Editorials

Don’t seek the death penalty for F. Glenn Miller Jr. in Johnson County killings

In 2014, after her son, Reat Underwood, and father, William Corporon, were killed by a neo-Nazi, Mindy Corporan spoke during a vigil.
In 2014, after her son, Reat Underwood, and father, William Corporon, were killed by a neo-Nazi, Mindy Corporan spoke during a vigil. The Kansas City Star

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said last week he intended to seek the death penalty in the case of F. Glenn Miller Jr., the avowed white supremacist who is accused of slaying three people on a Sunday last April. But Howe’s action raises several concerns.

A capital conviction would not end Miller’s life any time soon. The last person sentenced to death in the county is still in prison, 12 years after his conviction.

Inevitable appeals would lead to a repeated rehash of the shootings of William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, who were shot outside of the Jewish Community Center; and Terri LaManno, 53; who died in the parking lot of a senior living facility.

Finally, death penalty cases lead to extra expenses for taxpayers.

We would prefer that Howe instead endeavor to put Miller behind bars for the rest of his life.

Mindy Corporon — the daughter of William Corporon and mother of Reat — said in a heartfelt statement after Howe’s decision: “We respect the judicial process and have faith that justice will prevail.... During this holiday season, we pray for every person, regardless of race or religion, who has lost a loved one; and ask all people to pursue goodness and grace over evil and hate today, and every day.”

This newspaper’s longtime belief is that states should not be executioners.

Miller is 74, and mortality tables show he’s not likely to live much longer. He also claims to be terminally ill.

Prison without parole would protect society without making citizens complicit in his death. It also would provide justice to the families of his victims.

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