At press time, Joseph Paul Franklin—the serial murderer who confessed to shooting me in 1978—was scheduled to be executed in Missouri on November 20. People ask me if I’m glad to see him die. I confess, I do feel a certain amount of satisfaction at the idea. But that only confirms my view that capital punishment isn’t justice; it’s vengeance.
A government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself. Its job is to protect its citizens. Once a threat such as Franklin has been removed from society and locked up for good, the government has done its job. Justice has been served.