No punishment severe enough for boy's killers

Sometimes I really hope that the old adage is true, that what goes around comes around.

Convicted child molester George Edenfield, his father, David Edenfield, - who previously has been convicted of incest - and mother, Peggy Edenfield, have been charged with Christopher Barrios' sexual assault and murder in Brunswick. According to the AP, George Edenfield told police he choked the boy to death. This was after police say he and his father sodomized Christopher while Peggy watched, then got a friend to help dump Christopher's body in a trash bag on the side of the road.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. If the Edenfields are found guilty, death will be too light a punishment.

Think about it: The Edenfields will likely remain in jail for a year or two awaiting trial. They will be separated from the main population for their own protection, and that's a sentence that hurts just to write. If convicted and sentenced to death, they will then each go on to automatic appeals that will likely last a decade or more.

If they ever are put to death, they will be given drugs to put them to sleep before they are executed. They will spend years in jail and then die basically a peaceful death.

Now think about Christopher's last day on Earth. Put yourself in his shoes.

You're 6 years old. You just got home from school. You're outside playing, exploring a world that's still new and wondrous, that still holds great opportunities to learn, to discover new things.

You're playing in the dirt because where else would you play? Grown-ups seem not to like getting dirty, but you can't understand why.

Your mind is on Spider-man or SpongeBob or maybe Thomas the Train. Maybe you're wondering where that butterfly is going or why the sky is blue. Maybe you're thinking about asking your grandmother to make you a peanut butter sandwich. Maybe your shoe has come untied again, and oh how you wish you could remember how to tie it back yourself, so Daddy will be proud of you.

You like making Daddy proud. You smile and you keep on because you've got a lot of playing to do before supper. No time to worry about a shoelace.

But now all of the sudden you're scared. You're in a strange home with strange people. You don't want to be here. You're not sure how you got here. You can't remember because you're so frightened. Terrified. You're crying, too scared to talk. There's a hitch in your cries and it's hard to breathe.

But the strangers are ignoring your cries. They're only interested in their own depravity. They're taking off their clothes. Forcing you to take off yours. You know this is wrong. You don't know why, but you know it is.

These are bad people. You want your daddy to come and get you, but he doesn't know where you are. You've disappeared off the face of the Earth. In a few hours people will be looking for you, but by then it will be too late.

But you don't know that. You just know that now they're hurting you. You don't know what it is they're doing or why, but it hurts, God it hurts, make them stop. Why won't they stop? Why are they making you do these things? Even the woman is watching, enjoying it. You're choking on your sobs.

They keep on and on. And on. Finally, they stop.

Maybe they'll let you go. Maybe you can go home now and try to forget this. Maybe you can grab your dad and your grandmother and hug them tight and never, ever, let go again.

But the strangers are talking. They have a bad look in their eyes. That same look that scared you so much before. One of them suddenly grabs you, puts his hands around your neck. It hurts, and you scream out, finally finding your voice, you try to scream at them how it hurts, but you can't because you can't get any air, and they don't care anyway. Thumbs crush your little throat and you try to breathe in, but you can't. You're so scared and you're crying and why won't they stop? Why you? Why are they hurting you like this?

And that's the last thought you have before you pass out: Why? They've hurt you so badly and now they're killing you and you don't even know why.

Two weeks later you look down from up above, from your new, more wonderful world. Nothing bad happens where you are now. The memories of the bad things in the previous world have faded, flying away like cobwebs in the wind.

You look down and you see total strangers, hundreds of them, packing a little chapel, trying to make your family feel better, but you've already forgotten why all this has happened. There is a magic where you are that doesn't let little boys remember the horrors of the past life. There is no pain. And no memory of pain.

But down below they still remember and will for a long time. They hear your story and their hearts break.

And at night, when you're at rest in your new, wondrous world you can hear them, the people down below, all making the same plea to the man whose home you now call your own:

"Please, God, let justice be served."

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.

com. His column appears on Fridays.

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