I’ve been following the case of Joseph Druce, the Massachusetts man who killed convicted pedophile and defrocked Catholic priest John Geoghan while the two were in prison. Druce is now on trial, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Which he was already serving, for a previous murder.
I’ve repeatedly said that the Druce case is a textbook example of why we need capital punishment. There is literally nothing that can be done to Druce for his murder. Whether he’s convicted or acquitted, he’ll go back to the same cell for the rest of his life. The only difference is whether he’ll be serving one or two life sentences. So the whole trial is an exercise in futility.
Well, not entirely. Druce is having a grand old time.
First, he bragged about the killing — in detail — to a guard. But when they tried to use that confession in court, he argued it ought to be suppressed. Then, in court, he said he wanted to plead guilty. Then he changed his mind. He wanted a trial after all. And so on.
If the commonwealth of Massachusetts had a lick of common sense, they’d just drop the indictment of Druce and let him rot back in his cell for that first murder, and only bring it back if — by some twist of legal idiocy — anything happened to that original conviction. All they’re doing is wasting their time and the taxpayers’ money to give the scumbag his jollies and something new to look forward to.
Update: Scott Ferguson, below, points out that I didn’t spell out the “capital punishment” angle this time, nor did I link to the prior posting where I spelled it out. In brief: as the song goes, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Druce, already serving a life sentence, cannot be given any more severe punishment, so there is literally no reason for him not to kill again. He already has once, and the next time it could be a guard. In fact, the promise of getting out of prison for his new trial could almost be considered a reward, providing a sort of “perverse incentive” for those already serving life sentences to commit more murders.