Florida Execution Reignites Death Penalty Debate

    February 13, 2014
    Lacy Langley

The Florida execution of a confessed murderer yesterday has again caused tempers to flare on both sides of the death penalty debate.

In fact, a last minute, last resort appeal was made on behalf of the confessed murderer, Juan Carlos Chavez, by his lawyers, but was unsuccessful.

The accused confessed to the 1995 rape, murder, and dismemberment of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce.

The young boy was kidnapped from his school bus and led at gunpoint to Chavez’s trailer. Chavez then raped the young boy and shot him when he tried to escape. Chavez panicked, and proceeded to cut the boy’s body into several small pieces and hid the pieces in cement planters. All this happened while his parents and search parties were combing the area in desperation to find Jimmy.

Some say that the death penalty is wrong, no exception. Others say that people like this deserve to die. They say that monsters like this should not even be given the slightest glimmer of hope that they will ever be free to hurt anyone again.

One person who believes the latter is Jimmy’s brother, Ted Ryce, who attended the execution of his brother’s killer, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

“Many people have asked why I decided to come today. I did not come today to celebrate Juan Carlos’s execution…. Many people did not believe that Juan Carlos Chavez should be put to death for his horrible crime of raping and murdering my brother Jimmy Ryce. I believe this comes from a place of weakness, not strength. It comes from not being able to face the atrociousness of some men’s actions and punish them on a level commensurate with their crime.”

He added, “But we must be strong. We must do what it takes to send a clear message to other child predators that if they go after children, if they kill children, that they will die at the executioner’s hands. Today will bring no closure for my family. As my father has stated, ‘Closure does not exist,’ but the justice served this day after a painful 19 years will end the chapter on this part of our life and now we look forward to moving on.”

What do you think about the death penalty for murderers like Juan Carlos Chavez? Do you think people who rape and murder children should be allowed to live, or should they be killed so that there is no chance of them ever being a danger to society again?

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Lacy Langley
Lacy is a writer from Texas. She likes spending time in the home office, homeschooling her kids, playing the didgeridoo, caring for her chickens (Thelma and Louise), Rolos, Christmas, and Labyrinth.