Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Microstory 1818: Grandfather Death

About a year ago, the papers and the public began to call me Grandfather Death. Capital punishment has been abolished in every country in the developed world, and much of the developing world as well. Mine was the last holdout, and I fall into a special category. You see, my trial was going on at about the same time as the law was being debated, so once they finally settled on abolishment, they realized that I was in a bit of a gray area. Two others were executed once the new law was passed, but before it went into effect. No others were on death row with us at the time, so there was a question as to whether I should be grandfathered into the old law, or placed back in the normal prison system to carry out a life sentence. Being grandfathered into a prior law is often a good thing, like back in the day when I could drive a car at the age of 15 even after they suddenly upped the minimum age from 14 to 16. This time, it’s not so good, and the whole thing was all really complicated and over my head. Because of the way the proceedings happened, I didn’t technically have a life sentence. I was sentenced to death, so there was nothing for them to fall back on. It was a weird loophole that everyone missed, and as much as it would benefit me to go free, it was honestly a huge mistake that never should have occurred. They considered retrying me, and reconvicting me, so they could do it right this time, but I think there was a legal precedent issue with that. It was just easier if they went ahead with the plan, and assured the public that this would be the very last execution ever. There were a lot of protests that I remember seeing outside my window. That was a concession, I guess, or a consolation prize. Death row was built underground, but they moved me to luxury accommodations for the last several months of my life. I’m not using that word sarcastically either. I would have killed to live in a place like that before I went to prison, it was so nice. Even for white collar criminals, this seems like far too much creature comfort. Why does it exist at all?

I’m not going to lie here and try to tell you that I don’t belong in this room, with these straps around my body, and this needle in my arm. I did what they said I did, and I would do it again. People sometimes ask me if I truly had to beat him as hard as I did, and like, that was the whole point. I wasn’t actually trying to kill him; that was just what happened to him in the end, because he couldn’t survive his injuries. My intent was for him to feel pain like all his victims did. He got in trouble for taking people’s money, but he didn’t suffer. Meanwhile hundreds of families were still destitute, and unable to believe in the concept of justice. I had to right that wrong, and I have no regrets. I made no attempt to conceal my actions, and when the police came, I did not resist. I knew that things could get this bad for me, because that man had a lot of loyalists that were holding onto a lot of strings. But he finally suffered, and that’s what matters, even if it means I go down too. Because, you see, even though he had people honorbound to him because of how much money he made them, I’m the one with fans. I’m the one with a following. I’m not just talking about the victims and their families either, but people who agree with my solution, and only wish they could have done it themselves. That’s what I gave them; peace of mind that he can’t hurt anyone anymore, and that they aren’t responsible for stopping him. I’m sacrificing myself so that they can get on with their lives. Yes, I lie on this table fully at peace—smiling, even—because today...I die a martyr.

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