Penalty for gruesome murders should be death

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 1999

Published Sept. 23, 1999

No level of punishment can take away the horror of a crime once it has been committed.

That being the case, we concede that no matter what happens to the person or people who murdered Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley, the punishment will not repay the debt owed on these girls’ lives.

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Police in Ozark have made an arrest in the case and assert that they "have the right man."

We hope that is the case. The person who committed the crime should be held accountable for the sick and twisted murders of two teenage girls who went out for a memorable evening with friends.

Never could they have imagined it would be their last evening alive.

Punishment of the murderer cannot bring the girls back. Neither can the taking of additional lives in order to right a terrible wrong. More death cannot bring two girls back home again.

But an execution upon a guilty verdict can do three things, at least. It will bring a conclusion to the case for the families and the friends of the girls. It will ensure that the convicted murderer never murders again. And it will send a message that violence against society begets violence against the individual.

We’re a long way from a conviction, but we are hopeful that this matter will soon be put to rest so good people can try to move on with their lives as best they can and hope to put the terrible event behind them.