He will be given a chance to utter his last words but there likely will be none. Hes 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 cant deprive him of his ability to communicate; his sight and hearing are gone. We cant take his mobility, thats gone too. Good health? Gone, swept away by diabetes and hypertension.
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 cant imagine how either).
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 thats what Ray Allens execution might have been, has been so long delayed that its already been denied.
Clarence Ray Allen is blind. If we allow his execution to proceed, so are we.