Shawna Forde sentenced to die

I’ve been holding this one in my pocket for a while, hoping to have something to connect it to. However, nothing has come up and I don’t want to let it go uncommented:

An anti-immigration activist has been sentenced to death for the 2009 murder of a nine year-old-girl and her father. Shawna Forde, 43, organised a break-in at the Arizona home of Raul Flores apparently to fund her group, which campaigns against illegal immigration. But the burglary went wrong and 29-year-old Mr Flores was shot dead along with his daughter Brisenia.

I don’t like the BBC’s use of the word “activist” in this context. Shawna Forde is a terrorist who used violence and intimidation as tools to advance her political agenda. Her group, Minutemen American Defense should not be confused with The Minutemen, which is a non-violent group (one that I still think is misguided, but nonetheless non-violent) of volunteers that patrols the US/Mexican border looking for illegal immigrants. Shawna Forde was kicked out of the Minutemen for being too insane.

Shawna Forde and two other people broke into the Flores home looking for drugs that they could sell to fund their organization. They shot the inhabitants of the home, killing two and wounding one. One of those who died was 9 year-old Brisenia Flores. Less of a fuss was kicked up over this murder than the equally-tragic shooting death of Christina Taylor Green at the hands of Jared Loughner in January, a fact that may have a number of explanations of which race is undoubtedly one.

Even for a hateful monster like Shawna Forde, I cannot condone the death penalty. Not only is it not an effective deterrent for further crimes, it is far more expensive than simply jailing her for life. While it may be just to kill someone who kills another, there is no value to such a murder except removing Shawna Forde from society. It is likely to turn her into a martyr, as is evinced by her fan page. Maybe if they just flew her into the middle of the Mojave and left her out there without any supplies…

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