Few people living today recall the sensational murder trial of Barbara Graham convicted of a gruesome murder in Burbank, CA, and subsequently executed in a California gas chamber. A few more people may vaguely recall Susan Hayword’s Academy Award winning performance as Graham. Ironically, the title of the movie was I Want to Live.
Flash forward to a courtroom in Colorado where a young man who walked into a movie theater and cold bloodedly killed a dozen or so innocent people. He enters a plea bargaining deal that would forego the possibility of the death sentence. “I want to live” is the message.
How many times have we seen the same situation? Killers who had no mercy for their victims, trying (and some successfully) to escape the death penalty because they “want to live.” Regardless of what one thinks about the death penalty, there has to be pause to consider that the victims of murderers wanted to live, too. The irony of the situation cannot be overlooked. So, forgive me if I cannot empathize with those who callously take the lives of others but don’t want their lives taken from them.