Everything must be handled painstakingly exactly before he goes. I consider the shitstorm that would have happened if he’d been executed on schedule, had the FBI sat on its hands just a wee bit longer, and I shudder. We’ve been very lucky there haven’t been copycat bombings by the “inspired” as yet; the more of a martyr he comes, the greater the chance of them.
In my world, the death penalty as such wouldn’t exist. There would be life imprisonment with a twist. There are a class of “supermax” prisons that get some bleeding hearts up in arms because the prisoners are supposedly in solitary for much of the day. Amplify that. Put them in a cell. It doesn’t have to be small, really it should be about apartment sized. No television, no net access, no books. Writing materials, why not; any output from it will be destroyed unread. Healthy, balanced meals will be routinely and automtically delivered. Zero human contact; the cells will be soundproofed, isolated from others so they can pound on the walls all day if they’d like, no one will hear. No modern medical care. They will be fed healthy meals; if they start suffering appendicitis, they’ll probably end up dying from it. If they cut themselves somehow and don’t keep sanitary, infections may eventually do them in. Better people than them have been dying like that until only very recently in history.
When the sentence is complete, due process completed, and that door closes, they are alone, period and forever. Barbara Walters will never be along to give them an interview to twist the knife in the victims for ratings sake. They will write no bestselling books. Playboy shall not interview them. No one will. The inside of their own skull, every breath of every day with no distractions, for the rest of their lives.
I don’t much believe in “closure”; I think it’s a term that’s effectively meaningless but people pretend it has some because they first heard it used on an after-school special that made them weepy. The surviving victims will have painful memories, which will at times rise up. And when they do, they can reflect, “I am breathing open air. I can right this minute pick up the phone and talk with my family, my friends. I can freely go to visit them. I can read a book of my choice. And right this very instant, the agent of my pain is sitting in a cell, staring at the door with less and less hope and the dawning realization that that is all there will ever be, until his breath runs out with the passage of time.”
That, to me, would be “closure”. Lethal injection, high voltage, the short sharp crack of a neck snapping in the noose, those are too good and too expensive even compared against the cost of simply warehousing for the monsters hiding in human skin among us.