UMKC School of Law

I admit that I hate killing, and I hate it no matter how it is done,--whether you shoot a man through the heart, or cut his head off with an axe, or kill him with a chisel or tie a rope around his neck, I hate it. I always did. I always shall.
But there are degrees, and if I might be permitted to make my own rules I would say that if I were estimating what was the most cruel murder, I might first consider the sufferings of the victim.
Now, probably the State would not take that rule. They would say the one that had the most attention in the newspapers. In that way they have got me beaten at the start.
But I would say the first thing to consider is the degree of pain to the victim.
Poor little Bobby Franks suffered very little. There is no excuse for his killing. If to hang these two boys would bring him back to life, I would say let them go, and I believe their parents would say so, too. But::

Robert Franks is dead, and we cannot call him back to life. It was all over in fifteen minutes after he got into the car, and he probably never knew it or thought of it. That does not justify it. It is the last thing I would do. I am sorry for the poor boy. I am sorry for his parents. But, it is done.