In One Eye

Friday, May 13, 2005
The Michael Ross saga came to an end this morning at 2:25. At any rate, his life did. After eighteen years of appeals and various other impediments, Connecticut's most famous serial killer was finally executed in the dead of night. (One of the victim's mothers said on the news this morning that the execution brought her a sense of "foreclosure." What? Did she somehow lose her house?)

I don't know if I've ever blogged about Ross even though for the past few weeks in the state's news coverage it's been almost all Michael Ross all the time. The truth of the matter is that I didn't and don't much care about the issue. I feel that he got what he deserved. If that makes me callous, so be it.

At any rate, the whole thing seemed pretty foolish to me controlled as it was by Ross. Ross essentially told the state that his life was to end—not the other way around as it should have been. Ross was guilty of four murders in Connecticut (he also confessed to four in New York state), and yet the time period between the guilty verdict and the execution was eighteen years.

I certainly don't think that executions should be done with the cavalierness of former Texas governor Bush and his hangman, Gonzales, but there comes a time when appeals and all the legalistic roadblocks to an execution should be finalized. And that time, in my perhaps benighted opinion, should be less than eighteen years—especially in a case so heinous as this one.

Vigils continued to be held on Ross's behalf right up to his death. I don't denigrate the feelings of people involved in the vigils, but I don't agree with them.

To be sure, it probably costs more to execute someone than it does to incarcerate him for life, but these costs accrue due to the lengthy appeals that are made on a murderer's behalf. Certainly, it would have cost the state much less to execute Ross if the process had not been so elongated.

I'm aware that my feelings about the death penalty don't jibe with most of my other liberal attitudes, but those're my feelings, and I'm sticking to 'em.