Let me say first off, I don’t agree with capital punishment. Well, in general, that is. The chances of even one innocent being executed are too great and no amount of pardon or money is going to resurrect the dead and return them to their loved ones. Whilst I say I don’t agree with the death penalty in general, in certain given situations, I might make an exception: like cases where children are brutalised, every which way, and murdered, by sexually perverted men and then dumped in the bushes, like trash, it wouldn’t bother my conscience to ‘flick the switch’ on them.
We are talking about executions now because it’s big news. Bigger news than it should be in my humble opinion. It’s American news of course as we (the UK) have long ceased that practice. And we are talking about a certain Kenneth Smith. Kenneth Smith was executed in Alabama on Thursday 26th January, having sat on death row since 1996 for the murder of Mrs Elizabeth Sennett in 1988.
Why this is big news now is the way he was executed. Not being able to find other successful forms of execution, the state of Alabama decided to execute Smith by nitrogen suffocation. A method the state said should take a few seconds to knock him out and then between 5 and 15 minutes to kill him.
Although it was Kenneth Smith himself who chose that method (a previous attempt at lethal injection failed) he somehow managed to engineer himself as the victim in all this. Days before his execution he gave several media interviews where he told how he suffered panic attacks and post-traumatic syndrome: how he feels nauseous: that he is sick to the stomach and not able to eat and basically, he is in bad shape, just thinking about his forthcoming departure. And he is also afraid that he might vomit during the execution process and drown in it. And why is the state of Alabama doing this terrible thing to me? He wails.
Well, if you live in the United States of America, and in particular in a state that carries the death penalty for capital murder, where, if caught and convicted, there is a high probability that you could be executed for that crime, why take some measly sum to kill someone you don’t know and someone who has never wronged you?
Because of these interviews, an awful lot of ‘do-gooders’ have jumped on this calling the execution ‘an outrage’. It’s not humane, they cry. This could cause him excessive pain and humiliation. Really! Even the American Veterinary Medical Association stuck their paws in, saying that such a method would be too cruel even for most animals. They should bear in mind that most animals did not brutally kill an innocent woman in her home like Kenneth Smith did.
Elizabeth Sennett, to all intents and purposes, was a good woman. She was also the godly wife of a Christian minister, Charles Sennett Sr. It transpires that this man of the cloth was not quite as godly as he should have been because it was he who arranged and paid – $1000 – for his wife’s murder. Enter Kenneth Smith. He stabbed Mrs Sennett, a mother to two young boys, multiple times in the head, neck, and chest. She was brutally murdered in her home, a place she regarded as her refuge and haven, and she was discovered by her young sons who said there was blood everywhere. And a terrible sight to behold. Now tell me, who do you think would be suffering from panic attacks and post-traumatic syndrome? At the time she was being murdered, she was all alone, panic and fear coursing through her very being, and probably crying out for her husband to come to her aid, not knowing that he paid for this.
The outrage for me was that not one time did killer Kenneth Smith apologise for what he had done, taking an innocent mother away from her young children, and at no time during any of his discourse did he express or show any remorse. There was no mention of Mrs Sennett at all. She was nothing to him. All he did was engineer himself as the victim. That’s what people should be outraged about. Hours before he was put to death, Kenneth Smith was ensconced in the bosom of his wife (which he acquired while on death row) and family. Feeling the love, warmth and comfort thereof. Those things were denied Mrs Elizabeth Sennett.