In 2002, a series of killings that became known as the “Beltway Sniper Attacks” took place, primarily in the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area of the country. For those of you not familiar with the incidents, a man named John Allen Muhammad, along with accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, killed 10 people and injured 3 of them by shooting them from far away range using a sniper rifle.
The attacks occurred sporadically – sometimes days apart, sometimes hours apart – in public locations without warning. One person was shot while coming out of a restaurant; another was shot while reading a book at a bus stop. There was no method to the madness.
While all this was occurring, I was a student at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. I remember hearing about these shootings, and the news reports at night were warning people about this “mystery shooter,” going so far as to tell people to look around at their surroundings at all times whenever they went outside.
People were so scared of being outside, I would see them at the gas stations looking around frantically while they pumped their gas, looking to make sure no one was around to shoot them. The amount of fear these two men caused was beyond ridiculous – but since they hadn’t been caught and were still out there, what else were people to do?
After 23 days of senseless killing and unfathomable fear, the two men were caught. A year later they were sent to trial and found guilty by Virginia court. John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death by lethal injection, to take place in November 2009. (Malvo was underage at the time, and could not be considered for the death penalty; he got life in prison instead.)
Now, there are some people out there who think the death penalty is barbaric, and should no longer be an option. But I’m NOT one of those people.
I don’t like the idea that a person who caused this much fear, panic, and death could continue to walk the earth. I don’t like the idea that they could eventually get paroled, or escape (which DOES happen), or any number of things that could allow them to be back out in society and commit another crime. There are plenty of examples of sex offenders, robbers, abusers, etc. who get out of jail, only to commit a crime similar to – or, in many cases, WORSE – than the one they got locked up for the first time.
Frankly, I believe if someone is able to kill multiple people without a care in the world, they have lost their own rights to walk around living. And I’m glad we have laws and motions set in place that can rid the world of these types of people.
Ah, the death penalty – now THAT’S something to be thankful for! (For full insight into the actions talked about in this article, click HERE.)
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