June 28, 1996

Richard Allen Davis, Child Murderer

Oh, I killed a man they said, so they said,

Oh, I killed a man they said, so they said,

Oh, I killed a man they said, and I shot him in the head,

And I left him there for dead,

Damn your eyes, damn your eyes.

English ballad

I can just imagine Richard Allen Davis watching the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and thinking "Wow, what a great way to die! If I die that way, maybe they'll make a movie out of my life." This man has a psychological makeup similar to the man in the ballad who cursed the people who were watching his hanging with a "damn your eyes!!" I suspected that he wanted to be caught, tried and executed.

Now Richard Allen Davis is the center of attention. People are concerned about him. They watch every move that he makes. Davis flipping the bird at the TV people made the evening news and headlines in the papers. This is more recognition than Davis could ever have received doing anything else. He seems to be delighted, and he will die happy when he is executed before the eyes of the nation. In the ten or fifteen years that it will take for the appeal process to run its course, he will be well fed. Jail food is probably better than what he is used to eating. In short, he will lead as good a life as he has ever led.-And people will care. They will be concerned lest he end his life before the scheduled moment of his execution. If he goes on a hunger strike, they will force feed him. A loving parent would do no less.

He is a perfect example of the psychology of a neglected child who says, "If I can't get any attention when I'm being good, I'll be very bad and then people will pay attention". Davis carried it to its extreme. He used the ploy with greater success than most do. Many kids with this attitude learn to do useful or entertaining things that will get them the attention that they want. To do this successfully requires a bit of talent, intelligence and ambition. Apparently Davis has neither intelligence nor talent, so he murdered someone whose death would evoke the rage of everyone; a thoroughly charming, delightful little girl.

Davis's lawyer tried to plea bargain in an effort to get him a life sentence without possibility of parole, in exchange for a guilty plea. The powers-that-be wouldn't accept it. It would have deprived the district attorney of his place in the sun -his memorable moment in the court room. The judge had the good sense to keep the television cameras out, but he would have impaired his career if he had agreed to the plea bargain. When the public screams for blood, a judge who wants to be re-elected had better appear to oblige them, or change his career to something that doesn't involve politics.

Polly Klaas was a lovely girl who was murdered in order to give Davis a place in the sun. It was a horrible bargain. Polly's father is also getting attention and celebrity from the death of his daughter, which he seems to relish. What will he do when the media decides that his opinion is no longer newsworthy?

The only thing that Davis would not have wanted would have been for the system to let him rot in prison, and forget that he ever existed. That would have been real justice.

In short, the citizens of California -you and I included- have just spent over two million bucks to make that scum of the earth, Richard Allen Davis, a happy man.

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