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Time to set a harsh example

Funerals are generally sad affairs and that of Donald Clark was no different. A crowd of uncomfortable folks sat in a funeral home chapel and listened to two preachers and watched Clark’s family suffer. Their period of suffering has been more anguished and protracted than most. Donald was buried January 24 – 66 days after he died a violent death. Donald’s ex-wife and her lover allegedly put a plastic bag over his head and bashed him with a metal baseball bat. They wrapped his body in the sheets and blanket on which he lay and dumped it in a cornfield. Through the long investigation, neither exhibited a shred of remorse. Donald was found on Christmas Eve – a holiday that will never be the same for his surviving loved ones. From that point until Saturday afternoon, his body was at the state crime lab for all the testing that goes with a high-profile, murder case autopsy. No one deserves to die like Donald did. As Donald’s coffin was carried to the grave, a bright sun broke through a dreary, daylong haze and his last rites were conducted in the light. It seemed fitting that his body, which lay shrouded and decomposing for weeks, was laid to rest in the light. That decomposition process denied his family a last look at him – another painful thorn for the grieving. Through the entire ordeal, Donald’s sister Brenda Maddox has been a rock. Her strength has earned my utmost respect. When all the preaching and praying were done, Brenda distributed flowers among Donald’s parents, children and other family members. One by one they approached the coffin and laid the blossoms atop it. Their misery was palpable. I wish everyone responsible for punishing Donald’s killers had been there to see it. Sadly, none were. This case demands swift and severe punishment. Nothing less is acceptable. This is not a case for plea bargaining or deal making. It is a case for making a harsh example of two cold-blooded killers who acted with malice on their minds. Remember that as the story continues to unfold. Do what you can – use whatever influence you may have – to make sure justice is served. Donald’s family will appreciate it.

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