Crime and Parenting

30 Sep


My ten year old daughter watches the morning news.  I know, I know.  But we drew the line at her drinking black coffee while watching.  That counts for something, right?  If the TV is on cartoons while she’s getting ready, she’ll be like, “Yeah, I’m gonna need the news before we go any further.”  She’s always been a nosy child.  Her Dad and I are always right there to answer any questions she may have.  And trust me.  There have been questions.

But last night I found myself trying to explain capital punishment to her.  The reason being, she caught wind of Kelly Gissendaner’s pending execution.  If you’re unfamiliar with the case, Gissendaner was the only woman on death row here in the state of Georgia.  She was sentenced to death after a jury found her guilty for convincing her lover to kill her husband.  The guy who did the actual stabbing will be up for parole in 2022.  Gissendaner was scheduled to be executed at 7:00 pm last night but her legal team went into an appeal frenzy and the execution wasn’t carried out until 12:21 a.m. this morning.  My kid supported the appealing.  “It’s not fair to die if the other killer guy isn’t dying too.”  Kid rationalizing.

When she asked what capital punishment was, I gave her the whole “eye for an eye” explanation.  But  you could clearly see her trying to process all of the contradictions that surrounded it.  I myself struggle with the whole thing.  I wanted to make sure she understood that legally ending someone’s life was not something to be taken lightly.  It wasn’t Twitter entertainment.  It was also not an excuse to stay up past bedtime.

I questioned my parenting skills when I saw her run to the kitchen for snacks, informing her Dad, “Hey man, I gotta go.  This whole peeling process is heating up.”  We told her it was bedtime.  She told us there was one more appeal pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.  We said we didn’t care.  She said we should.  We said we were the boss.  She said she had a right to an appeal.

While most days I completely fail at parenting, this morning I’m fairly sure I made a good parenting choice when I decided not to say, “Hey, they executed that woman last night” on the way to school.

Don’t judge me.


One Response to “Crime and Parenting”

  1. Michael Cargill September 30, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    In ten years’ time, when the Trice Junior Atom Bomb is finally unleashed upon the wider world, I’ll be able to look back at these pre-Cataclysm days in nostalgic wonder.

    Assuming I survive the fallout of course.


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