The Feds executed a woman at the prison in Terre Haut. She was on death row for 17 years. In the case of a prisoner sentenced to death incarceration is not punishment, it is warehousing. Her punishment came last night.
I see a disconnect. Her advocates claim that the death penalty is cruel and unusual. This, as opposed to the act that got Henry to death row. Henry strangled a woman in order to steal her baby. As Henry
performed a safe and clinical abortion eviscerated the young mother, the victim woke up. Henry grabbed the infant and ran. She left the victim to die. Nothing cruel and unusual about that.
I don’t have a problem with a prohibition on the execution of defendants judged insane. Crazy is a different issue. Insanity is a legal term. The concept comes from English law and is typically referred to as the M’Naghten rule.
The M’Naghten rule is a test for criminal insanity. Under the M’Naghten rule, a criminal defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity if, at the time of the alleged criminal act, the defendant was so deranged that she did not know the nature or quality of her actions or, if she knew the nature and quality of her actions, she was so deranged that she did not know that what she was doing was wrong.The Free dictionary
People tend to use the terms insane and crazy interchangeably. Mentally ill, delusional, paranoid, (crazy) may be an indication of mental disease or defect but not insanity.
Now here is the kick in pants. Ms. Henry’s most ardent defenders don’t claim that she is innocent. They admit she did it. They don’t claim that Ms. Henry was crazy or whatever term (this space for rent) one choses to apply to her at the time of the crime. Nope she only became crazy after she was incarcerated. According to them:
Ms. Henry’s entire line of defense in the final proceedings had never been to claim that Montgomery was innocent. Nor did she seem to insinuate that the killer didn’t understand what she was doing when she committed the murder. Instead, she claimed that her client was so “damaged” from sexual abuse in her early life and other mental issues that she lacked the ability to understand why she was being executed. The Supreme Court apparently found this argument unpersuasive.
Call me cynical. If she is too crazy to understand, then her condition sets up the perfect situation for carrying out an execution. Having no appreciation for what is about to happen, eliminates the psychological discomfort and fear a sane person might feel.
Here’s a scenario. Tell her she is going to ride on a magic rocket ship. The gurney is a special rocket ship seat. One has to wear a seat belt in a car. A rocket ship is so much faster, it requires more seat belts. Along with the ride is a complimentary cocktail. When she wakes up she will be in Disney World! Likely she will be happy to go.
Who says I’m not compassionate?
Nobody cared about Henry when she was alive. Now that she is dead she will be soon forgotten. Her defenders will go down the road looking for the next concept to take on.