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The Decency of the Death Penalty By: Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 30, 2002


The death penalty is indeed a decent thing. Answering the monstrosity of the evil among us is our duty as decent people, as justice demands removing those who slaughter the innocent. The indecency is the idea of a justice system without the death penalty, consequently forcing victims families to endure the corruption of society coddling the evil that destroyed their lives.

Why do I appreciate the death penalty? It’s pretty simple, really. It gets the scum of the Earth off the face of the planet, making everyone infinitely safer. If anyone, however, needed to be reminded of the importance of the death penalty, the murderous Manson gang combined with the increasing moral relativism of our so-called justice system, provides the caution.

A few weeks ago Manson family butcher Leslie Van Houten was denied parole for the 14th time. What’s unconscionable is that she has these repeated chances at being set free. Van Houten was convicted for her role in the Manson family's 1969 murders of Leno LaBianca, a wealthy grocery store owner, and his wife, Rosemary. Van Houten stabbed Rosemary 15 times in the back. Although not present at the actual scene, Van Houten also was convicted of conspiracy in the butchering of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at Tate's Beverly Hills home.

Convicted in 1969 and sentenced to death, that should have been the end of Manson and his homicidal pack, including Van Houten, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle and the lone male, Tex Watson. Instead, in 1972 all of their sentences were reduced to life in prison when the California Supreme Court briefly overturned death penalty, giving them all the constant hope of release.

Life in prison for murderers, with or without parole is absurd, insulting, and dangerous. People who are murdered are dead. Forever. Their families are forever condemned to missing the person they loved. The victims of murderers have no hope, no future. The families remain, at heart, lost. That’s not the case though for the depraved Manson family, and every other murdering freak of nature who has yet to be executed.

The animals living life in prison or on death row have the pleasure of experiencing emotions, breathing air, eating food, falling in love, having sex. All the things denied to their victims for eternity. Prison is indeed too good, while execution provides at least a dignified and moderately painless way out while making our planet a better place. Taking away prison privileges is also simply not enough. It is the joy of life, the pleasure of living, the most depraved do not deserve.

Do you presume the Manson murder spree was so heinous that none of the participants will ever be released? Think again. The moral decay of our society and the justice system’s growing incompetence due to our generation’s moral vacuum should give you pause. Judge Bob Krug of San Bernardino County ordered a new parole hearing for Van Houten, ruling that the Board of Prison Terms needed to "explore" Van Houten's prison behavior in greater depth. In one of the more outrageous examples of the loss of moral compass, the judge ruled the parole board could not simply deny her parole based on the seriousness of the crime and even chastised them for not seriously considering her release, calling their refusal to parole her "capricious"! [http://www.courttv.com/news/2002/0627/vanhouten_ctv.html]

While the Tate and LaBianca families continue to mourn their lost loved ones, what has the Manson family been doing? Manson himself has a website, writes songs and gives interviews. Van Houten got college degrees. Atkins, who called her savage slaughter of Sharon Tate the most intense sexual experience of her life, has married a second time while in prison, now to a Harvard Law School graduate. She has also written a book and claims to be a "victim of justice." How’s that for Newspeak! Tex Watson, who supervised both murder scenes and massacred many of the victims, married and has fathered four children during his incarceration. That’s right  —  not only has he not been removed from the gene pool, he has reproduced repeatedly! Yes, these are people who belong in a death chamber, not in prison.

Fortunately, with DNA and other science, the misguided of the Left have lost their argument to end the death penalty. We do hear stories of the extremely rare instance of an innocent in prison being released due to DNA evidence. That’s great, and it proves the system works. I like eliminating the rare doubt from the process, something the Left has exploited ad infinitum.

What does Van Houten plan to do when she’s released? She would live a "quiet life, perhaps as a book editor at home." She then told the parole board, "I don't know the world out there, but it felt like a good thing for a woman in her 50s to do.” Isn’t that special? Of course, Rosemary LaBianca didn’t have the chance to make that decision — she was 39 years old when Van Houten butchered her. How dare we allow her murderer to contemplate such a life!

Here’s a moral newsflash for Judge Krug — it is appropriate to deny someone parole based “simply” on the seriousness of their crime. It is even more appropriate to execute the murderously depraved among us. We don’t put people away so they can get college degrees or father children or enjoy marriage. Or to have hope. Van Houten is a model prisoner. That’s nice. And because we lost out and didn’t get to execute her and her cronies, being that model prisoner is what she should remain for the rest of her unnatural and depraved life.


Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.


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