Minor or not, he should be executed

Posted by: Phineas on September 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

In 2009, the United States Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for anyone who committed a crime otherwise eligible for death prior to the age of 18.

This case shows why they were wrong:

De’Marquis Elkins now faces life in prison. At the time of the shooting, he was 17 – too young to face the death penalty under the state law.

Another youth, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, is to be tried later.

During the trial, prosecutors said Elkins shot Antonio Santiago in an attempted robbery. The killing sent shockwaves across America.

The jury in the town of Marietta, Georgia, found Elkins guilty of 11 counts, including two counts of felony murder and one count of malice murder on 21 March.

The shooting happened in the town of Brunswick, as Antonio Santiago was riding in a stroller pushed by his mother, Sherry West.

She told the court that her son was shot in the face and she was shot in the leg by Elkins after she refused to hand over her purse.

She said she told the assailants that she did not have any money and tried to shield her son, before shots rang out near her home.

“He asked me for money and I said I didn’t have it,” Ms West said, as she wept in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year.

Someone kindly explain to me how Elkins committing this atrocity one day after his 18th birthday makes it okay to sentence him to death, but not if he was one day shy of it. Or even a week, a month, or a year.

The fact is we designate as “children” people who in other cultures and in earlier ages would have been old enough to fulfill the responsibilities of an adult: to own land, raise a family, participate in politics, fight as warriors, and to know right from wrong.

But, as we’ve “progressed,” we’ve lengthened the time of childhood and legal incompetency well past the point where it makes sense.

Somewhere around their 15th-16th year, “children” should know enough to know that killing a baby is wrong, among the most horrible things one can do. The killer should not be given special leniency because “he’s only a boy.” Not at that point. The law should be able to impose death for horrific crimes committed by those close to the age of majority, based on a jury’s weighing of the evidence.

Sherry West’s baby is dead, while Elkins is protected from paying the ultimate and just price for what he did. That’s not justice.

That’s just wrong.

via Tommy Hearn

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Minor or not, he should be executed”


  1. Jesse Garrett says:

    I am committed to conservative and libertarian causes except in this one case. Yes, there are pre-18s that commit heinous depraved crimes, but I believe in life without parole in spite of the cost. Though there are “obvious” cases of remorseless cases of capital crimes, not all are. Death is not reversible if a mistake is made.

    BUT MOST OF ALL on a theoretical basis, I believe human life is precious. I think since for that reason I am against ALL abortions, to be logically consistent I must be against the death penalty, no matter how much it is deserved, even for the rape and murder of my own children. Revenge will not bring them back.

  2. Carlos says:

    Well, Jesse, it’s kinda like when Reagan said something, the world believed him, but when Duh-1 says something the world laughs at him (and us) and goes on about its nefarious business of trying to hurt or destroy us.

    Capital punishment is not revenge. It’s a warning to others that just punishment for heinous crimes will be meted.

    I also find it interesting that had the creep been just 13 and female, she could have had her own baby killed without her parents’ knowledge and people like Wendy Davis would have applauded. What’s wrong with THAT picture?

  3. Jesse — that is like claiming that since one is against slavery one must be against requiring inmates to work.

  4. Drew the Infidel says:

    Under the law, there are two kinds of deterrence, direct and indirect. If someone is executed, that is direct deterrence because that person will never kill again. Indirect deterrence is when other potential offenders see an execution has been carried out and decide against tempting the possibilities of suffering the same fate.

  5. Carlos says:

    Well said, Drew.

    Unfortunately, most prison administrators today view incarceration as a chance to “rehabilitate.” The fact recidivism is so high amongst all classes of prisoners has nothing to do with the prisons’ failure to protect society. They just search for more ways to experiment, without having to take responsibility for the misery they unleash on society whenever they let violent felons out early because they’re “reformed/rehabilitated.”

    And before anyone jumps my case about it, I’m fully aware that occasionally there is a reformed violent offender. But my point is, what about the other plus or minus 90%?

  6. Gordon Campbell says:

    Jesse,I am a Catholic and Pro-life in ALL respects however the Catechism indicates that the Death Penalty may be legitimately invoked in spite of recent Papal intercessions for the condemned.The Office of the Papacy is infallible in only very limited circumstances related to Dogma.

    I as a Catholic am free to decide with an informed conscience.We have not had the Death Penalty in Canada since the sixties and inmates and Guards have been murdered by MURDERERS.Prisoners and Prison Guards’ lives are just as important as mine or yours.

    Life in prison with no parole will only work if they are kept in total isolation which is a form of torture and will damage a person’s psyche beyond repair.

    We’ve had a half dozen inmates swear to murder other prisoners or guards if not executed(an impossibility in Canada) AND they kept their word.Idiot prison officials placed a kid-a car thief in a cell with one of them and he was slaughtered within 15 minutes.
    THREE prison guards were murdered at the behest of imprisoned murderer,”Mom” bouchard,head of the Hell’s in Quebec(in canada we REFUSE to call them the Angels)

    Bouchard,Paul Bernardo-and his whore wife,KARLA HOMOLKA(she’s FREE by the way)-you may remember the Ken and Barbie Murders as they were known in the USA- who raped and tortured two teens from my city(google IT)and raped and killed Homolka’s (the bitch wife) sister-15 year old Tammy, and Clifford Olson who murdered 11 children and taunted the parents from prison and got $100,000 FROM THE MOUNTIES for his wife for revealing the location of the bodies,committed crimes of horror on innocents whose cries to heaven merit their having been hanged PUBLICLY.

  7. Steve Skubinna says:

    Some things I can’t wrap my mind around. One is right here – the robbery victim doesn’t have anything to steal, so you kill her child?

    What kind of mind can conceive something like that? Elkins isn’t really a human being, he’s some sort of vicious predator who bears a superficial human appearance.

    If the day comes when we have a cure for AIDS, will activists demand it be suppressed on the grounds that the HIV virus has just the same right to life as a human? Will cancer cells get their own advocates claiming a cure is genocide?