You might be surprised to know that the crime itself isn’t my only reason for believing in the death penalty. Then again…those who know me well might not. 😉
Today, Texas is catching up with all of the time they’ve lost. Heliberto Chi, convicted of a 2001 slaying in Arlington (about an hour or so from Dallas), was put to death today in the same manner as Jose Medellin the other night. His argument on appeal was the same: he was a citizen of a country other than the United States, and he was not given his rights to a meeting with the consulate of his home country (Honduras, in this case). But apparently the International Court of Justice didn’t think his need was that pressing–they didn’t include him in their lawsuit against the US of A.
There have been articles aplenty about his crime; that’s not my point here. His last arguments were that he had become a Christian, he “knew the Lord,” and because of that he should be forgiven–because God has forgiven him. Since God has forgiven him, everyone else should, too. Right?
What’s even more galling is that despite unbelievably compelling evidence, and despite Chi admitting his crime, the man had the patent nerve to walk into the death chamber and say, “God forgive them, receive my spirit.” He talked to a friend who had worked for his release. He looked at the family of his victims, but never–NOT ONCE–did he acknowledge them. It’s that sort of thing that proves to me that Chi was never really a believer. The bible teaches that God forgives, but there are still consequences for our actions in this life; there is still a law to be obeyed. Just because God forgives your sin does not exempt you from punishment for your deeds, even if your life is required for them.
As a corrections officer, I saw people “find God” only to laugh about it after it helped get them out. Then, they’d be back just a scant few months later (sometimes less), cursing the whole of society for putting them away yet again. Everyone in prison is religious. An extremely small percentage really believe. You usually know who they are when they show genuine sorrow, either by apologizing as they’re executed or by really cleaning up when they’re released.
Why would Chi behave the way he did as he was about to die? Wouldn’t you think he’d be more penitent as he got ready to meet his God? Think again…this was his way of getting back at everyone and adding to the myth that anti-death penalty proponents like to shove in everyone’s face. Poor, poor souls. If he really believed, then I’ll see him when I get home. I have a hard time swallowing that, though. It wasn’t society that needed to be forgiven. It was he who owed a debt to society. Not even the Holy Bible contradicts that fact.
So why is that a reason to put them to death? Because they feel no remorse. No remorse means that if they’re allowed to live, they will commit further crimes against innocent people. That is the most chilling part of it all, and it’s largely ignored.