Thursday, December 01, 2005

Who Should Be Remembered?

North Carolina death row inmate Kenneth Lee Boyd is scheduled to be executed in about 15 hours for two murders he committed in 1988. He would become the 1,000th prisoner executed since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. The AP story by reporter Estes Thompson contains the following quote from Boyd, about being the thousandth execution:

"I'd hate to be remembered as that," Boyd told The Associated Press in a prison interview Wednesday. "I don't like the idea of being picked as a number."
He's worried about being remembered in such an infamous way. Apparently he isn't worried about being a killer, just being a noted execution number. He shouldn't be remembered at all. Still, the article, and the killer himself, focus on the sad notoriety of his time of execution.

What bothers me about all this, especially the AP article, is the idea of remembrance. There is no single mention, no remembrance, of Boyd's victims. They are the names people should remember. Not only does Estes not mention them, the crime itself is barely referenced.
"Unless they intervene, 57-year-old Kenneth Lee Boyd will be put to death by injection at 2 a.m. Friday, earning a man who shot and killed his estranged wife and her father an infamous place in American history."
That's it, the only reference to the man's evil. Here is what Estes Thompson felt wasn't germane to the story, courtesy
On March 4, 1988 Boyd entered the home of his estranged wife's father, Thomas Dillard Curry, where his wife and children were then living, and shot and killed both his wife, Julie Curry Boyd, and her father with a .357 Magnum pistol. The shootings were committed in the presence of his own children--13, 12 and 10.
In Boyd's own words, he described what happened:
"I walked to the back door and opened it. It was unlocked. As I walked in, I saw a silhouette that I believe was Dillard... I pulled the gun out and started shooting. I think I shot Dillard one time and he fell. Then I walked past him and into the kitchen and living room area. The whole time I was pointing and shooting. Then I saw another silhouette that I believe was Julie come out of the bedroom. I shot again, probably several times. Then I reloaded my gun. I dropped the empty shell casings onto the floor. As I reloaded, I heard someone groan, Julie I guess. I turned and aimed, shooting again... I kept pointing and shooting at anything that moved."
AP writer Thompson might not see fit to mention the victims, but they are the ones who should be remembered. Their story should be told, not their killer's.