Joe Henderson: Bobby Joe Long is why the death penalty exists

Lawmakers created the death penalty for monsters like Bobby Joe Long. That’s true whether you believe in capital punishment or not.

During the early 1980s, he murdered at least eight women in Tampa, but only after torturing and assaulting each one. He dumped their bodies and then went looking for more victims. His appetite for violence was insatiable.

Long himself estimated he raped at least 40 women, many of them under-aged girls.

He has been on Florida’s death row since 1985, longer than anyone currently there. Barring a late reprieve, that will come to an end around 6 p.m. Thursday when he faces lethal injection. It is the first death warrant signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Well, if anyone must be the first, Long is the best candidate.

Long caused unspeakable terror during his murderous rampage through the Tampa area. He was in the Ted Bundy class of killers, a predator who stalked women to satisfy his own twisted need.

Will anyone grieve when Long finally is gone for good?

Oh, probably. Death penalty opponents argue that murder is murder, whether done by the criminal or the state. There is religious opposition to capital punishment.

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