A friend of mine, a Lutheran pastor, opposes capital punishment. But to my mind, her story, which she told me circa 1985, poses the premiere case for the death penalty.
She had a son, a lively pre-teen, who died suddenly under suspicious circumstances. At first, police found a person of interest in Arthur Goode, a known pedophile who was known to have been in the area at the time. It was soon enough established that Goode had been nowhere near the time and place of the death, and the death was ruled accidental.
That did not prevent Goode from harassing the family for years with phone calls and letters in which he spewed forth lurid details of what he now alleged he had done with the boy.
Goode was convicted of a different child’s murder and put to death in Florida in 1984. Shortly before his execution, authorities allowed a press conference, mainly to let the public know what sort of individual they were dealing with. The following quotations are not verbatim.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to do before you die?
A (Immediate): I’d like to have sex with a 10-year old boy.
The excerpts I heard on radio were heavily edited as Goode went into extensive, explicit detail.
Q: Do you want to gross people out?
A: I want to let people know what gives pleasure.
Goode made it very clear that if he had opportunity, he would molest again (and again) and kill again (and again).
OK. So he liked little boys. He liked them too much, and in the wrong way. Why did he have to kill them? He had an answer for that, too. He said, “Society is so prejudiced against people like me …”
Incarceration was not the answer for Arthur Goode. He had a record of escapes. He would surely escape again, molest again and kill again.
I believe firmly in immortality and reincarnation. From this POV, it seems to me suitable to end the life of an Arthur Goode and give that soul an opportunity for a fresh start.
In the alternative, it seems to me there are some individuals whose presence we cannot tolerate in society.
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More about Arthur “Freddy” Goode:
• ‘THE ULTIMATE PERSONIFICATION OF EVIL’ — The subject’s father comes off as a big part of the problem.
• Arthur Frederick GOODE III — a ton of information, including John Waters’ City Paper article/interview.