Originally created 09/06/00

Let killer live; he may be innocent

Regarding Alexander Williams paying his full debt to Aleta Bunch:

One, death is too easy an out if he did this. It may even be what he wants. I would prefer he suffer for the rest of his life, in prison, being examined, medicated and studied, living in the harshest conditions of maximum security, with no possibility of parole.

On the practical side, it would be far less expensive to do all this, than to continue exhausting our law-abiding citizens' resources in the endless appeal process.

In other words, life without possibility of parole is cheaper than the costs of fighting the capital punishment decision through the courts. On the spiritual side, why should we let Mr. Williams put us in the position of being pre-meditated murderers?

If we say "Crucify him," we are the murderers, even as if we pulled the switch ourselves. We believe he had no mercy for her. Now he can say, well we are no better than he for having no mercy on him, and yet we have had plenty of time to think about it.

No mercy in his childhood upbringing may have been what led him to this act, if he did do it. I wonder what Aleta would want? Would she want answers that would lead to preventing this criminal behavior from occurring in the future?

Or would she prefer the destructive waste of a life taken in her name and never learn anything from the tragedy of losing her? And are we certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, now that it has been acknowledged that his lawyer did not defend him properly, that he even did it?

So much that was obviously relevant to the case was not presented at trial that I am left to wonder if this young man was scapegoated. If he did do this, then life in prison with no possibility of parole will make him suffer, even if he has no conscience, and will give him no justification to say we are no better than he.

Capital punishment is a euphemism for pre-meditated murder. Plain and simple. Do we want him to gain redemption of his soul at our souls' expense? My emotions are telling me Mr. Williams shouldn't be alive if he killed her. My emotions well up in anguish over her parents' loss and I want vengeance for them.

But isn't that why we have the courts? To rise above a lynch mentality and do what is right, what is just? Not just seek vengeance ...

Theresa C. Von Plinsky, Augusta


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