Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beyond Repair: Part 2-Redefining the 8th Amendment

Nixzmary Brown…Noah, Mary, Luke, Paul and John Yates…Clyde Bondurant…Kira Walden…An ever-growing list of children who have died by the hands of family members.

Today’s Rant will focus on the newest little casualty, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers. Dubbed “Baby Grace” by police, she was a “fun-loving girl…with a big imagination,” explains Riley Ann’s father, Robert Sawyers. She would play “with a water hose…spraying the whole patio soaking wet.”

Relocated to Galveston with her mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor; the body of the then-unidentified toddler was found by a fisherman on October 29, 2007. Her body was stuffed inside a blue storage container that washed up on an uninhabited island in Galveston’s West Bay.

Police arrested Trenor and her husband, Royce Zeigler after Trenor gave a voluntary statement describing her involvement, with Zeigler, in the physical abuse, death and disposal of the remains of her daughter.

According to her statement, both ‘pieces of garbage’ beat the child with leather belts and held her head under water in the bathtub. Zeigler then picked the girl up by her hair and threw her across the room, slamming her head into the tile floor. After her daughter died, Trenor and Zeigler went to a Wal-Mart and bought a Sterilite container which became Riley’s coffin, hidden in a storage shed for “one to two months” before the two carried it to the Galveston Causeway and tossed it in.

A beautiful toddler with wispy blond curls is gone forever. Though nothing the judicial system can do will bring her back, this is my vote to redefine “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Eighth Amendment.

At the time the Eighth Amendment was written, capital punishment was in common use. There also existed punishments that were generally considered cruel and unusual, such as hanging, burning at the stake, and impalement. But now, even lethal injection is under scrutiny. Debating that the convicted might actually feel pain during the procedure and therefore, certain groups and lawmakers arguing that this method is not humane.

What is humane is to do exactly to Trenor and Zeigler as they did to Riley. That would be justice! Unfortunately, that scenerio will never happen with the laws and enforcment of our current judicial system. I can not even hope that these two ‘sickos’ might be ‘neutured’ so that they can never reproduce again. Instead they will clog our courts, use tax payer money for their stay in jail (whatever ridicilously short sentence they get) for two people obviously beyond repair. My only relief is that this happened in Texas…the state with the Death Penalty Express Lane!

Police: Mother describes beating of 2-year-old, hiding her body