Gary Ridgeway, a serial killer and confessed murderer of 48 women in the infamous Green River killings, sits right now in a jail cell fantasizing about what he did. With no remorse whatsoever, Ridgeway slaughtered women for decades with no regard for suffering, loss, or human decency. Ridgeway was given a plea bargain to save himself from the death penalty so that he might reveal details of the Green River murders, and locate missing corpses of the women that he murdered. To complete this plea bargain, Ridgeway got to revisit the scenes of his crime, and further his warped fantasy life yet again.
People that are in favor of the death penalty have a poster boy in Ridgeway. This is a cold-blooded, methodical, remorseless serial killer that took more lives than anyone in recent memory. The Green River killer ruined the lives of literally thousands, and held a community in the grip of fear for a very long time. Yet there he sits. For those against the death penalty, Ridgeway is a poster boy as well. Why? The death penalty is based on equality. If one person commits crime A, that is considered heinous enough to merit death, then people committing crime B should also be put to death for the same crime. The Green River killer proves that this does not work. This can not work. Equality in the death penalty will never happen because the rules change way to often.
Look at Ridgeway and the Green River killings. There is zero doubt of his guilt. DNA, knowledge of the crimes, and his own admissions show him to be the man responsible for these killings. Forty Eight women slaughtered with every death sentence factor present. If we do not kill Gary Ridgeway, then how can we justify killing anyone else? As long as the serial killers of this country continue to get smarter, and evade capture, then prosecutors will be forced to make bargains with the devil. Think it over. If you were the mother of one of these kids that was murdered and you had no idea where the body was, would you trade their killer’s life for your daughter’s location?
Ridgeway sits in that jail cell, thinking about the Green River horrors he perpetuated upon those kids. He thinks about it night and day as all serial killers do. He relishes the acts he committed and the hysteria the Green River killings created, and he has the rest of his life to continue to do so. How can we possibly call the death penalty a success? Gary Ridgeway proves otherwise, as do hundreds of others.