Quintin Wortham has died in prison of natural causes at the age of 46. Younger readers may not remember Quintin Wortham, known in the 1980’s as the “Capitol Hill Rapist.” Convicted of six rapes in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, he was sentenced to 400 years in prison. He never expressed remorse. Just the opposite in fact. During his appeals, he made the comment:

“I’m not repentant. I’m not sorry she was raped,” he said of one of his victims. “I’m in prison doing 400 years. I don’t have time to feel sorry for her.”

Wortham’s sentence was the longest ever imposed in Colorado. I don’t doubt he deserved it. But, it reminds me again of why we don’t need a death penalty. In effect, Wortham’s sentence was a death sentence. Once he began serving his sentence, he never left prison, until now, in a coffin. He never again had the opportunity to rape and victimize a woman. He was locked up, society was safe, and ultimately, he paid with his life, at a relatively young age. That’s enough for me.