Death Penalty and its Victims

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It is essential to never underestimate or overlook the rights of victims while aiming to be fair and protect the rights of offenders in our criminal justice system.

The death penalty serves as a necessary tool to uphold the value of human life and prevent convicted murderers from causing harm again. Furthermore, it brings solace and retribution to the families of victims who suffer from sleepless nights and haunting nightmares, constantly reminded of the painful experiences their loved ones endured. Witness accounts during Timothy McVeigh’s trial for the Oklahoma City bombing described the profound impact of the explosion on their lives. Many survivors believed that killing McVeigh would be a justifiable response to their loss and expressed their anger. Darlene Welch, whose 4-year-old niece Ashley died in the blast, stated that justice would be served faster if McVeigh met his fate.

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Ernie Ross, a victim of the explosion across the street, believes that the person responsible will face appropriate consequences in the afterlife. Ross thinks that meeting Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer is what this individual deserves and strongly supports the death penalty without any uncertainty. This viewpoint seems to be in line with many Americans’ desires as various polls consistently show over 70% of the population supporting capital punishment. However, a new perspective has emerged emphasizing closure and peace for the victims’ loved ones rather than solely focusing on society’s debt from the criminal.

The idea of therapeutic vengeance, or the right, is often seen as barbaric by those who oppose the death penalty. But shouldn’t we view providing comfort to a victim and their family as a valid justification for capital punishment? Additionally, isn’t offering solace a powerful form of compensation? On October 1, 1997, in the afternoon, Jeffrey Curley, who was just 10 years old then, told his grandmother that he had to run an errand and would be back soon.

Curley’s grandmother, who resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the final individual to encounter him prior to his unaccounted absence. Once his family became aware that he had not come back home that evening, they gathered their neighbors and law enforcement personnel to launch an extensive search operation. Moreover, they distributed flyers featuring Curley’s picture. The following day, Salvatore Sicari, an adult friend and neighbor of Curley’s, arrived at the residence holding numerous copies of these flyers. He expressed apprehension regarding the boy’s vanishing and proffered his aid.

Sicari provided information to Cambridge police, stating that he had last seen Curley on October 1. According to Sicari, Curley had allegedly threatened him with his dog, and Sicari responded by threatening to kill the dog if Curley didn’t stop. Following this incident, Sicari met up with Charles Jaynes.

Sicari informed authorities that he had witnessed Curley being driven by Jaynes in his Cadillac on previous occasions. He additionally alleged that Jaynes had made a promise to provide Curley with a bicycle. Sicari had advised Curley to steer clear of Jaynes. Cambridge police reached out to Jaynes on October 2 and, despite denying any knowledge of Curley, he was apprehended due to an active warrant and placed under arrest.

In Jaynes wallet, police discovered four receipts indicating purchases made with his father’s credit card, Edward Jaynes. The purchased items consist of a Rubbermaid container from Bradlees, cement and lime from Home Depot, a bicycle, and cigars with caffeine pills from Osco Drug Store. Every one of these transactions occurred on the same day as Curley’s disappearance. Jaynes acknowledged knowing Curley but denied having seen him on the day he went missing.

Sicari was contacted again by Cambridge police and continued to provide details. According to Sicari, while driving Jaynes’ Cadillac, the 250-pound Jaynes sat on Curley in the back seat. Curley attempted to fight back, but Jaynes reportedly instructed him to stop. Jaynes proceeded to place a gasoline soaked rag over the boy’s mouth and held it there, resulting in his death.

After suffocating the boy to death, Sicari and Jaynes went to multiple stores to buy supplies needed to dispose of Curley’s body. Surveillance footage from two stores shows the men purchasing a Rubbermaid container, a bag of lime, and a bag of concrete at the checkout counter. They then traveled from Massachusetts to Jaynes’s apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire. Upon arrival, Jaynes undressed Curley and sexually assaulted the lifeless body. When Sicari felt sick and went to the bathroom, Jaynes urged him to come out and help, saying that Curley’s body was beginning to stiffen.

Sicari confessed to assisting Jaynes in preparing the body. They initially placed Curley’s body in a Rubbermaid container filled with cement. Lime was applied to his face and mouth to accelerate decomposition, before sealing the container with duct tape. Subsequently, they headed to Maine and disposed of the container in a river. The prosecution argued that Sicari and Jaynes enticed Curley into Jaynes’ Cadillac by offering him $50 and a bicycle. It is alleged that one or both of the men made sexual advances towards the boy and then suffocated him upon his resistance.

Prosecutor David Yanetti argued that it is immaterial which man physically carried out the kidnapping and murder. According to Yanetti, even if Jaynes was the one who actually kidnapped and murdered Curley, Sicari is equally responsible because he had the intention to commit the crimes and aided Jaynes in carrying them out. Sicari pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder, maintaining that it was Jaynes, a self-confessed pedophile, who killed Curley. Sicari asserted that he did not cooperate with Jaynes or share any intention with him. Additionally, Sicari stated that it was Jaynes who subsequently molested Curley’s lifeless body.

The defendant admitted that although he did not take actions to stop the killing, he assisted Jaynes in preparing Curley’s body for disposal and disposing of it in the river. On May 11, 1982, an ex-convict named Allen Lee Davis broke into the residence of the John Weiler family in Jacksonville, Florida. John Weiler, who was an executive, was away on a business trip in Pittsburgh. Inside the Weiler’s house, Allen Lee Davis assaulted Nancy Weiler, who was 37 years old and three months pregnant with their third child. Davis brutally beat Mrs. Weiler.

Davis viciously attacked Mrs. Weiler, the PTA secretary at her children’s school. The attack was so brutal that it made her appearance unrecognizable when she was found by the police. Davis used such force with a gun that it caused damage to the trigger guard, wooden grips, and metal frame of the weapon while ruthlessly assaulting Mrs. Weiler. He then proceeded to bind and immobilize their 10-year-old daughter, Kristy, who had aspirations of becoming a nuclear engineer. Tragically, he fatally shot her in the face. Their other child, 5-year-old Kathy, tried to escape from Davis but ended up being shot in the back. Davis then violently struck her head multiple times with extreme cruelty, resulting in severe skull damage.

Cary Ann Medlin, a typical 8-year-old girl with brown hair and big brown eyes, always had a radiant smile. She had a gentle nature and an authentic enthusiasm for life that charmed everyone she encountered. Cary regularly attended Sunday school at the First Baptist Church, where her profound love for her Lord and Savior grew from a young age. Even in her last moments, Cary showed selflessness by trying to shield the man who had caused her immense suffering. Pink and blue were her favorite colors.

She had a fondness for country music and would often roam the house singing. In addition, she took pleasure in swimming and cycling, but strongly disliked wearing shoes. It wasn’t until she was almost 2 years old that she finally ceased sucking her thumb.

Cary, an exuberant young girl with a carefree love for life, was riding bikes in the neighborhood one day with her brother Michael. They encountered Robert Glenn Coe, a seemingly friendly man, who approached them in an old car. Cary left her bike by a nearby church and got into the car. Tragically, this would be the last time anyone saw Cary alive. The news of Cary’s disappearance quickly spread throughout the community and prompted a swift response.

Hundreds of volunteers carried out a search in the nearby areas for her and the suspects vehicle. Regrettably, after 48 hours, the family’s worst fears came true when Carys’ body was found at the end of a field road on the outskirts of town. Although most of the killers confession caused great distress to the family, there was one part of the suspect’s testimony that offered comfort. This specific detail reassured Carys’ loved ones that she had been protected by God until her final moments.

Coe, who was found guilty of a crime in 1981 and sentenced to death, shared a poignant moment before ending the suffering of an angelic individual. In this moment, she looked at him and expressed that Jesus loves him. Coe became emotional when recalling this part of the story. The severity of a crime is determined by the consequences it brings forth, thus highlighting the need for equally serious punishment for murder. This sentiment was echoed by Edward Koch, who believed that imposing the most severe penalty affirms the highest value of human life. Supporting this perspective, award-winning Chicago journalist Mike Royko urged for swift action in executing incarcerated individuals on death row.

The immediate release of poison gas pellets is necessary! During debates with friends who have different opinions, they often accuse me of disregarding the amazing value of human life. However, it is my deep respect for human life that drives my support for capital punishment. Murder is the most atrocious crime one can commit, and anything less than the death penalty would be unfair to both the victim and society.

According to the Social Issues Essays, the message is that we fail to adequately punish the killer, indicating our insufficient regard for the life of the victim.

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Death Penalty and its Victims. (2018, Nov 15). Retrieved from

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