07/14/05 — Execution: It is too good for this mad dog

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Execution: It is too good for this mad dog

There will be endless debates over the death penalty. Some states do not allow it. North Carolina isn’t among them.

In our state, juries that decide guilt or innocence in capital cases also are instructed to decide if those found guilty should be executed or be given life in prison without parole.

A Wayne County jury on Tuesday decided that Eric Glenn Lane should be put to death for the kidnap, rape and murder of 5-year-old Precious Ebony Whitfield.

He kidnapped her while she was playing in the yard of a relative she was visiting in the same neighborhood where the 33-year-old electrician lived.

Her body was found later stuffed and taped in a plastic bag discarded in a creek. Medical examiners said the little girl had been alive when she was placed in the bag.

If anyone ever deserved the death penalty it is Eric Glenn Lane. Unfortunately, death by lethal injection — which those facing execution usually choose — is far too lenient a way out for Eric Glenn Lane.

It is too bad our system does not demand that those guilty of such heinous crimes be made to suffer the same terror and agony of their victims.

It might be argued that life in prison without parole could be more appropriate than death by lethal injection — given the treatment some such prisoners are said to get from fellow inmates.

Those on death row apparently are more isolated and are spared such threats.

But a sentence of life in prison carries with it the specter of possible escape. And society cannot take a chance, no matter how remote, of Eric Glenn Lane ever being on the loose again.

The evidence against this man was massive and incontrovertible. His crime was despicable and atrocious beyond comprehension. It had to have been extremely difficult for members of the jury to have to listen to the testimony and view the pictures of the body of little Precious. Even Sheriff Carey Winders, a veteran of many years in law enforcement, choked up with emotion when he testified in the case.

The jury properly decided to banish Lane from the presence of civilized society and from the face of the earth forever.

The death penalty as prescribed by our laws is too good for this mad dog. But it is the ultimate a civilized society can prescribe.

Published in Editorials on July 14, 2005 11:33 AM