Killing a bee does not take away the pain

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 29, 2002

Have you ever been stung by a bee? It doesn't feel so good.

But, if you are lucky enough to give it a swat and put it out of its misery, you do get a small sense of satisfaction. The pain is still there, but at least you got your revenge.

This is how I feel about the death penalty.

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On Wednesday, the state of Ohio put convicted killer Robert Buell to death by lethal injection 20 years after he murdered 11-year-old Krista Harrison. Buell was the fifth inmate to be executed in the state since 1999. Prior to that, the last man put to death in Ohio was in 1963.

Capital punishment has been a part of Ohio's justice system since the early 1800s From 1803, when Ohio became a state, until 1885, executions were carried out by public hanging in the county where the crime was committed. In 1885, the legislature enacted a law that required executions to be carried out at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. Twenty-eight convicted murderers were hanged at the penitentiary.

In 1897, the electric chair replaced the gallows.

The last person to be executed by electrocution in Ohio was Donald Reinbolt, a 29-year-old inmate from Franklin County, for the murder of Edgar L. Weaver, a Columbus grocer. He was executed on March 15, 1963. From 1897 to 1963 there were 315 people put to death in the electric chair, including three women.

On Nov. 21, 2001, Gov. Bob Taft signed legislation that eliminated the electric chair as an option for execution in the state of Ohio. On Feb. 26, 2002, Ohio's electric chair, nicknamed "Old Sparky," was decommissioned and disconnected from service. From this point forward all executions in Ohio will take the form of lethal injection.

Currently there are 200 men on Death Row.

My problem with capital punishment is not so much I'm against the eye-for-an-eye philosophy, but the snail-paced process seems to make it meaningless. If a man is put to death 20 years after he committed the crime, was justice really served? Do you really feel the family of the victim feels any better.

Which brings me to my bee point. These men on Death Row have stung many people. They have taken a life from them, something that will never be replaced. A bee sting will heal, but losing a loved one will hurt forever.

Killing these "bees" does help a little, but waiting 20 years to do so is too long. Ohio either needs to find a way to speed up the execution process or retire that can of Raid. A swarm of bees sitting in prison for years is not much good to anyone.