The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 August 2005

Maybe he's just trying to help

Sometimes the stories write themselves:

A judge allowed corrections officials to forcibly feed convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad while he awaits trial in the county for six October 2002 killings.

Muhammad had not eaten anything since being transferred to the Montgomery County, Md., jail on Monday, corrections officials said in court documents filed Thursday. He was apparently upset with the food he was being served and the handling of his legal material.

Doctors had concluded that Muhammad, 44, was at risk of serious injury or death if he continued his hunger strike, corrections officials said. Judge James L. Ryan issued an order allowing officials at the county jail to forcibly feed and hydrate him.

I mean, it's a good thing he was a sniper, or they might have let him starve to death.

Oh, wait:

Muhammad has already been sentenced to die following a 2003 conviction for a sniper shooting in Manassas, Va.

My mistake. You can't let someone on Death Row just, you know, die.

(Via Joe Kelley.)

Posted at 7:45 AM to Life and/or Death

Well, no, they can't. Jail can't be a place you go to kill yourself, even if the state wants to kill you too.

He has appeals left, and the convictions or the sentence may be overturned. He may be found not guilty on these charges. State-run institutions aren't supposed to let people die because they're depressed.

(Yes, I know who the guy is, and I doubt his appeals will succeed. However, I don't think the law exempts him just because Fox News says he's guilty as sin. Equal protection and all that.)

He's obviously not a happy camper as it is, so what's the rush? I don't understand the bloodlust of some who think the only thing wrong with the prisons is that not enough people are dying fast enough.

Posted by: Matt at 10:52 AM on 26 August 2005

If he wanted to go on living, then I'd say let him die. But since he wants to die...

Posted by: McGehee at 10:55 AM on 26 August 2005

"Life goes on, long after the thrill of sniping is gone."

Posted by: CGHill at 10:59 AM on 26 August 2005

Hm. You know what I'd do for poor, unhappy John Muhammed? I'd set him free. I'd tell him his record was wiped clean, and send him on his way. And as he was heading jauntily out to a new life I'd have the sniper I hired pop up from behind a parked car and shoot him right between the eyes.

Oh yeah: I don't watch Fox News.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 3:44 PM on 26 August 2005

Andrea, That would be too kind. First you'd have to let him loose in the woods somewhere and have snipers staged at various places throughout. Some of them would have real bullets, some would not. Then, if he makes it out of the woods alive. You pop him between the eyes with your super sekrit sniper. At least let him experience some small measure of fear.

Posted by: Rachel at 7:10 PM on 26 August 2005

Let's not mess up the moment with overplanning.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 8:22 PM on 26 August 2005

Hmmm, I suppose you've got a point.

Posted by: Rachel at 11:53 PM on 26 August 2005