Friday, October 30, 2009

Rapist Murderer Davidson Gets Death Penalty. Does it Bring Relief to Victims' Families?


The sentencing phase of LeMaricus Davidson has drawn to a close. He is now #90 on the Tennessee Death Row. According to many reports the average length of time an inmate spends on death row, fighting appeals and pleading the case is 20 years. Two decades. That is just about the length of time that Davidson's victims, Channon Christian and boyfriend Chris Newsom had on earth.

Several Knoxville news stations carried live coverage of the Davidson trial. At no other time has Knoxville been riveted around a court case. Reporters were tweeting from the courtroom so that everyone could follow the latest on Twitter. It was perfect for those who could not get to the internet.

The heinous and gruesome rapes and murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom will long be remembered after the penalty Davidson received is carried out. May God bring comfort to their families.

But in a case this horrific there are no winners. Everyone lost. No one paid a higher price than Channon Christian or Chris Newsom. Their death left a gaping void in their families that can never be filled. Society as a whole lost out on the contributions that these two young people made and would continue to make if it weren't for such a tragic outcome. And yes, society lost when Davidson and his followers started on their destructive paths before Chris and Channon were ever brought into the picture.

Tennessee is a death penalty state. That knowledge is always bittersweet. It sends a strong message to criminals that there may be a high cost to pay for committing atrocities but it won't bring back the victims. It can never do that. The best that we can hope for is that the sentence of death will bring a measure of comfort to the victims' families. After all that they have been through and will continue to go through the families deserve whatever chances at comfort that they can get.

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