This Lethal Injection Is Going To Hurt The State Of Texas More Than It Hurts YouCommentary • Opinion • death • legal • prison • courts • justice • ISSUE 36•31 • Sep 6, 2000 By Judge Randolph J. Fowler Judge Randolph J. Fowler Mr. Jackson, seeing as you have been found guilty of murder in the first degree by the citizens of the Great Republic Of Texas, I have no choice but to sentence you to death by means of lethal injection, to be administered by a state-appointed prison medical technician within 90 days' time. But I'll have you know, Mr. Jackson, that as harsh as this punishment may seem, trust me when I tell you that it hurts the state of Texas much more than it hurts you.I must say, I can hardly believe the lack of gratitude you have shown the State of Texas, especially after it worked its fingers to the bone to give you every possible advantage in life. We put you through 12 years of school. We gave you roads to drive on. We even picked up your trash for you! But the only thing you seemed interested in was the prison system. Well, I'm afraid you've burned your last bridge, Mr. Jackson. You've worn out your welcome there, too.Do you think I enjoy this, Mr. Jackson? I do not. When you die, a little piece of me will die with you. Not as big as the piece of you, of course, since your whole body will die, but it will be a very important piece of me–the one that had hopes and dreams for you.Mr. Jackson, this court gave serious consideration to the sentence of life in prison. But, honestly, what good would that do? What, in the final analysis, would that teach you? Did you learn your lesson when you were sentenced to 30 days' prison time for being drunk and disorderly in San Antonio? You did not. Did you change your ways when you were given one year in prison for assault and battery in Brownsville? Again, no. Not only did you fail to change your ways; you served a mere five months of that sentence before requesting parole. Parole! Therefore, Mr. Jackson, as made obvious by your own actions, prison is no place for you. I must therefore consider your own best interests in choosing your sentence. And, as much as it breaks my heart, lethal injection it is. I can only hope that one day, you will see the wisdom of my decision.Mr. Jackson, my judgment in this matter must be dictated by higher ideals. One could argue that the cost of keeping you in prison for life would actually be less than that of executing you. No doubt, it will cost a great deal of taxpayer money to reject your appeal of this sentence. But the proud and noble state of Texas has never listened to the bookkeepers and accountants when the decision to kill a man must be made. And though you have proven yourself to be the ungrateful sort who would appeal his very own death sentence if he thought there were something in it for him, this state has a duty to all its citizens–even you, Mr. Jackson. If it must execute them, then that is what it will do. We owe you no less.I must admit to certain misgivings in this matter. Somehow, I can't help feeling that Texas has failed you in some way. That maybe there was something else we could have done, some other road we could have gone down, another choice we could have made had we but eyes to see. But what is that thing we could have done? Can you tell me that, Mr. Jackson? Of course not. Of course not.It saddens me to have failed you. But I must move on and try to do good for others, as I apparently have been unable to do for you. Bailiff! Bring in People v. Reynoso, if you would. We have a full docket today, so let's get cuttin'.