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Final Justice?…

The State of Virginia executed Teresa Lewis last Thursday, September 23rd, by lethal injection.  Her life at 41 and her prison sentence is thus concluded.

She was convicted of  hiring two young men to kill her husband and his son for the insurance money.  All three pled guilty to the crime.  Only Teresa got the death penalty.  Like the rest of the public, prisoners are conflicted on the question of the death penalty.

Those who opposed her execution included novelist John Grisham, political activist Bianca Jagger, and a petition of the European Union.  They cited her IQ of 72 among other factors for leniency.

A score of 70 would have exempted her from execution in Virginia.  As a doctor of psychology (PsyD), I can assure this readership that the methodology to determine such a score is problematical enough that a few points one way or the other is totally subjective. The final score is purely an artifact of the person making the determination.  

Unfortunately, if the premise of the death penalty is fair and equal justice, we as a society fall short.  As good science and psychology, the retribution & punishment model of deterrence is a myth.

If anything, its reality is to perpetuate the vicious cycle of abuse and violence.  In effect, the state is simply sanctioning murder.

While, as has been previously stated, American Tribune believes that society has every right, as do individuals, to defend itself, the public also has every right to defend itself from the predation of state criminals—those acting under the color of law.

In fact, I’d say that such predation by those sworn to serve the law and take a constitutional oath to do so, are more guilty by virtue of those “special circumstances.”

American Tribune will be addressing this reality in the days to come.

Historically, we do note that the last time the State of Virginia executed a woman was back in 1912.

In the spring of 1912, 16-yr-old Virginia Christian, a black maid, was accused by her quasi-master, 72-yr-old Ida Belote, of stealing a locket and a skirt.  I couldn’t invent the irony of her name in this situation…

Ida Belote was a 21-yr-old Southern Belle in highly privileged Virginia society back 1861 when the Confederacy seceded from the Union and waged the Civil War–in large part to defend their right to slavery.

Mrs. Belote struck the girl (which, she was reported to do often) with a spittoon and they both went at each other with broom handles.  Virginia fled and was soon arrested.

She denied some of the particulars and was surprised that Mrs. Belote was dead.  With a lynch mob calling for her blood, she confessed.

She was tried, convicted, and executed in the electric chair one day after her 17th birthday, five months later.

Her family was too poor to travel to Richmond–the capital of the South’s humiliating defeat–to claim the body.  It was turned over to the state medical school.

I marvel at how far we’ve come in the past 100 years…

               Dr. Publico

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