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Stop Clarence Ray Allen's Execution

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The sun will rise at 7:23 AM on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 in San Quentin, California. But Clarence Ray Allen won 't see it. He 'll be dead, dispatched at midnight by an executioner on behalf of the good people of California. But then, he would not have seen the sunrise anyway; he 's blind.

He will be given a chance to utter his last words but there likely will be none. He 's deaf, too. And he will probably roll, not walk, his "last mile " not on a gurney but in his wheelchair. He is too feeble to walk.

This assumes that Ray Allen stays alive until January 17th. He turns 76 on January 16th. A heart attack last September nearly cheated the hangman but Allen was resuscitated by the medical staff. (What a lucky guy!) If he does survive until January 17th, Ray Allen will become the oldest inmate executed in the United States in 50 years.

If ever there were a case that reduces capital punishment to its essence, this is it. Ray Allen lost his liberty and his future 32 years ago. We can 't deprive him of his ability to communicate; his sight and hearing are gone. We can 't take his mobility, that 's gone too. Good health? Gone, swept away by diabetes and hypertension.

What 's left of Ray Allen for the state to take? Only his innermost thoughts and what 's left of his drug-mediated metabolism. Taking those will only be the coup de grà ce to a life that will end soon enough on its own.

Death penalty supporters cite the usual reasons why Ray Allen should be executed even now. We need to carry out the will of God, show respect for the rule of law, obtain justice for the victims, provide support for the survivors, deter future criminals, and eliminate the cost of keeping the man alive, among others. One group even advances the outrageous theory that his execution will be good for the environment (no, I can 't imagine how either).
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None of those arguments changes the facts surrounding this execution. Ray Allen is a threat to no one. He is close to the end of his life anyway. His execution will deter no one; it will save no money. Survivors of his four victims (one in 1974 and three in 1982) will get along as they have gotten along for decades. The victims are still dead and call to no one from their graves for retribution. Justice, if that 's what Ray Allen 's execution might have been, has been so long delayed that it 's already been denied.

What do you call an execution that advances no cause, makes no point, supports no theory, satisfies no moral imperative, saves no money, fills no hearts with peace, and deters no crime? I call it a gratuitous killing, nothing more. It is murder carried out in the people 's name. I always thought we were a decent and compassionate people. But killing Ray Allen is not decent and compassionate; it 's not even humane. It 's vengeful, barbarous and sadistic. As a society, we should hang our heads in shame.

Clarence Ray Allen is blind. If we allow his execution to proceed, so are we.
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Rick Wise is an industrial psychologist and retired management consultant. For 15 years, he was managing director of ValueNet International, Inc. Before starting ValueNet, Rick was director, corporate training and, later, director, corporate (more...)
 

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This is absolutely pathetic! If this man's executi... by Rosebud on Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 9:08:27 PM