I will not cheer the death penalty. If Judge Bradley Zell sends Eric Robert to the electric chair, I will not say, "Let him die," certainly not with enthusiasm.

But Eric Robert's own cold courtroom confession to the murder of penitentiary guard Ronald Johnson, punctuated by the cries of the bereaved, reminds me of the very ugly souls whom I would feed and clothe for life.

Robert confesses that he planned to "eliminate one of my oppressors from the prison" and escape last April:

At 8:30 on the morning of the 12th, I decided to act against senior corrections officer Ronald Johnson. At 10:30, I entered the PI building, I entered the PI garage. I executed Ronald Johnson, I changed into his clothes. At 10:45, I attempted to escape from prison. That failed, and I attempted to bait the officer that was up in the upper part of the outside of the perimeter -- I attempted to bait him into pointing his assault rifle at me so that I could grab it from him to continue to shoot officers. I wasn't able to get that from him. I lie [sic] down on the ground and gave up to the authorities [Eric Robert, confession, transcribed from courtroom audio archived in John Hult, "Inmate Pleads Guilty in Slaying," Argus Leader, 2011.09.16].

The court challenges Robert's pretentious use of the word executed and asks Robert to state the facts. He says he hit Officer Johnson with a metal pipe, than suffocated him with Saran Wrap.

Robert's crime is despicable. Robert is despicable. Let him die... in a prison cell, by no man's hand, after years of restraint and mercy on the part of civilized people.