Story of the week? I had the comments of Donald Sterling about black fans for his Los Angeles Clippers team on my scratch pad, but then I started to read about the “botched” execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma.
The more I read, or heard, or saw on television, the angrier I got. First, there was anger and revulsion when I read about the crime for which Lockett was being executed.
Lockett had been convicted of shooting a 19-year-old woman and having her buried alive when his weapon didn’t do its intended job. Had Lockett’s execution gone routinely, another convicted murderer, Charles Warner, was to be executed two hours later. Warner’s execution was stayed in order to check out the problem that caused the 43-minute delay in Lockett’s ultimate punishment.
It’s a shame Warner couldn’t be dispatched in as agonizing way as Lockett. That sounds cruel and sadistic of me, but let me quote the brief description in The New York Times, explaining why Warner was “waiting in line,” so to speak: “Mr. Warner (I had thought the Times had dropped the “Mr.” once the subject had been found guilty), was condemned for the rape and murder of an 11-month-old girl in 1997 . . .”.
Yes, you read that right: “. . . rape and murder of an 11-month-old girl . . .”
Let me stop here and tell a brief story. I was sitting at the coffee shop with two friends and the subject of sexual perversions came up. I told them, that in my mind, the ultimate sex crime might be that committed by men on infant girls. My friends seemed shocked and maybe a little dubious that such people walked the face of the Earth. No, there are – who knows? – maybe hundreds of them in California alone and they have a kind of online “club” where they exchange stories and photos, which they would now call “selfies.”
No, most of these men are probably not murderers – I have no idea – but I understand that their “partners” are often their own infants.
Should it be any surprise that the Lockett execution story was dominated by the failure of the drug “cocktail” to work quickly? In several cases you had to read almost to the end to see a description of Lockett’s – and Warner’s – crime.
The San Francisco Chronicle had a front-page article with the headline, “Calamity in Oklahoma resonates in California,” followed by, “But the agony of a dying murderer . . .”
However these men die, their pain can’t compare to that of the victims and their loved ones.
Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]