A jury of 12 has announced its verdict: Steven Hayes is to be sentenced to death. To many, this is a just outcome. To others, it is not. I won’t go into it again, because the reality is that I won’t change your mind and you won’t change mine. Three women lost their lives needlessly in 2007 and today, a man has been scheduled to lose his. In this game, there is only death. And with death, no one wins.
My only hope is that one day, we as a State can look back upon this and other sentences of death with a certain sadness coupled with the knowledge that those days are past us – that we no longer ask our citizens to stake their mental well being on the anguishing task of deciding the fate of another man’s life – that we are no longer in the business of adjudicating worthiness to breathe.
Until then, I mourn. For this morning, Steven Hayes was the only one with blood on his hands. Now it’s on all of ours.