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Word Count: 1,236
I still remember the day clearly It wasnt what he had done that changed my mind at first It wasnt even the verdict It was the moment of his actual death seeing hearing about it on television that made me firmly re-think my own beliefs on the subject and endorse the death penalty for juveniles On January 5 1993 behind a wall where I imagine he may have heard the voices of people cheering outside Westley Allan Dodd was hanged by the state of Washington He wasnt a juvenile but his death made me understand why juvenile murderers should be equally subject to capital punishment I realized at that time that the people parading outside were not sadists They were merely displaying their agreement with the verdict and the sentence They opened champagne bottles and set off fire crackers not because they were simple minded but because they wanted it to be over Families waited for justice and it was within arms reach I understood how someone could want a minor -- an older child -- dead The people demonstrating believed -- as I had come to-- that Dodd was a sadistic psychopathic pedophile incapable of empathy that his greatest fear was being a nobody and that he had successfully manipulated us into making him a somebody via the sensational media coverage of his hanging The families and the people of Washington did get justice that night But Dodd was not a juvenile Yet had he been executed years earlier perhaps others would not have had to suffer Lives would have been saved In the end Dodds life was lost anyway It was at that moment that I realized perhaps executing murderers at younger ages would serve not only as a deterrent and a form of retribution but also effective in creating a safer society I was always well-aware that there is extreme opposition to the use of the death penalty for minors
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