Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A bad case of disordered priorities.

I'm of two minds on the whole capital punishment thing.

I don't mean that I'm against the concept. There are certainly mad dogs on this planet that need to be put down. I don't give two figs about deterrent or mythical justice or whatever, I just know that there are certain acts on which I'd like to cut down the recidivism rate, and making a meat wind chime out of the criminal is 100% effective for that purpose.

The "two minds" part comes from the fact that there's hardly a way to do it without getting the government involved, and I get a little iffy when it comes to handing the power of Life & Death to an organization that can't even deliver the mail competently.

I do know this, however: On the short list of misdeeds for which you should get to ride the lightning, baby raping is right near the top, and I don't care what those idiots in Washington say.

42 comments:

JD said...

I agree with most of your post. I am for the death penalty for a short list of things, all brutal crimes against a person or killing a person. My only concern is making sure you got the right guy before you pull the lever since there is no going back. In those cases where you have the confession or something like DNA to seal the case go for it. . . If there is any doubt or wiggle room then I say go for life no parole but we should be able to shift it to death (or freedom) if more info is gained. . . .

I am with you on the rape charge but then you have things like the Duke Lacrosse team . . . the trick is knowing when someone is trying to make a name vs. the truth getting out. . .

Breda said...

If you rape a child, you are no longer human. You are a monster. There is no coming back from a crime like that.

And I don't know if I will get in trouble for saying this but...bullets are relatively cheap and I could always use the target practice.

Marko said...

In principle and concep, I agree with you, but consider the way in which the "sex offender" thing has been handled. If pissing into the woods at the wrong time, or having sex as an 18-year-old with your 15-year-old girlfriend can earn you a spot on the Sex Offender Registry, I don't want to know what kind of exciting charges a DA can drum up when it comes to child rape.

Remember, everyone under 18 is a child in the eyes of the law. Rapists are scum, and should be ventilated on the spot, especially pervs who rape little kids...but the difference between a guy raping a 19-year-old woman or a 17-year-old is not significant enough to give one the needle, and the other 10 to 15 in the State Penitentiary.

I'm not comfortable with that kind of added power in the hands of the state.

Tam said...

Breda,

I can empathize with that feeling.

Tam said...

Marko,

I said I was torn, right?

Would you classify an 18 y.o. having sex with his 17 y.o. girlfriend as "baby raping"?

This is the choir stall; the pews are that way, reverend.

Jenny said...

I get the "make sure you have the right person" argument, to be sure. But the Louisiana law the article is talking about is quite specific - rape of a child *under twelve* is a death penalty offense... well, was. No longer apparently.

Further, apparently the standard used to make the decision was nothing Constitutional, but rather "evolving standards of decency"... which to my mind are anything but.

When the justices can outright say effectively "we can't find anything in the law or history of out nation to back up this opinion, except our sense of 'evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society'" - that's not a good sign at all, regardless of your opinion of the ruling itself.

If Heller was decided with the same logic, we'd have BB rifles being confiscated next week.

And for what it's worth... if we're going to kill people for being monsters... raping an 8-year old is more than monstrous enough to count.

Tam said...

"When the justices can outright say effectively "we can't find anything in the law or history of out nation to back up this opinion, except our sense of 'evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society'" - that's not a good sign at all, regardless of your opinion of the ruling itself.

If Heller was decided with the same logic, we'd have BB rifles being confiscated next week.
"

Amen.

...and there's my QotD post, right there.

Anonymous said...

Not that I disagree in principle, but there is one BIG problem with "Baby Raping" (Somewhat Ill defined for these purposes, but let's run with it) being a capital offense.

If the penalty is EXACTLY the same for raping a child as it is for raping and murdering a child, what motivation does the scumbag (remember, we're talking about scumbags, not decent people here), have for not killing the witness?

No question such individuals deserve to be killed slowly, in a manner that maximizes suffering, but on a practical level, I see the potential for such to backfire in a big way.

It is certainly possible that executing them all would have enough of a deterrent effect to fix or substantially reduce the problem, but it is also possible that many would simply kill their victims, thereby reducing their chances of being caught.

zeeke42 said...

As Scalia said:

"We are free at last, free at last. There is no respect in which we are chained or bound by the text of the Constitution. All it takes is five hands."

Gator said...

What anonymous said.

On moral grounds, I'm not opposed to the death penalty for child rape.

Practically speaking though, if the sexual assault of a child (or anyone else, for that matter) is a capital offense, then there's no incentive to leave the victim alive. If the victim dies, it's a capital offense. If the victim doesn't die, it's still a capital offense, and there's a better chance of getting caught. The bad guy has nothing to lose.

Now, if the death penalty were a sure thing... if there was a reasonable chance that the execution would be carried out rather quickly... then it would be a better deterrent.

As mad as I get about such crimes, I have to remind myself that even the scummiest of the scum bags deserves due process. Mr. Nifong and the Duke lacrosse fiasco drives that point home.

Anonymous said...

Breda--

You wouldn't get in trouble with me. I could easily be persuaded to contribute to the ammo fund.

The trouble with this is defining "child". We all have known girls who were "precocious"--who were physically overwhelmingly physically mature long before a person would normally think.

I know personally of two very intriguing young ladies. In California, a neighbor daughter was an absolute knockout--Penthouse or Playboy centerfold material, and was very well behaved. Her mother was visiting with my wife, and excused herself saying she had to take daughter somewhere. I asked my wife if daughter had her driver's licence, and she replied that daughter was only 12. My look of shock set her to laughing; my comment that I was SO going to Hell not so much...

A second young "lady" I knew in Houston caused all sort of trouble for her parents. She was wonderfully arranged at 13, and was absolutly determined that since she had the equiment she was going to enjoy the priveleges. She drove her parents nuts staying one step ahead of her and the boys.

So in the second case, would I convict the man who flew too close to the fire?

DeDog

Nathan Brindle said...

5-4 ruling with Kennedy writing the decision. Weak.

Now, if we could get McCain elected AND if he nominated some conservative judges....

Ah, well, hope springs eternal.

B&N said...

"When the justices can outright say effectively "we can't find anything in the law or history of out nation to back up this opinion, except our sense of 'evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society'" - that's not a good sign at all, regardless of your opinion of the ruling itself."

Except that those "evolving standards" are exactly what a huge portion of the proles on the street actually want, and vote for.

For proof, see Mr. HopeChange.

Mark said...

Hm.

*ponders*

How about a system whereby - if a human-shaped oxygen thief is convicted of raping an 8 year old child for fuck's sake - then blowing large, gaping, bloody holes in them can only be charged with, say, fouling the sidewalk?

That could work.

Rob K said...

I think the argument that about putting the victim's life further at risk falls apart on closer inspection.

I think it's probably easier to get away with it (again and again and again) by keeping the victim alive. As long as the victim stays quiet, which the fear of death will often ensure, the perp is safer. On the other hand, killing the victim leaves the perp with a body to dispose of. The whole motivation argument is I think predicated on the notion of "child rapist" as boogey man. The scary stranger. Most are not. Most are, as in this case, the step-dad or another trusted adult. In these cases, which is easier to get away with, leaving the victim alive and scared to speak (and available to victimize again) or killing the victim, disposing of the body, and coming up with a cover story? Friends and family are going to notice when your step-daughter disappears.

And Breada, I'm with you. I'll pull that trigger and feel good, having done a good deed.

Anonymous said...

Back again--

Since the waste of protoplasm was in Louisiana, an appropriate course of action would be to take him down to one of the peculiarly unique bayous, strip him, gash him with a knife sufficient to start blood flowing, and then pitch him in and listen to his screams as the gators came for dinner.

For other parts of the country, not blessed with "friendly" reptiles, may I suggest the ancient Persian method of execution known as "the boats".

Tam, as erudite as you are, I am sure you know about "the boats".

DeDog.

Breda said...

DeDog...

"We all have known girls who were "precocious"--who were physically overwhelmingly physically mature long before a person would normally think."

Physically mature does NOT equal mentally mature, and said girls cannot control their raging hormones and developing bodies...which is why we expect adults to know better.

p.s. and referring to a 13 year old girl as "wonderfully arranged"? and a 12 year old girl as "an absolute knockout"?

You should know better.

Turk Turon said...

Child rapists can still be executed as defined in the case of People vs. Jeffrey Daumer, i.e. release him into the general population so that some public-spirited citizen will carry out a free-lance execution using a big, honkin' piece of lead pipe. Sometimes you gotta go with the private sector if you want it done right.

Tam said...

Breda,

That was... very tactful. Thank you. I was kind of at a loss.

Breda said...

believe me, Tam, it didn't come easy.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting to see any government legitimate enough to judge a human being guilty and then execute him. Jail them forever, or send them in slavery to the family, but execution should be beyond the reach of any government.

I fully understand and empathize with visceral reaction to violent crimes against the innocent-( I feel a strong urge to slit their throats and dance in the blood when confronted with bestial crimes against children. Even our reference librarian is volunteering to put a pistol to their heads on the edge of a ditch, splatter their brains over the far side and kick the twitching body over the edge with a sensible low-heeled flat )- but I urge all of us who's passions are liberty, freedom and justice to remember our place in the universe.

God may know. The government doesn't.

Breda said...

Actually, I think a moving target would be much more satisfying.

Pray for me.

DirtCrashr said...

¿"evolving standards of decency"?
Que? Are We Not Men?
They completely misspelled "devolving," having fewer rather than more or greater standards, are showing the fabric of their entropy.
Where is that "power" for evolution by the Court in the Constitution? They have a magic wand with which they can apply to "evolving standards of _insert favorite cause_" - and *poof* amnestize every illegal alien or do whatever they will.
H.L.Mencken was right.

Anonymous said...

Breda: You really are a witty woman! I'm just going to pray that you get an M4 and lots of ammo while you are young enough to enjoy it.

If anyone wants to experience this debate O'Tam's tin real time, just go over to http://texicantattler.blogspot.com/ and watch the Fox Jail interviews with the two guys who shot two Christian band members for their car and two dollars last week. It's an absolute example of two people who DESERVE death for their actions. Probably.

Mike W. said...

"Physically mature does NOT equal mentally mature, and said girls cannot control their raging hormones and developing bodies...which is why we expect adults to know better."

Breda, what about the cases where said girl is deceitful and makes the guy she's messing with believe she's of legal age? Parents later find out their 16/17 y/o daughter.
had sex with a 21 year old, they press charges and his life is over.

It's hard to judge age based on mental maturity. I've met women my age who act like 15 year olds, and teens who look and act much older than they are.

On the original topic. Rape of a child is VERY different than a 16 year old and a 19 year old having sex. Child molesters and child rapists should get the death penalty as far as I'm concerned. Hell they should be castrated and publicly drawn & quartered.

I'd consider quick and simple death an "evolving standard of decency." Lead administered at ~1100fps is more decent for all parties involved than having the scumbag sit on death row for 40 years and then sticking him with a needle.

OA said...

We find ourselves commenting on the courts because men no longer lynch monsters. Too civilized, or some such rot. Let the law handle such things. Might get dirt under the fingernails. "Men" being more feminine than women of several generations ago certainly doesn't help. Plus one actually needs a well defined sense of morals, rather than morals when it's convenient, or at least when there's someone watching.

And remember, courts don't administer justice, they interpret law.




Anonymous said...
In California, a neighbor daughter was an absolute knockout--Penthouse or Playboy centerfold material, and was very well behaved. Her mother was visiting with my wife, and excused herself saying she had to take daughter somewhere. I asked my wife if daughter had her driver's licence, and she replied that daughter was only 12.

She was wonderfully arranged at 13...

So in the second case, would I convict the man who flew too close to the fire?

DeDog
4:53 PM, June 25, 2008


Somehow I doubt you could get your hard little nub out of your hand long enough to bang a gavel, you sick shit. The oversexualization of teens and pre-teens is exactly why there are so many of them out there having sex well before they're ready. Thanks for contributing to the problem.

Jenny said...

First, I take strong exception to the assumption that support for capital punishment necessarily equates to "visceral reaction" and "dancing in blood." You begin anon by framing the argument such that any position but your own is barbaric and based purely in passion, and I dispute that.

It is entirely possible to support the use of the death penalty while at the same time remaining dispassionate - even regretful - over its occasional necessity.

Secondly, the Constitutionality of capital punishment is implicit in the first phrase of the fifth amendment. What crimes warrant that punishment are up to the legislature certainly, but it's not up to the court to rule it out entirely. No, this ruling doesn't do that. Yet.

Which brings me to my last point - the real horrorshow with this decision is not the decision itself, but rather in how it was arrived at. The job of the judicial branch is to look to the Constitution, not to "modern standards of decency," "International Law," or whatever else the popular fashion for the day is.

The other two branches of government are explicitly directed to respond to those popular fashions and current opinions, be they good or ill. The judicial branch was designed as a backwards-looking counterweight for a very good reason, and that purpose is toyed with at our own peril.

We have an amendment process for a reason. And it is difficult to do, also for a reason.

When the people assigned to interpret our Constitutionally protected liberties decide they'd rather be legislators than judges, to look to modern fashions than to the text, then no right or liberty or freedom is safe.

alath said...

I am not buying the argument that a baby rapist will be deterred from murdering his victim by the threat of escalating punishment. I just cannot imagine anyone thinking along the lines of "I'm willing to do life and probably be killed by a fellow inmate for baby rape, but I'm not going to kill the kid and possibly face the death penalty." Just don't buy it. Sorry. Folks like this are not making rational evaluations of actions and consequences.

I am with Tam's original post. I want these guys dead, but I don't want to give that kind of power to the same people who administer the post office, Amtrak, and the driver's license branch.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Take the original plaintiff off Death Row, put him back in the general population, and three guesses what will happen.

SpeakerTweaker said...

I don't like finding out about this stuff at night. Makes me lose sleep. For instance, the "evolving standards of decency" remark is going to cause me to grind my teeth in my sleep.

*heavy drinking*

Evolving @$!% standards of decency, Justice? Any chance he's given consideration to the fact that as our standards evolve, the bad guys' standards seem to head south to balance the load?

My God, I hope that all the stuff I hear on TeeVee about how child rapists get whacked in prison is true. Hell, I'd gladly donate a carton of cigarettes for the cause.

ALL THAT SAID, the case that SCOTUS heard was a grown man in his late thirties who raped an 8-year-old girl. There's no question there of 19 or 17. There's no question whatsoever. While I understand that 19 or 17 is an issue (and probably one would have made a more suitable case for SCOTUS to hear) that we have to consider when applying capital punishment as one of those fine-line things, for them to decide as they did on THIS case is just vile.

Evolving standards of decency. I just don't have the words. She was eight. You can have all the decency you want. I'll be busy lighting his cigarette and tying his blindfold, thankyouverymuch.



tweaker

Old Grouch said...

I'd like to remind those arguing over the "17yo gf + 19yo bf" scenario that that's what juries are for.

Put me on the jury in a case like that, and if some stars-in-his-eyes prosecutor tries for the death penalty he isn't even going to get a conviction.

Fortunately, most prosecutors understand that juries tend to get irritated if they think their time is being wasted.

phlegmfatale said...

I am so with you on this one. Anyone monstrous enough to rape a child is indefensible and should be executed on the spot.

rickn8or said...

turk and chas beat me to it.

Only more eloquently.

mdmnm said...

The argument that disallowing death as a penalty might save the lives of child victims, because rapists facing death in any case might be encouraged to kill the victim/witness, was dealt with pretty effectively in Justice Alito's dissent. There, Alito effectively said that while the death penalty for child rapists might not be good policy, the fact that it is bad policy does not render it unconstitutional.

RedneckInNY said...

Breda said...

"Actually, I think a moving target would be much more satisfying."

Heck, you could string him up first and start him a-swinging. There's your moving target right there.

workinwifdakids said...

We're not talking about a 17 year old, though. Nor are we talking about an oversexed and overdeveloped 15 year old who conned an oversexed and mentally underdeveloped 20 year old.

We're talking about a tiny little girl - what, a 2nd grader?

I mean, Jesus Christ, he raped her almost to DEATH!

Consensual sex, even below the age of consent, cannot even be thought of in the same breath as this child-raping monster.

If SCOTUS keeps acting like this, something very odd is going to happen in this country. There are a lot of people in this nation who are feeling fairly marginalized and fed up right now.

B&N said...

"When the people assigned to interpret our Constitutionally protected liberties decide they'd rather be legislators than judges, to look to modern fashions than to the text, then no right or liberty or freedom is safe."

At that point, the judges aren't safe either.

Anonymous said...

The government doesn't have the power of life and death in capital punishment cases.

You do. You, on that jury. You first decide guilt or innocence. You then decide the punishment. It is your choice whether it's incarceration or death.

At issue is the competence and honesty of the investigators and of those who present the evidence in court. Next, and with the most responsibility: You, the juror.

Enuf fer now...

Art

Jay G said...

Having a young daughter, my comments on this subject are limited thusly:

If, G-d forbid, some depraved subhuman were to *touch* my daughter, the government administering the death penalty on him would be the least of his worries.

CrankyProf said...

After reading what Kennedy actually DID to his stepdaughter, I'm inclined to say GenPop him, hand out sand-based lube and shanks, and film the fun for YouTube.

"L. H. [the 8-year-old rape victim] was transported to the Children’s Hospital. An expert in pediatric forensic medicine testified that L. H.’s injuries were the most severe he had seen from a sexual assault in his four years of practice. A laceration to the left wall of the vagina had separated her cervix from the back of her vagina, causing her rectum to protrude into the vaginal structure. Her entire perineum was torn from the posterior fourchette to the anus. The injuries required emergency surgery."

And DeDog? A 13-year-old "wonderfully arranged" girl and a 12-year-old girl "absolute knockout"?

Nauseating. Certainly would make me nervous to have you around my little girls. I see that kind of attitude as part of the problem.

RedneckInNY said...

When I see girls as DeDog disgustingly describes, I wonder to myself, "What the fuck are they putting into our food??" With the overuse of growth hormones, antibiotics, etc., it make me wonder what kind of effect it will have on us in the long run. Do you think childhood obesity has anything to do with the crap they're putting in milk? Overuse of sodium-this or sodium-that causing early onset of heart disease? Too much crazy shit happening right now. I wouldn't be surprised if the world did end on Dec. 21, 2012.

the pawnbroker said...

if this is my child or grandchild?

the government would be out of the equation; somehow, some way, he dies at my hand; and i will pay the cost, whatever that may be.

jtc