February 2, 2015
The Night Stalker
Justice in the court system is not just about righting a wrong that was made or returning stolen property. The true meaning of justice goes deeper on a personal level, to where the individual being wronged can be relieved and compensated for what was done to him or her. In the case involving Richard Ramirez, also dubbed “Night Stalker”, injustice prevailed and trumped the justice system in the US. Ramirez was a serial killer, rapist, and burglar in the Los Angeles area and terrorized people from 1984 to 1985 (“Richard Ramirez”). Ramirez used a variety of weapons from handguns to hammers to torture his victims and commit the horrendous acts of injustice (“Richard Ramirez”).
The reason that this case is a clear representation of an injustice is because of what happened while Richard Ramirez was in prison. Ramirez was sentenced to death row, but while awaiting his execution he actually died from B-cell lymphoma, before he could be executed. Naturally this caused an uproar for the families that were scarred by Ramirez and his past criminal activity. Not being able to see the one that violated your family executed can leave anger and vengeance in one’s heart and frustration in the criminal court systems failure to process fast enough. The families that were left shattered from Richard Ramirez have all the right to feel like an injustice was done because firstly the court system let Ramirez live in the comfort of a prison cell on the family’s tax paying money, eating and sleeping care free (“Letters…”). Furthermore, not being able to see the condemned man brought to justice leads a feeling of frustration and anger in the effected families with both Ramirez and the court system. This only adds more anguish and heartache for the families who survived the atrocities committed on their loved ones by Ramirez.
Specific actions that can be taken to avoid this kind of injustice from occurring again is to pay extra attention to medical conditions of condemned prisoners in the prison system. Another innovation to prevent this type of happening is to speed up the process for an execution of a death row inmate in the prison system. If these two simple yet crucial steps were considered then cases like, “Night Stalker”, would never be repeated again. Justice can never be truly served for the effected family because of the prison system’s blunder however, a remedy for the family members could be some form of compensation that they receive. To add to this, it’s possible for the media to publicize this case on the news so that it can set a precedent for future offenses and make sure it does not occur again.
Classmates can help encourage justice to be brought forth by supporting the families that were harmed during Ramirez’s reign of terror, through fund raising to help with funeral cost, and general compensation. Classmates can also make their voices heard and help spread the word to quicken execution of prisoners that have committed serious crimes so that justice can be served and the families can have closure. With all this put into perspective, it is sad to say that the only way to truly remedy this unfortunate situation is to change how the criminal system works and how an inmate on death row can be prosecuted.
"Letters: Ramirez's Non-execution an Injustice." Los Angeles Times. 11 June 2013. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/11/opinion/la-le-0611-tuesday-night-stalker-20130611
"Richard Ramirez." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.