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Manual The Young Man That Challenged Death

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I love you all, goodbye. Let's go.

That's all I have to say. Rhines, 63, ambushed year-old Donnivan Schaefer in when Schaefer surprised him in the midst of burglarizing a Rapid City doughnut shop where Schaeffer worked. Rhines had been fired a few weeks earlier; investigators and prosecutors said he brushed off Schaeffer's pleas for mercy. The Schaeffers made clear they didn't want to talk about Rhines. Patty Schaeffer appeared before reporters holding a photo of her two sons, including Donnivan, as children and then displayed a graduation photo of him.

When asked about Rhines' final words addressing them, Peggy Schaeffer said that she has no anger towards Rhines and has already forgiven him. Media witnesses to the execution said Rhines appeared calm, and it took only about a minute for the pentobarbital used by the state to take effect They said when he finished speaking, he closed his eyes, then blinked, breathed heavily, rolled his head to the right and passed out.

He was pronounced dead about five minutes later. Rhines had challenged the state's use of pentobarbital, arguing it wasn't the ultra-fast-acting drug he was entitled to. A circuit judge ruled it was as fast or faster than other drugs when used in lethal doses and speculated that Rhines wanted only to delay his execution. The U. Supreme Court rejected that appeal, as well as his arguments that he was sentenced to die by a jury with an anti-gay bias and that he wasn't given access to experts who could have examined him for cognitive and psychiatric impairments.

Pentobarbital is used by a handful of states in executions, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas. It was used last year when South Dakota executed Rodney Berget, who killed a prison guard during a escape attempt. Berget was pronounced dead 12 minutes after the lethal injection began, and a transcript released afterward said Berget asked after the injection was administered: "Is it supposed to feel like that? Schaeffer was delivering supplies to Dig 'Em Donuts where he worked when Rhines ambushed him, stabbing him in the stomach.

Bleeding from his wound, Schaeffer begged to be taken to a hospital, vowing to keep silent about the crime; instead, he was forced into a storeroom, tied up and stabbed to death.


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Steve Allender, a Rapid City police detective at the time of the killing who is now the city's mayor, said Rhines' jury sentenced him to death partly because of Rhines' "chilling laughter" as he described Schaeffer's death spasms. Any human being would be repulsed by the things he said and the way he said them," Allender told KELO. Rhines attended Schaeffer's funeral, then moved to Seattle a few days later. Authorities thought the move was odd because Rhines had vowed to never return to Washington state, where he had spent time in prison.

Allender said authorities initially interviewed Rhines and felt something was off, but Rhines wasn't arrested until four months later — after Rhines told his former roommate about the killing. In presenting the explanation of the functional capacity of religion on attitude towards death, there is every tendency to see such as trivial and simple however, other scholars have indicated that its dynamic can actually be complex [ 6 ]. One of the main factors that contribute to this complexity is that there are many different approaches to using religion such as intrinsic and extrinsic because of their consistent link to death attitudes [ 46 ].

Intrinsic orientation describes the use of religion, as a meaning endowing framework for which all life is understood [ 16 , 47 ]. In view of Terror Management Theory, intrinsic orientation as a religious approach is not only relevant in understanding the factors behind less anxiety towards death however such is a connectivity between religion as a phenomenon and cultural worldview about death.

A number of studies have shown the positive influence of intrinsic religiosity on coping with death anxiety [ 48 ]. Furthermore, another research has shown a positive relation between intrinsic religiosity and what is classified as high death anxiety [ 41 ]. Most studies that have examined the relation between intrinsic orientation and death anxiety, along with terror management theory, suggest that intrinsic orientation is associated with less death anxiety, especially on human imagination.

They also suggest that individuals high in intrinsic orientation are more likely than those with lower levels of intrinsic orientation to approach the topic of death with anxiety because their religious beliefs buffer them from death related concerns [ 22 , 28 , 49 ]. Maltby and Day [ 27 ] showed that among protestant students, death obsession correlates negatively with intrinsic religiosity.

Unlike intrinsic orientation, extrinsic orientation treats religion in a superficial manner. According to research in connection to extrinsic orientation, the approach is positively associated with various manifestations of psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, stress reactivity and even death anxiety.

According to Batson [ 24 ], quest orientation describes on honest approach to religion. Quest orientation is similar to intrinsic orientation in that it is based on a genuine approach to religion. Indeed religious orientation of individuals plays a role in their attitude and belief about death and the after math of death.

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This can be observed in Nigerian context among the Christians and even the Muslims who attach value to the belief about life after death hence, bearing the pains of death emotionally with the biblical verses where Christ has promised the Christians rest after here on earth. Among the African traditional societies, death is attached with such sacredness such that it is becoming harder for people to see it as natural phenomenon other than human induced. This is becoming worst especially in the era when a lot of socio-economic is fuelling the low life expectancy and health factors in the African nations.

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In the understanding of majority of traditional African people, it is assumed or rather believed that death before certain age in life is unnatural and therefore is connected to invisible powers. According to Umoh [ 5 ] this attitude to death has done more harm than good to the families and households even communities where such attitude is dominant.

In most societies in Africa especially in Nigeria rural communities, there is a lot of bitterness which is overtly or covertly shown after burial. In most cases, some individuals or even families have to avoid the burial scene reasons ranging from the fear of being accused to some people avoiding being bewitched at the arena. Out of fear, some people decide to leave the community during the burial to avoid trouble.

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In most cases, such deliberate avoidance is interpreted as tacit signs of guilt, and the houses and other personal belongings of such people are often destroyed. As was recorded by Umoh [ 5 ], five persons were executed without trial in one of the rural communities in Nigeria in connection to the death of some persons and accusation of witchcraft.

The attitude of Africans towards death in general and death when it involves younger people in particular is unique. Apart from the deaths of elders who are believed to have returned to their ancestral homeland after a ripe old age, all other deaths in Africa, especially in Nigeria are considered unnatural; they are viewed as premature, untimely, and therefore caused by an evil force.

In most African societies Nigeria included , rejecting the possibility of people dying of a natural cause or death as inevitable is becoming the perfect way of coping psychologically with moment of grief. Consequently, since it is not easy to lay hand on any physical and reliable scientific explanation that can convince the bereaved especially with poor health system , the nearest argument becomes the witchcraft and spiritual enemies.

In like manner as was recorded by Kofi, an illness, which does not yield to medicine, must be attributed to other baneful forces, ranging from the spiritual foes to the gods and deities. Furthermore, Kofi maintained that except in the death of a very old man, the Akan people of Ghana do not believe the natural inevitability of death as timeless. Among the Anangs of Southern Nigeria, the names given to presumably incurable diseases project such diseases as unnatural and the handwork of an enemy or the gods.

Due to the poor health system and lack of health information among the poor masses, there are a number of ailments, for instance, paralysis, epilepsy, elephantiasis etc.

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According to Nnamani [ 50 ] spiritual beings have the power to influence human life positively or negatively in the context of African culture? On their own accord, or if incited by wicked people, they could inflict misfortune of a serious magnitude on people, ranging from physical and mental sickness to bareness, accidents, premature deaths, drought, poor harvest, unfulfilled life, and personal failures. The demons could implement the evil designs directly or indirectly through the agency of wicked persons. As was summed by Umoh [ 5 ], the belief and attitude towards death and dying is a subject to experience from the environment and culture in which one lives.

By implication, what people show as attitude towards death and dying is typically the reflection of his cultural background including religious belief. In African societies especially in Nigeria, belief and attitude towards death and dying is mostly related to cultural background, religious belief, and level of civilization. Culturally induced perception about death in contemporary Nigeria: the logic of longevity and economic importance of man.

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The logic behind the perception of death among the majority of Nigerians cannot be far from the cultural interpretation of the actual time for acceptable death. The acceptable death among most cultural groups in the country is the common logic of utility and liability. While utility value or the expected utility value makes an individual viable and needful, the liability aspect of the person makes the person less needful or even unimportant.


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In the worldview of most societies across Nigeria, the issue of death is logically seen as the moment of disposing with the individuals when they have overstayed their usefulness in all ramification otherwise, there error somewhere. In essence, when somebody die at the middle of his life time usually counted on the basis of his capability and other socio-economic and psychological fitness, there is every sense of suspiciousness that someone or something has interfered with his life.

This informs the degree at which the bereaved react to some categories of death. While death involving a young man at his productive age triggers a high degree anger and furiousness, which of an old man who barely does anything is with the feeling of sympathy. Likewise the death of an infant which is mostly viewed as ogbanje, abiku or danwabi. In any case, this situation is simply seen as the problem of the spirit world which ought to be treated so that the particular spirit child will not come back.

Similarly, the husband and wife affected by such experience console themselves with the hope that when the real child comes he will stay especially if the family as a whole has by implication convinced that the woman married into their family is not barren.

Even if there is suspicion that someone has caused the death of the infant, it cannot be felt with such bitterness like that of a young man who died at his productive age.