Poster Child

The big news in South Dakota this week will most probably revolve around the scheduled execution of Elijah Page. As I have posted previously, the outrage on the right is almost non-existent in regards to his execution and instead continues to be focused on winning the upcoming abortion ban fight.

On that subject in today’s Argus, Randall Beck attempts to compare the two issues and the obviously different schools of thought maintained by many on the right. On one hand they approve of the taking of the life of a convicted murderer and on the other hand they fight for protecting the life of an unborn child.

But what I find amazing and what the article inadvertently describes, at least I don’t believe Mr. Beck was working towards this, is how Page is the perfect poster child for both issues. The description of the crime committed by Page cannot be a more perfect example of why the use of death penalty is approved of by a majority in this country.

He and two pals tied 19-year-old Chester Poage to a chair, forced beer, pills and drain cleaner down his throat, and drove him to a remote area of the Black Hills, where they beat and stabbed him.

Page finished the job, dropping big rocks on the teenager�s head.

The article then goes on to describe the absolutely terrible childhood that Page endured.

He grew up in a series of abandoned buildings in Kansas City, his mother addicted to drugs. When he was just 2 years old, his mother loaned him out to pedophiles in exchange for drugs. Mostly, mother dearest wasn�t around, and the boy and his siblings took care of themselves. Page�s stepfather wasn�t any better; he used the boy, then 10, as a human shield during a drug-related gunbattle.

Rescued by state social workers, Elijah Page found himself shuffled among more than a dozen foster homes in a single year.

Isn’t this a perfect example of the life that awaits many unwanted children that the right is looking to save? What is the plan by the right to help these “innocent” children that will grow up with similar stories? Save them when they are unwanted fetuses, allow them to live through horrible childhoods, and then kill them when they grow up to be “guilty” murderers? I am sure that Chester Poage would have had an opinion, if he would have been given the chance that is.

UPDATE: This post deals with the first attempt to execute Elijah Page in August of 2006. For more On Chester Poage and the actual execution of Elijah Page please go here and here

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