WTVM Editorial: 2/26/18: The value of life

(WTVM) - The murders of three family members at their Upatoi home more than two years ago will always be raw and fresh in the minds of surviving family members.

Their lives were discarded in the most callous way possible and soon the court will sentence all three.

Javarceay Tapley was a close family friend of the victims, Gloria Short, her son Caleb Short and granddaughter Gianna Lindsey.

Tapley chose to plead guilty to the murders. So did Raheem Gibson. Rufus Burks the third teenager involved in the triple murders was just convicted by a jury.

It's a case that shows, once again, how little some people value life.

One of the most amazing facts of this triple murder trial was that the teens traveled twenty miles on a bicycle and a moped to carry out their heinous acts.

Twenty miles...and it took a long time to travel that distance...almost two hours...to reach Gloria Short's home in Upatoi from south Columbus.

Twenty miles...two hours...more than enough time to contemplate what they planned to do.

Driven prosecutors say, to steal expensive sneakers, clothes and gaming equipment. And, as it turned out, to steal those things by any means necessary.

The two hours to get there gave the teenagers plenty of time to think about what they planned to do.

But during that fateful trip, none of them stopped to realize the hollow value of the sneakers, video game systems and other items they wanted so desperately – and later flaunted on Facebook.

To them, the value of those items they envied far outweighed the value of the lives of three good and gentle people.

Whether it's a school shooting, a gang-related shooting or a triple murder, the end result is that the criminals who commit these crimes do not value life.

They all lack the ability to see the senselessness and the consequences of their actions.

The legal system gave the Short family a measure of justice, but of course, that does little to cure their broken hearts.

One of the most significant problems parents, teachers, churches, and mentors must confront, now more than ever, is how to instill the value of life, all life, in every child as they grow.

Maybe then, at some point in their two-hour-long journey to Upatoi, these self-involved teenagers might have hesitated, thought better of it, and just turned around.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here.