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John Wayne's Holster: Does Couey Have A Date With Old Sparky?
John Wayne's Holster
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Does Couey Have A Date With Old Sparky?

Old Sparky

I am not a big fan of the death penalty. There have been too many cases where DNA evidence has exonerated people on death row. One has to wonder how many people have been executed in the past for crimes that they may not have committed.

That being said, there a clearly some cases where the death penalty does seem to be the appropriate punishment. For example, I don’t think you will find too many people this side of the ACLU who would argue that mass murders like Ted Bundy or Timothy McVeigh should have been spared the death penalty. Those guys got what they deserved.

Now we have the case of John Couey in Florida. Couey, you may recall, was charged with abducting 9-year old Jessica Lunsford from her home, sexually assaulting her, and murdering her by binding her hands with wire, placing her in a plastic bag and burying her alive.

Truly, a heinous and unspeakable act!

Last week, the jury found Couey guilty of the above stated charges. The evidence was overwhelmingly against him. It only took them four hours to reach a verdict.

Today, the jury recommended the death penalty for Couey. I certainly hope that the judge follows the jury’s recommendation. There is no doubt that Couey deserves to die. It should be noted that the jury’s decision was not based on circumstantial evidence. Couey was found guilty beyond any doubt. Jessica Lusford’s body was found buried behind the trailer where Couey was living. Both Couey and the victim were linked to the crime scene by fingerprints, as well as DNA evidence from her blood and his semen. Although it was not a factor in the jury's decision, it should be mentioned to the skeptics out there that Couey confessed to the crime, but that evidence was thrown out by a judge because he was questioned without the presence of a lawyer.

Pending the judge’s decision, it is likely that Couey will face death by lethal injection, which is now the preferred method of execution in Florida. However, Couey could choose the electric chair if he wishes. If he does, he may have a date with Old Sparky - Florida’s infamous electric chair that is notorious for malfunctioning. Reportedly flames shot out of the heads of two convicts during their respective executions in the last 1990’s, similar to the scene in Steven King’s novel The Green Mile. That may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, and in almost all cases I would whole-heartedly agree. But in Couey's case, I would be willing to make an exception.

I hope he chooses Old Sparky. That way, he will get what he deserves.


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