I saw a report earlier that Charles Manson had died. I can't find it now, but all other reports say that he's near death in a hospital in California. Either way, it's probably instructive to dwell for a moment on the life and career of Charles Manson.
That's long enough. He's better forgotten. He should have died years ago.
In my mind, Charles Manson is the best argument yet put forward for the death sentence. The majority of his life was spent in a prison cell. Over several decades all he managed to do was eat and defecate. He cost the taxpayers of California millions of dollars in housing, food, medical care and prison salaries. A strong scaffold and a short rope would have been much more cost effective.
I've heard all the arguments. None of them ring true. Charles Manson's life was a complete and total waste. That in itself is not a crime, lots of people live wasted lives. In this particular case, he combined a wasted life with unrepentant evil. Entire encyclopedia, dissertations, legal arguments, humanist objections, have been written on the evils of the death penalty, but Manson is the exception that laughs in the face of the rule.
The good people of California would have been much better off if they would have just put Charlie down several decades ago.
UPDATE** Here's the link.