After 16 months execution free, Virginia is scheduled to kill Robert Gleason, Jr. tomorrow. Mr. Gleason was sentenced to life in prison for the 2008 shooting death of a man in Amherst County, Virginia, in order to cover up a meth ring. While in prison, he killed two inmates, strangling both of them to death. Mr. Gleason said “I murdered that man cold-bloodedly. I planned it and I’m gonna do it again. Someone needs to stop it. The only way to stop me is put me on death row.”
Mr. Gleason fired his lawyers because they were trying to work out a deal to avoid the death penalty.
He didn’t want any appeal.
He wants to die.
So, why not let him die? I mean, he killed two guys in prison on purpose in order to get the death penalty. If we don’t kill him, like he said, he would keep killing. Isn’t this exactly what the death penalty is for?
I wish I had an answer for you folks on this one. It is a case that tests one’s abolitionist faith. But although Mr. Gleason wishes to die, although he wanted it so badly he was willing to keep killing for it (and it seems, unfortunately, Mr. Gleason just had a thing for killing people) I cannot accept that even in that circumstance a government that I do not trust to regulate my ability to text in my car should be the same government to kill.
Virginia will kill him at 9:00 pm on January 16, 2013. And he will get what he wanted. And really, since when is our system set up to give people convicted of heinous crimes what they want?
I guess like they say, death is different. He wants it. And we are going to oblige.