We must allow our justice system to work

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2001

On Monday, the death toll from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will reach 169.

On that day, Timothy McVeigh will be put to death by lethal injection as punishment for killing 168 men, women and children inside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building with a homemade bomb hidden inside a truck.

While many Americans may disagree with the use of capital punishment, it is the most severe recourse and punishment our system allows for this most heinous of crimes.

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And, in reviewing the scope McVeigh’s particular crime – the death of innocent children playing at a day care center; the senseless killing of scores of federal workers; the shattering of America’s heart and its sense of safety – one wonders what punishment ultimately could be labeled &uot;appropriate.&uot;

Timothy McVeigh’s death will not bring back the lives of those killed in the bombing. It will not restore the families shattered and mourning in their loss. It will not wipe away the painful memory for millions of Americans. Nor will it restore our nation’s innocence in the face of terrorism.

What this execution will do is complete the process of our justice system – a system which, while admittedly imperfect, has served America and her democracy well for more than 200 years now.

Ironically, it’s the same system that, while allowing a wide range of discussions, disagreement and discontent that Timothy McVeigh often exercised, draws the line at acts of violence.

In the end it is a system we must continue to believe in; a system we must continue to support; and a system we must continue to uphold. It is our system; and we must allow it to work.