Thursday, January 17, 2013

Virginia Executes Robert Gleason Jr.

The Washington Post reports
A convicted murderer who killed two fellow inmates while serving a life sentence and vowed to keep on killing unless he was put to death was executed Wednesday night in Virginia.

Robert Gleason Jr., 42, originally of Lowell, Mass., was pronounced dead at 9:08 p.m. at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, the Associated Press reported.

Gleason pleaded guilty to strangling his cellmate, Harvey Watson, with a bedsheet at the Wallens Ridge State Prison in 2009, saying under oath that he timed it to coincide with the anniversary of the killing for which he was sent to prison in the first place, according to court documents.

Gleason later told the court that he “already had a few [other] inmates lined up, just in case I didn’t get the death penalty, that I was gonna take out.”

In 2010, he strangled another inmate through a wire fence in a recreation pen at the Red Onion State Prison, a “supermax” facility, according to court records. Prosecutors said he mocked the prison staff as they tried to revive Aaron Cooper.

Gleason also pleaded guilty to that slaying and was sentenced to death in both killings. Gleason was given a life sentence for the slaying of Mike Jamerson in Virginia’s Amherst County in 2007. Prosecutors said he carried out that killing to cover up his involvement in a drug gang.
I admit it's a dilemma what to do with guys like this. But, even a regular Otto Delaney should not receive state-sanctioned per-meditated murder just for the asking.  It's barbaric.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Without the government there would be NO rights. How can a mere subject of the State, who was born in a government hospital, raised in government schools, benefited from government utilities and regulation, has traveled to and from ones occupation on government roads, and who's life, liberty, and property where protected from threats, foreign and domestic by a government military and police force, be so brazenly arrogant to challenge the very institution that has protected, and indeed endowed us with liberty, property and above all, life. The twenty-first century American is very much a creation of the state, as without police officers, firefighters, social workers, and soldiers, there would be no quality of life, no liberty and no property worth defending. If any ancestor of yours had not received welfare, in some form, it is possible that you would not be here today. Has not the food with which we are nourished by (the safety of which is guaranteed by the State)traveled to your dinner table on government roads? Would you be alive today if it where not for a collective right for the State (not the mere subject) to keep and bear arms, in the form of a professional military and police force? We must at all times consider ourselves a creation of the State, which has (directly or indirectly) endowed the ordinary subject, with their very lives, property and the freedoms that we take for granted.

    What the State givith, the State may ethically take. Capital punishment ought not to be seen as an act of killing by an agent of the collective, but merely the revoking of the life endowed to the most repugnant of felons. Since the State has created a person, the State may execute said person, if such shows wanton disregard for the sanctity of the collective State, or individual human life.

    1. E.N., what state agency approved your comment? Until you can provide a satisfactory answer to that question, your comments are pure drivel, based on your own stated beliefs.

  2. Mike,

    I have to disagree with you on the principle of the death penalty. Now to be clear, I would not say that it should be available, for the asking, for anyone who wants to commit suicide by state, but I think it's completely appropriate as a maximum penalty for murderers.

    When someone commits the ultimate crime and takes a person's life, that is a very final thing. The only punishment that can equal that is to execute the murderer.

    Of course, our system needs a great deal of reform to ensure that we do not execute the innocent--such as a limitation on capital punishment to cases where there is a good deal of true, hard evidence, not some circumstantial case as has been allowed in the past.

    In this case, there seems to be no room to doubt that this guy committed at least the murders of the other inmates, and I think we are all better off to be free of him.

    1. We need to look internationally as well as domestically to find a better system to handle the appeal of capital cases. The State of Maryland requires the prosecution to present DNA evidence, Videotape Evidence, or a Legal Confession as a prerequisite for trial as a capital case. Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri, and Texas have efficient systems established to fast-track the appeals process, guaranteeing justice for the grieving family of the victim, as well as saving money.

    2. OK, Hell just froze over. I'm actually going to agree with E.N. on something.

      I did not know that about Maryland, but that would be a good starting point for the type of reform I'm talking about.

      Troll or not, thank you for bringing something helpful to the conversation this time.

    3. T., the idea that the punishment has to equal the crime went out with the Old Testament and Dante. Modern civilized societies don't do that, except ours of course.

    4. Mike,

      I recall that

      Japan, Formosa, The Peoples Republic of China, India, Republic of Korea, Belarus (the last European country to retain Capital Punishment), Vietnam, Cuba, and (most notoriously) Singapore

      do happen to be civilized societies. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the Untied States.

    5. There is nothing uncivilized about saying that the point of a sentence should be to punish the offender for what he did, and that the sentence should be no more than what is appropriate for the crime, and that it should be no less unless we are exercising mercy in the case.

  3. Mike,
    I agree. *pointing out the window* Oh, look...flying pigs!

  4. This guy's a poster child for the death penalty. It should be used sparingly and only when there is genuinely no doubt, but here we have a case of someone who was irredeemably evil.

  5. I favor capital punishment for heinous crimes when there is concrete evidence such as DNA, audio/video recordings, and/or several highly credible eye witnesses. An example would be the monsters in Connecticut who raped a pre-teen girl and her mother, tied them to their beds, then walked out after setting the house on fire leaving them to burn to death.

    I believe a civilized, just society requires such a punishment.