Yesterday the United States Supreme Court refused to stop the execution of John Allen Muhammad, sentenced to death for the sniper slayings that terrorized Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. in a bloody three week rampage in 2002. Barring any last minute intervention, Muhammad will die by lethal injection today at a prison in Virginia.

Of course, death penalty opponents are crying that the country is killing a mentally ill Gulf War veteran on the eve of Veteran’s Day. Others say that Muhammad should not die, because he is not responsible for his actions, due to mental problems, which may be related to Gulf War Syndrome. Of course, none of the people wringing their hands in anguish lost a loved one to Muhammad’s brutality.

He may or may not be mentally ill. I don’t really care. He needs to die. If I had a vicious dog that was dangerous to people, I wouldn’t cage it and feed it for the rest of its life. I’d put it down.

Now, I can hear some of you saying that there is a lot of difference between a human being and a dog.  I don’t buy it. When either one becomes dangerous, it must be dealt with.

I have seen violent death up close and personal. Years ago I also witnessed a legal execution, in my capacity as a newsman. The prisoner who was executed had a much easier death than the woman he murdered. Much easier than I felt he deserved. Before he was strapped to the gurney, he dined on steak, a baked potato, strawberry pie, and a chocolate malt. By contrast, he kept his victim’s body in the shower stall of a grimy motel for three days after killing her.

In another case I am very familiar with, in 1984, an animal named Frank Jarvis Atwood murdered a beautiful eight year old little girl in Tucson, named Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. Atwood had only been out of prison four months, after serving time on a conviction for kidnapping and molesting an eight year old boy. Prior to that, he had served time in a mental institution for lewd and lascivious conduct with another child. After his release from prison, Atwood had boasted that the next time around, he wouldn’t leave anyone to testify against him.

I knew the family of the murdered girl, who was the same age as my son at the time, and it was heartbreaking to see their anguish. It is enraging to know that in the 25 years since his crime, Frank Jarvis Atwood has thrived in prison. Though sentenced to death, he married, earned a college degree, and continues to exist in a world that does not need him or want him. Why? What purpose does his continuing to exist serve?

Our prisons are filled with murderers, child molesters, and rapists who have breathed for way too long. Why? Why do we warehouse these animals that will only hurt us again if they are ever released? What’s to be gained by spending fortunes to house and feed them, and to pay guards to keep them from escaping or killing each other?

I’d put down a vicious dog. I’d do the same with any of these animals.

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29 Comments on I’d Put Down A Vicious Dog

  1. Linda Mason says:

    I have to agree 150%. Just like this killer of Ft. Hood. We as taxpayer’s send our boy’s to get killed and pay for it. Now we will pay for this sand n to get taken care of.

    You have to ask why and what is wrong. I know there are some who have been convicted to later have their DNA proved they didn’t do it. But, if the evidence is overwhelming, no questions asked, as in the last fellow you mentioned. Kill them, kill them all. I think the young man who went along with the killing spree should die too. He is as guilty and his partner and should suffer the same fate.

    If more of them were killed off it might make some of the other potential killers think twice. Too many of them know they will never really pay for their crime.

    I think this story will bring in a lot of comments.

  2. Dennis Murphy says:

    As some may have noticed before I am a flaming liberal, but in cut and dried cases like these I believe an immediate, and public, hanging is called for. As Linda said, it might make a few of them think twice, although I doubt it.

  3. SAL Bellomo says:

    As you said there Animals and to die is to good for them , and they should not waste our Taxpayer money keep him or her in jail.

  4. Levi Patton says:

    Let’s return to old west justice of punishment and not rehab. Let some die at sunrise the next day.

  5. Butch says:

    The threat of the death penalty has not been solidly proven to be a deterrent in crime prevention,
    BUT, when consistently applied and followed through with,


    The list of offenders living permanently in “public housing” at taxpayers expense, is way too long.


  6. Butch says:

    The threat of the death penalty has not been solidly proven to be a deterrent in crime,
    BUT, when consistently applied and followed through with,


    The list of offenders living permanently in “public housing” at taxpayers expense, is way too long.


  7. As an ex law enforcement officer I cannot agree more – the logical time between conviction and execution should not exceed 48 hours. Why not? — Lawyers who want to get paid outrageous fees for endless unjustified appeals dont want to let justice happen when it affects their pockets. And we end up paying them in addition to supporting the mad dogs.

  8. Denise Gray says:

    I live in southern Maryland.I still remember moving constantly while trying to pump gas during that time, and moving in zig-zags while walking from the car to the grocery store. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, but that is what we had to do during that terrifying shooting spree. I had been to one of the stores where people were killed, a few hours before the shooting in that parking lot. It was a terrorizing time for so many people. So I think that the death penalty is too humane for the likes of that “mad dog”.

  9. There needs to be some other penalty. I’m not a flaming liberal, nor a hide-bound conservative. My blood does boil at the treatment these “animals” get, and I scream “death penalty” right along with the rest of you. But I really don’t think it’s enough. Prison should not be a pleasant and rewArding experience– it should be tough and filthy and grueling place, with basic nutrition supplied, maybe the same plate of beans and (ugh!) grits twice a day, along with two carrots for a side dish. No TV, no law degrees, no company. Depends on the level of the crime, of course, and who’s going to write the guidelines?

  10. Jack Lutz says:

    The death penalty may not keep people from murdering others, but it will keep that particular person from doing it again and that’s good enough for me!

  11. Jan Stewart says:

    Thumbs up on this one, Nick!

  12. Joan Dugan says:

    As a Christian I cannot accept the death penalty. There must be another way. I just dont know what it is.

  13. Orv Hazelton says:

    NICK: I still remember that ‘ole Charlie Manson is still in the California State Penal System instead of Hell where he well belongs and will be eventually IF the lefties don’t keep impeding the path of justice and the clear will of the people. We are indeed too easy on our criminal element today. . . that’s why our children and grandchildren are unable to enjoy the simple rights that you and I experienced such as walking to and from school safely (thereby keeping their waistlines under control as well). I sincerely believe that we have forgotten our many pleasures and rights as we have given those same to the criminal element. As always, Orv Hazelton

  14. Stan T. says:

    What’s that we said in Viet Nam, kill em all and let God sort it out.

  15. Jillian Smith says:

    A few years ago I saw a documentary about Richard Speck, the mass murders who killed all those nurses years ago. The film showed how he was living in prison, drinking homemade booze, wearing makeup, and living it up as a transvestite. Why wasn’t this sicko executed? How about Manson? What has keeping him alive done for society?

  16. Gerry Martin says:

    I saw that same film of Speck, it showed him using cocaine, performing oral sex on another convict, and partying like hell, all at taxpayer expenses. He was living it up. I wanted to reach through the TV and strangle him myself.

  17. Martin says:

    Instead of the death penalty which I tend to oppose because of the possibility of executing the innocent, I have thought there should be an alternative. With all the vacant land in the west why not establish and open prison secured by electric fence, a moat, guards and what-ever other means that would contain these animals. Assure these sub humans get basic food rations and clothes and little else. Let them build there own shelters and prey upon each other for the rest of their miserable existence. In other words back to the jungle for the entire lot.

  18. Dave K says:

    Time to find another Judge Roy Beam and new rope. Plus oil the hindges of the Yuma Prison And END THE COUNTRY CLUB life style of the nations prisons. Your Right On Bad Nick….

  19. Otto Henderson says:

    You’re right on Nick, could not have said it better. It never ceases to amaze me that we continue to feed and house these animals for the rest of their lives at our expense or in some cases release them back to society to continue their assault against the rest of humanity………

  20. Dave F says:

    I say give them a bag of seeds and put them on a remote island, and let them fight it out.

  21. Chris says:

    AMEN, Nick! Public hangings should be reinstated and I like the “within 48 hrs.” comment. Show it on prime time TV. Then maybe some of those crazies will think twice before planning and executing a crime. We spend way too much money keeping these idiots in prison and comfortable.

  22. Dave Bossert says:

    I always believed that the punishment should fit the crime. So, with that in mind, why do we treat them so well in prison? Put them in a prison with no guards, just perimeter security. Let them do to each other as they want and that should be just punishment. I am sure all we would need to do is remove the bodies daily!

  23. Connie Braidh says:

    Swift and sure punishment is what is needed. While it will not really stop future murderers/rapists/etc, it will stop this particular person (thing?) from doing it again. The majority of crimes are caused by repeat offenders. Stop this particular sick group and you stop the majority of crime.
    Criminals should not have any rights. They should WORK for their necessities. Gee, isn’t that what real people do, WORK? Our local county makes the criminals work especially low level criminals. We have a work farm (they grow vegetables, etc), they pick up trash along the road, etc. No hard core do this but at least some of them are working for their existence.
    It’s sad the hard core continue living. I just don’t believe that when you have taken a life or rape a child or do any of the hideous crimes, you have any more rights. The real right is the right of society in general to protect the law abiding members of that society. What about the rights of the victims and their families? They were INNOCENT and now they are denied life or a decent future life. Rights below to the law abiding citizens not the criminals.

  24. George Stoltz says:

    More than a century ago the French came up with a good solution that I’d like to see put back into use. It waw called: Devil’s Island.

    When we encounter these worthless human beings we should drop them off on a isolated island with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Let them survice or perish on their own at no expense to taxpayers.

  25. Gary says:

    This topic really hits home for me. I am a retired Corrections Officer from the state of New York. I have personally seen many of NY’s finest scum living the good life compared to what life they led previous to coming to jail. It is no wonder NY has such a high recidivism rate. After all for most of them their father, brother, cousin, or close friend they grew up with is in jail or has been. While being locked up for years isn’t my thing for many of them it’s a way of life they adjust to easily. Why, because there is no real punishment to ensure they don’t commit a crime again. As to the issue of an innocent person being convicted this day and age it is less likely than it was 20 plus years ago. After all that is way we have a system called COURT to determine one’s innocence or guilt. If there should be some reasonable doubt than one can receive life in prison without parole. However, when you have one like this dirt bag that was found guilty with out any doubt then by all means do the right thing and end his life for all concern. As we use to say 3 hot’s and a cot, no responsibility, and best part of all, you can get laid on the weekends. While this does tend to increase the welfare population we like to refer to it as future job security.
    For all the do gooders out there, I agree the death penalty is no deterrent to murder however it is a guarantied fact that at least the dead will not be able to kill again. Just because one is in prison does not mean that he or she can not kill a staff member or another convict for that matter. This happened several times in the Max prison I worked at for 27 years.
    Just my 2 cents.

  26. Jerry H says:

    As long as lawyers are making the laws, nothing will change, except for the worse. They make millions filing worthless appeals that, for the most part, you and I are paying for.
    I think that on each death penality handed down, it should be reviewed by the State Supreme Court within thirty days and if the guilty party received a fair trial, he should be put to death within another 30 days…no appeals…period!

  27. Wayne Paul says:

    I remember when these two murderers well, My wife and I were traveling from Seattle to Florida by way of Maine. We were in the New York area when they were doing their killings and we were going to detour around Washington DC when the police caught them so we continued thru to Washington DC I grew up on a farm and when we had a runt in a litter of pigs we knocked them in the head and killed them. But I think a better punishment for these two would be solitary confinement in a concrete room 5x7x4 and never let out to see daylight again.

  28. Rex says:

    I agree that the death penalty should be quick if we are going to have a death penalty. However, one way to maybe get some good out of these scum is to sentence them to unlimited and I mean unlimited medical experimentation. If they have AIDs, give them a shot of bleach and see if it cures it. If it kills them, tough. If it does not kill them, give them a shot of transmission fluid and see what happens. The point is try anything and everything in a controlled environment where the scientist can study them for a long period of time. End all visitation, marriage, TV, outside mail (except that from the government), phones, etc. Anyone caught with any contraband, gets a bullet in the head right then, period, not after a hearing investigation, right then and in front of all inmates.

    As the cost of warehousing this scum increases, society must start getting a return on its investment and my performing unlimited medical experimentation on these animals, we might get some of our money back.

    For those serving lesser periods of time, say 5 years or less, work the living hell out of them. For those serving over 5 years, experiment on them. Prior to their scheduled release, if we have made them a vegetable, tough, keep them and keep experimenting, maybe we can reverse it. If we screw up and kill them tough, if they had obeyed the laws of the land to begin with, they would not have been in prison.

  29. Cait says:

    I don’t think it works much as a deterrant, but it definitely cuts down on repeat offenses.

    Thing is, I’m just not real confident in the justice system getting things right, and the death penalty is pretty damn permenant. Luckily, DNA is making that sort of thing less likely to happen in the future. But I *do* think that the possibility of a mistake (especially given how unreliable eye witness testimony has been shown to be in more recent neuropsych experiments) is enough to say it should be done so, so, so, so, so, so carefully.

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