John Allen Muhammad will be executed tomorrow. Some call it justice. Some call it closure. Some call it senseless murder.
If the name does not ring a bell, perhaps the case of the Beltway sniper attacks might ring a bell. Two men –one of them, a minor– went on a killing and wounding spree over a three-week period in October of 2002. They randomly shot, wounded, and killed people going about their day.
It was a horrible nightmare for many around the DC Metro area. In some ways it still is, because they have to live with the constant reminder of losing their loved ones to a senseless and brutal action by a couple of unstable men.
But then there is the whole bit about whether "An eye for an eye" living makes sense, and whether killing a man who is mentally ill and a veteran with untreated issues is really the kind of example we want to set in society.
Justice is blind for a reason, I suppose.
No one likes justice, even if everyone clamors for it.
Justice is messy and it's no one's friend, even as people are willing to die for it. Nothing is ever cut and dried: answers never satisfy the thirst inside, and things are always far more complicated than they seem. And when the poison goes into Muhammad's veins and it's a few minutes after nine p.m. tomorrow and he's dead, no one can know for sure what will be felt by anyone else, whether they were directly affected by the murders or not.
But one dead asshole is not going to bring anyone else back. They will all still be dead.