More than one life wasted

Criminals took $58 in exchange for their priceless futures

We don't know exactly what two consecutive life terms in prison could possibly mean. But we do wish the Georgia prison system would find a way for Lacy Barnard to serve both of the ones she got this week.

One each for the two innocent souls she helped set up.

The then-18-year-old diabolically took the two men to a remote location for a 2007 robbery in which they were shot -- one dead, one critically wounded -- for a total take of $58.

Her two accomplices, 32-year-old Antonio Jones and 55-year-old Ronald Banks, have already been dealt with, as it were: Jones was given a life-without-parole sentence after pleading guilty in 2009; Banks died in 2008 while awaiting trial.

Barnard, 22, was facing trial just weeks from now, and decided to plead guilty Wednesday.

Authorities say she was actually planning to target another man she knew, but on March 28, 2007, ran into Eladio Gonzales, 23, whom she knew, and Jose Mochica, 30. Gonzales died; Mochica has since returned to his native Mexico.

How tragic and unfortunate the two crossed paths with this woman.

Like the sociopaths Richard Hickock and Perry Smith -- who slayed the Clutter family in the murders made famous by author Truman Capote -- Barnard and her cohorts killed in cold blood, and for very little in earthly gain. With a good education and a little hard work in a profession that adds something of value to society, Barnard and her friends could well have made $58 in an hour or two of honest work.

Now, Jones faces the certainty of an entire life spent behind cold steel bars -- and Barnard should get something close to it with her two life terms.

She can't live out both of them, of course. But she'll have plenty of time to contemplate the first life she was given and threw away quite voluntarily -- while helping take another person's away involuntarily.

You'll rarely see a life more poorly lived.

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