No Mercy for the Criminal

Beltway Sniper John Allen Muhammad in court.

He told the cops, "Call Me God." I call him dead.

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

— William Shakespeare/”The Merchant of Venice,  Act 4, scene 1

The quality of mercy is best reserved for those deserving  it.

John Allen Muhammad was not.  Mercy was an alien concept to him.   He showed none and was unworthy of receiving any.  That’s why he’s dead now.

The regrettable thing about Muhammad becoming worm excrement is we still do not know exactly how many people he and Lee Malvo killed during their bloody rampage in 2002.  Ten dead is the official toll, but the actual number could be higher.  Muhammad refused to say and Malvo refuses to talk unless he gets immunity from any other killings.

This leads some people to suggest justice would have been best served by keeping Muhammad alive.   Perhaps one day he might have confessed fully.  There are things that can be learned by criminologists and psychiatrists by examining and questioning serial killers so we can learn how they tick.  By putting them to death whatever secrets they hold they take with on an express elevator to hell.

I’m not going to mock anyone whose principles lead them to oppose the death penalty, but Muhammad was scum. He killed people who had never harmed him and he didn’t even know from a distance. That’s gutless. He never uttered a word of guilt or remorse. That’s heartless.

The world has not suffered any great loss from John Allen Muhammad no longer being part of it. There’s just one less maggot in it.

There is nothing of importance to be learned from serial killers that justifies allowing  them to keep the life they have taken from others.  Charles Manson is still breathing air and what has been learned from that sick bastard? The only thing we can learn from a serial killer is something we already know: They are predators and they consider other humans their prey.

I know all the arguments against the death penalty. It’s retribution, not justice. It’s biased against the poor and minorities. It’s haphazardly applied and not a deterrent. It’s hideously expensive and the process is far too protracted. It’s cruel. Civilized countries have turned away from execution.

All true.  But the undisputed truth about the death penalty is when it’s done right, it eliminates forever that one truly evil son of a bitch that has forfeited his right to live because his crimes are so heinous, so remorseless and so vicious they can never be forgiven.

And living one more day was too good for John Allen Muhammad.

  • James Martin
  • James Buchanan
  • Premkumar Walekar
  • Sarah Ramos
  • Lori Ann-Lewis Rivera
  • Pascal Charlot
  • Dean Harold Meyers
  • Kenneth Bridges
  • Linda Franklin
  • Andrew Claydon
  • Conrad Johnson

All ten of the victims of the Beltway Snipers would prefer to be alive and not dead, but Muhammad and Malvo took that option away from them. At one point during the killing spree Muhammad left a note for the cops that read, “CALL ME GOD.”

I prefer to call him dead.

If Muhammad didn’t deserve to die for his crimes nobody does.