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Death Penalty In The Andrew Compton Case

November 19th, 2010 by jake · 16 Comments

Agree or disagree? WDRB says prosecutors are pushing for it.

My thoughts: No way, no how. How is dying – taking the easy way out – punishment for such a horrible crime?

Why shouldn’t this guy – if guilty and convicted – be forced to live his entire life tortured with the reality of what he’s done?

I get that some people think the death penalty is just cruel. I don’t think it’s cruel enough.

Anyone else on this same page?

Tags: Bad Behavior · Crime · WDRB

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 tbrauch // Nov 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I have no reason to believe this is true, other than a nagging in the back of my head and using a little rational thought…

    If I were in the middle of being intimate with someone and that person died (something he admitted to) my first thought would not be to finish up and then hide the body. I would freak out and be on the phone with 911 operators. That keeps leading me to think that this wasn’t an accident.

    It also keeps making me wonder if this wasn’t the first time. If he is executed, we’ll never know if there are other victims. If we keep him alive there’s hope that if he did this before, it might come out and other families might get some closure.

    Again, I have no reason to think it has happened before, other than this voice in my head saying it doesn’t make sense for this reaction if it was his first time.

  • 2 Steve Magruder // Nov 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Executions don’t exactly happen immediately. This alleged murderer would be alive for quite a while for authorities to discover other crimes.

    That said, I do agree that the death penalty is really all about making vengeful people (and honestly, this includes the victims) in society feel slightly better, rather than delivering a true punishment to the criminal. Also consider the costs to the system with all the endless appeals usually associated with death penalty cases. The solution should be to lock up these animals permanently.

  • 3 ClearAndPresentThinking // Nov 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    He is entitled to due process even if his sentence is not a death penalty and he will likely mount various appeals over his sentence period so the arguement of we should not go for the death penalty becuase of appeals is not well founded. As for being “endless” appeals this is also not well founded since the appeals will end when the execution is completed.

    One can argue about it making society feel better and if it is right or wrong to kill a killer but one thing is certain after the execution there is zero chance he can kill again. As for keeping him around to see if he has some sort of come to Jesus or come to Aqua Buddha I don’t really care and all that is only on the possibility that he killed someone else. Seems a lot of trouble to go to just on the chance that such a thing might be possible. One would have better odds with a PowerBall Lottery ticket than such a possibility as one reader laments.

    Locking them up forever is expensive and why do I have to pay for some one to rot in a cell when the victim’s family wants them to rot in the ground ASAP. Who am I to say I know better than the victim’s family?

    Normal people would be tortured by just knowing what they did however this guy is an aberation, a monster. I’m sure he regrets getting caught but I doubt he suffers from just knowing what he did as this would require empathy and respect for others. This guy is a egomaniac who thinks people are just a sexual toy to be thrown in the trash when done with.
    I would volunteer to do the injection myself if called upon. Thankfully we live in a state that will do the task when it is time.

  • 4 Linda // Nov 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    First, I am steadfastly against the death penalty and believe it to be unconstitutional. Having said that, I really don’t think anyone–including the prosecution–can really say at this time whether this crime is a capital crime, meaning the death penalty is an available sentence under the current law. Murder is not always punishable by death–there has to be an aggravating factor. Abuse of a corpse is not one of those factors. Rape or sodomy is, however. So is kidnapping. Thus, the prosecution would have to prove that Andrew did not go willingly, which is apparently belied by the e-mails between him and the accused, or once there did not consent to sexual activity and was forcibly raped and/or sodomized. If they can prove rape or sodomy, then it is eligible. However, the accused’s confession does not support, alone, an indictment for a capital crime. Having said all of that, even if the two engaged in consensual sexual activity and Andrew died for some natural reason during sex, the failure to secure aid for him and disposing of his precious body the way confessed is shocking and evil and, in my opinion, should result in a lengthy prison sentence. We also may see a bill filed in the Gen Assembly to include abuse of the corpse after a murder as an aggravator to make future crimes death eligible.

  • 5 Steve Magruder // Nov 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    It’s not “clear and present thinking” to have a legal system based on emotion rather than justice.

    Further, it’s not “clear and present thinking” to think that a person imprisoned without possibility of parole can harm again.

    Further, it’s not “clear and present thinking” to assume that a murderer cannot eventually feel the guilt of their act without even knowing that person. And certainly that the murderer wouldn’t feel the tragedy of their permanent sentence at a very early point. The murderer is a human being who committed a wildly errant act.

    Further, it’s not “clear and present thinking” to dismiss the nearly endless appeals that are associated with a death penalty case, compared to non-death penalty cases. There are all sorts of maneuvers available in these cases aren’t available otherwise. Please understand our legal system before you speak, please.

  • 6 Jeff Noble // Nov 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Jacob —

    I completely agree with everything you wrote in your post, especially the line about him “be[ing] forced to live his entire life tortured with the reality of what he’s done?”

    I’ve written about the death penalty twice on my blog. I have a personal interest. Two men murdered my grandmother and another person when I was 15. We had no death penalty in Kentucky at the time and the two received 64 year sentences for their crimes.

    I’ve always thought this wasn’t long enough and still do. One person who takes another’s life should be deprived of living her or his own, but not by not living it. Rather, by living it out in isolation aware that others are living while they are merely existing and that such a state of being will never change.

    My religious belief, which preludes an existence of hell, also provides for an afterlife and I fully believe we are all children of God, even the evildoers. As such, I’ve always wondered that once a criminal is dispatched from this life by the state, how do we not know that person is “immediately welcomed home” to an eternal life. The truth is we don’t but many of us extend such belief to anyone we personally know who has died, irrespective of the life they have lived.

    If this man is convicted, he should put away behind bars for the balance of his life, and long enough to wonder what sort of life Mr. Compton may have been enjoying were it not for his actions.

    JN

  • 7 P // Nov 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    While I don’t agree with the death penalty in any case, I understand the prosecution’s stance to go for the heaviest penalty available by law. Shoot for the moon.

    Thanks for continuing to cover this story, it pulls at my heart strings – more than most stories. I’m not sure if it’s because the victim shares my 6-year old son’s name, or because I was the quiet guy in school growing up, or some other reason.

    I hope and pray that Andrew’s family is able to find peace, and that the responsible parties receive a just punishment on Earth and in the afterlife.

  • 8 Talkfan // Nov 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    “Further, it’s not “clear and present thinking” to think that a person imprisoned without possibility of parole can harm again.”

    Yes it is. A person imprisoned without possibility of parole could harm or kill a fellow inmate, or a prison guard. Or an admittedly less likely possibility is that a person imprisoned without possibility of parole could escape and harm or kill whomever he might encounter. Or, also not likely but possible, a future Supreme Court could conceivably rule that “imprisonment without possiblity of parole” is cruel and unusual punishment and therefore that all such prisoners should have a chance at parole, thus a chance at freedom, thus a chance to harm or kill someone else.

    That a person imprisoned without possibility of parole would escape or have his future status changed is unlikely; that he could harm or kill a fellow inmate or a guard is a real possibility.

  • 9 lstacyb // Nov 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    We all have to assume responsibility for our actions. Andrew is no different. He knew the dangers and accepted the risk.

    That said, I don’t agree with the death penalty, so let him sit in jail, isolation, without human contact would be the appropriate punishment.

    Without the body of Andrew there is a good chance he will (pardon the pun), Get Off!

  • 10 jake // Nov 19, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    The dangers of meeting someone from the internet are the same as meeting someone in everyday life. You don’t know what’s going to go down.

    Your comment is insensitive and extreme.

  • 11 BT // Nov 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    These discussions always turn into a study of the economics of life in jail vs. death penalty. Someone always comes in and whines about “my tax dollars having to pay” for something, and I think that is a terrible lens through which to examine this issue.

  • 12 jake // Nov 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    If this guy is guilty of something so gruesome, I WANT my tax dollars to pay for his punishment.

  • 13 Kate Miller // Nov 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. This is a terribly, tragic crime and I hope my opposition to the death penalty is not seen as insensitive to the family of Andrew Compton; but the death penalty is an expensive, unfair and risky consequence that absolutely makes our community no safer.

    There are so many reasons to abolish the death penalty, as Ky juries almost have in practice already. We rarely sentence anyone to die anymore and of course even if they are sentenced to die they rarely do.

  • 14 Bill // Nov 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Here’s the problem, we pay something like 25,000 or more a year to house these creeps that commit unspeakable crimes like this one we’re debating. Why should we hang this 25,000 a year burden on the taxpayer for the next 30 to 40 years until such a moron dies. Let’s face it that a very large percentage of these people truly did the crime. This isn’t the same as someone committing a rape and not being able to be proven guilty or wrongly accused. I think there needs to be proof without a doubt and put these vermin to death immediately.

    Think of it this way, 25k or 30k a year for 30 to 40 years is well above a million dollars plus interest. That goes for every person put in there for that amount of time. How much of that money could have been spent revitalizing the economy, fixing roads, bettering the schools, helping low income people, giving out small business development loans that would get someone started in being self sufficient instead of navigating the increasingly crappy job market.

    I’m not saying that everyone deserves the chair or a stoning or anything else but I find it repulsive that we’re going to spend millions on each criminal that ends up like this. Same with locking up nonviolent offenders for years when instead give them an ankle bracelet and keep tabs on what they are doing. That way the taxpayer doesn’t have to foot the bill and we can actually progress as a society by getting people working, starting small businesses, and encouraging creativity.

  • 15 jake // Nov 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Why hang such a burden? To avenge the deaths of those who cannot. To ensure that justice is carried out. Otherwise, what’s the risk for committing heinous crimes? Getting the easy way out and not having to suffer? Such a cop-out.

    They may deserve death, but easy death? Going quickly after a couple years of time served when someone injects you? That’s the easy way out.

    There’s no reason the inmate population can’t be used to generate income.

    Some things are worth the cost. Like roads, water, police protection. I think making sure that people guilty of horrible crimes receive adequate punishment is a worthy cost to the taxpayer.

  • 16 Bill // Nov 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Interesting ideas. Maybe let them work as prison labor and work them hard to get a revenue stream going. I’d actually agree with that but it should be to pay for their sentence and what they did. No disagreement there.

    Same could go with non violent offenders cleaning up roadsides, caring for public places, and other extra services. We could definitely use some cleaning up in various areas of the city and state. Let them do their time and work their sentences off and yeah cut the cable tv too.

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