Steven Hayes, 1/2 of the criminal duo who are alleged to have killed the Petit family, wants to change his plea to guilty, and to follow the inevitable legal process towards life imprisonment or death. This change of plea seems to have thrown all involved into chaos - with defense attorneys (anti-death penalty zealots) vowing to fight his plea, the prosecution, gearing up for a court fight suddenly left hanging. Dr. Petit has noted this as "...a moment of honesty..."

Coming on the heels of a prison suicide attempt, perhaps Hayes simply wants to end the torment of a sad and misspent life. Not sure there is repentence here, it seems more a "sick and tired" response. And to some extent, those involved seem steeled to take this legal battle to the end, and having the accused turn around and surrender to a guilty plea seems unsatisfying.

I dunno how I feel about this. In some ways, no legal process, no verdict, no punishment will ever provide healing. But I suppose there is something satisfying of the pursuit, of chasing a protesting criminal to the end of the legal process and depriving another human being of life against his will - an eye for an eye. But to have the criminal let go and surrender, to giv eup on life willingly - a lot different energy there, and perhaps ironically a way that will leave wounds open and festering in a way that a protracted court battle would not.

Steven Hayes - a twisted, evil, damaged soul who just wants to get off the planet and end this misery? An individual who has come to realize the scope of his deeds and feels remorse? Or a truly evil SOB who has found one last way to torment Dr. Petit, by taking away his enemy?

1 comment:

sandy shoes said...

I have been wondering about the aftermath of that horrible story -- though more about how Dr. Petit is doing than about the monsters who killed his family. How could he be doing? How does a person ever recover from such a thing?