Florida death row inmate John Evander Couey died of cancer last week, and if you ask me, he got off too easy.
Six men and six women found Couey guilty of first-degree murder, burglary, kidnapping, and sexual battery in March 2007 for the rape and murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford in 2005. The same jury also recommend, by majority vote, that Couey be put to death. The defense had urged jurors to sentence him to life in prison, putting psychologists on the stand who testified that Couey was mentally retarded. Florida law prohibits execution of someone judged mentally retarded. The prosecution called their own experts, who stated Couey was well aware of his actions when he kidnapped, raped, and murdered little Jessica.
Couey was a waste of skin who knew exactly what he wanted to do to Jessica Lunsford. He was also the veritable poster boy for the flaws in our justice system that contribute to the horrific deaths of innocent children like Jessie.
How does one get arrested 27 times by age 46 and not still be incarcerated?
How could four other adults living in such tight quarters not have heard or seen anything? One month later, Jessica was found near the trailer -- right where Couey told investigators he buried her alive. How could these four people not hear the plastic bags being wrapped around Jessie, or Couey outside digging a hole and then burying the little girl alive as she struggled, her little fingers poking holes through the garbage bags?
It is truly horrifying to contemplate that someone else in that household might have seen her or heard that little girl cry out, and did nothing to help her. If so, they are equally guilty of all charges and deserve the same punishment as the monster they protected with their silence.Tweet