“The execution of Robert Knighton in 2003 was another crisis in my life, another trauma to heal from. He had been convicted of murdering my Daddy and Step-mother in 1990. My husband and I watched that execution not for vengeance but as a form of support since I had become the man’s only friend. Our immediate family had befriended him, all on different levels. I forgave him early on, and learned that forgiveness is a gift to ourselves, not for the forgiven. This is how we can continue on with our life after such a trauma. But in this case the forgiven grew spiritually from it, too. The state of Oklahoma paid so much money to send Robert Knighton to heaven.
In my opinion and experience, the death penalty does not bring closure. Today, twenty one years later, my Daddy and Virginia are still dead. I still find it impossible that anyone would want to have hurt them. I continue to miss them. However, now I have another event to deal with which is brought to the surface every time my husband begins to snore. I immediately envision a man, strapped to a table after drugs had been pumped into him and he laid there asleep. Then the strenuous writhing of his body as it experienced drug induced paralysis of the diaphragm and collapse of the lungs, and finally at the end of seven minutes his heart stopped, while others watched on. The only accomplished thing–Oklahoma spent a lot of money and again we as society sent mixed signals of who can and who cannot kill.
I remember the horrific look on my granddaughter’s face when she learned that some States such as Oklahoma (and now Kansas) have a law that puts some folks to death, legally. And I remember how hard it was to explain. She said, “But killing is wrong!” Yes I agree.”
Arkansas City, KS