Friday, November 18, 2011

He's gone

Well, Paul Ezra Rhodes has been shuffled off this plane of existence.  Can't say I'm sorry to see the guy go.  I was living in Blackfoot when he killed poor Stacy Baldwin and his other victims*, so have been sort of following this asshole's** odyssey since***.  It felt pretty close to home at the time.

I'm generally not a fan of the death penalty, mostly for logistical reasons (it's expensive, and tragically sometimes gets the wrong person), but I don't have a big problem with it.  If I was sure that our criminal justice system always convicted the real perpetrator, I'd have very little problem with it (though, gotta admit, it's kind of barbaric; pretty rough justice).

* Nolan Haddon, and Nicole Michelbacher.  Interestingly, Rhodes admitted killing Michelbacher, but not Hadden or Baldwin.  The "law"  believes that a person who is about to meet the maker will not want to die with a lie on the lips; thus, a deathbed utterance is believed to be reliable evidence.  So, it makes one wonder, why would Rhodes admit to one murder but deny the other two?  And, did they get the right guy for the other two?  Was it a rush to judgment?  Will they reopen the other two cases?  What if the real killer is still out there?

**I know, I know, De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.  Fine, you might not like the lingo, but really, do you think he wasn't an asshole?  Sorry if you think it's disrespectful.  Of all the things I'm sure of, it's that a murderer doesn't deserve respect.

*** Black foot had a real run of asshole killers at the time.  Ricky Leavitt, who carved up poor Danette Elg, used to come into the convenience store where I worked in Blackfoot to buy beer.  Had a big blue jacked up Chevy pickup with a roll bar and lights across it.

Robin LePage offed Kurt Cornelison about the some time.  For some crazy reason, young folks in Blackfoot at the time would holler "Free LePage" at police cars as they drove by.  The guy escaped from the State Hospital South, so he was probably nuts.  Then and now.

And there was Randy McKinney, who killed Robert Bishop, Jr.  I'd known Robert 1st grade through 12th.  In elementary school he was one of my closest friends.


Idahoan said...

Your comments about the propriety of the death penalty match my own thoughts. I'm generally not a fan, because, in order to "get it right," it is hugely expensive. And in the process, we sometimes convict the wrong guy.

So, I say get rid of it altogether. But not because I have any sympathy for the likes of Rhodes.

Alan said...

I'm not so sure that living life in prison isn't just as much punishment as dying and ending it all.