Viva Capital Punishment, & Other Political Hash
Copyright © by Dan Schneider, 4/27/02
green twinkle of life knows little about human politics, if anything at
all. Yes, human politicking often has grave consequences for the organic
& inorganic residents of this star crumb. Still, it is hard to get
worked up over the diurnal minutia that so many individuals lather over.
Leftist, rightist- both are extremist & drenched in hypocrisy. Hard to
call Ted Kennedy a humanist after Chappaquiddick, eh? &, just how did
the most buffoonish President of the last century (Ronald Reagan) get to
glom all the credit for ‘Winning the Cold War’ which started when he
was conflating his real life with his film roles? Sorry, Harry, Ike, Jack,
Lyndon, Dicky, Ger, Jimbo- but Ronny’s the he-man who done it all by his
lonesome! Is there really a difference between pro-naturists who embed
tree trunks with steel spikes & the anti-abortionists who butcher
Not to me, but ask a loony Leftist or a radical Rightist & you’ll be sure to draw hell. Some brief cases in point: Both extremes decry & support killers (or attempted murderers), not because of the acts themselves- but the ‘supposed’ political motivations behind the acts. I use the term ‘supposed’ because often killers fabricate their justifications long after the deed- think Ted Bundy’s infamous ‘PORNO MADE ME DO IT!’ claim that was swallowed by feminists eager to trumpet him as a product of porno’s evil. That the bulk of porno (& all sex industry) fetishists are lonely & immature folks who seek some harmless pleasure is no matter. If a group like feminists can trumpet a misogynist like Bundy as yet another victim of the misogyny he propagated, just to further their cause, well- FACTS BE DAMNED! Ends justify means, etc.
We’ve seen it over & over, through the years- the latest icon of worship/hatred is Osama bin Laden. To most, of all stripes, he’s a sick, demented killer. His excuse is religion. Alibiers like to say that no religion (especially Islam) teaches intolerance- but the Koran, Bible, & many other sacred texts are laced with hatred & xenophobia. Religion consciously teaches a superiority complex over others- it’s the exception where true tolerance exists. I recall meeting an ex-Anabaptist girl who told me a tale of woe & hatred in that sect which rivals anything Fundy Christians or Moslems have spewn. Some loony Leftists in this country view bin Laden as a freedom fighter (conveniently ignoring the fact that his Taliban buddies have far more in common with Stalinists than Jeffersonians)- to the point of even smugly declaiming that the WTC bombings were a comeuppance we deserved. How some Starbucks waitrons or FDNY firemen helped in oppressing the Arab world?- well, details can always be ironed out later. Rightists go to the other extreme- this rich hedonistic playboy (whose assassins, we later found out, were living the high life in America- indulging in alcohol, drugs, & prostitutes) hates our ‘freedoms’- he is WORSE THAN HITLER! That the odds are increasing that he’s already dead are no matter to those who want to steamroll Afghanistan- & Iraq, too. Georgey is aching to amend Daddy’s decade-old failure. But, even outside of war & hysteria both the Left & Right prove to be smug & hypocritical in those folks they cast as freedom-fighters or killers. Let me briefly examine 5 of the most celebrated cases of Left/Right perversion, where the logic & sickness rank right up there with those perverse women who become serial killer groupies. 3 are Lefty examples & 2 Righty.
Example 1 is that of unrepentant cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Now, any who knows me, & my childhood, know that I certainly have no love of cops- to me & my pals growing up they represented storm troopers of evil- barely a notch above the scum they dealt with, if that. Still, never would I advocate the blatant & cold-blooded murder of your typical cop. Yet, that is what occurred in the wee hours of December 9th, 1981, when Philadelphia P.O. Daniel Faulkner made a routine stop of a car that was driving the wrong way down a 1-way street. This was not a case of racial profiling (DF was white & MAJ & his brother black)- the cop merely saw a possibly drunk driver endangering the safety of the neighborhood. The cop approached the car, driven by MAJ’s brother. MAJ was sitting in his taxicab nearby & approached the car & cop. Details diverge but the outcome is certain. Gunfire ensued. MAJ was shot but Faulkner was shot dead in the face. That a routine stop ended in the murder by an uninvolved person is sure. Why? Even had MAJ’s brother been belligerent (there was supposed resistance by MAJ’s brother) there was no reason for the final scenario, & MAJ’s shooting the cop. Since then MAJ has changed his tale over & again to fit the sympathies of whatever party is listening (even as he & they claim he has never wavered). Sometimes he refuses comment, sometimes people try to argue over which gun shot what. MAJ has even claimed another party was responsible for the death. But what would prompt MAJ (or Mr. X?) to draw a gun on a lone cop? MAJ was convicted of the murder & spent years pleading his case to simple-minded Lefties. In much the same way that the later O.J. Simpson would use past racial injustices & police corruption to his advantage, so has MAJ used the past & police incompetence to raise ‘doubts’. Over 20 years after the murder MAJ has now even gotten his death sentence commuted- he is no longer the poster boy for the anti-capital punishment crowd. Supporters claim MAJ a hero, imprisoned because of his beliefs, because he was a crusading journalist against municipal corruption, & the old red herring of comparing him to other heroes who truly spent time in jail for their ‘beliefs’: Gandhi, King, & Mandela. That none of that trio stood accused of such wanton violence, much less cold-blooded murder, is just a detail. In fact, MAJ was a prototypical ‘loser’- an unrepentant Black Panther (tarred by all the attendant hatred & violence that holds- although never convicted of a crime prior to the murder), who wrote simple-minded screeds for lefty rags (& still does, as he recently wrote pieces published in the Twin Cities own rags Pulse, & Arise), & was merely a cabby with an attitude & gun (or perhaps the reverse order). That the cop was murdered is a fact. The only question is- did MAJ do it, or is he covering for the real killer? Either way, he facilitated the murder &/or murderer. This is a fact conveniently ignored by Mumiaphiles. Had he been white MAJ would have been just another cabby who snapped- but, this time, race worked to the advantage of a killer- & still does. The Left supports this unrepentant killer unquestioningly (although they question everything un-MAJ), while the Right bemoans the lack of judicial fairness- even though scores of white men through the centuries have manipulated The System to their benefit. Both sides’ defense & wailing are disingenuous & hypocritical- & a killer uses both to his advantage. Again, no doubt exists that MAJ was involved- if he was the triggerman is the only question. & this fact is where & why all the smoke has been blown.
In some ways the case of Lakotan Leonard Peltier mirrors that of MAJ. He is a non-white male charged with the murder of law enforcement agents. Like MAJ, LP belonged to a fringe group- AIM (American Indian Movement)- & warred with government backed Native American honchos & their cronies. These tensions led to FBI investigations at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. On 6/26/75 2 FBI agents, Ron Williams & Jack Coler were shot dead. LP, & 2 other AIMsters- Dino Butler & Bob Ribodeau- were charged with murder. DB & BR were found not guilty, but LP was- & was sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms. LP has been imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kansas since. Unlike MAJ, LP had been strongly suspected of earlier violence. Unlike MAJ LP has consistently stuck to his tale of innocence, & more doubt surrounds the goings-on of that day’s murders, for no other reason than the location’s isolation. Unlike MAJ LP was not a death row prisoner. Like MAJ LP has drawn worldwide attention, with celebrities trumpeting LP as an artist (some mediocre paintings), comparing him to the heroic trio aforementioned, & other Native American martyrs. Like MAJ, however, LP is either a murderer or covering for 1 or both of the other exculpated killers. Predictably, the Left portrays LP & AIM not as terrorists & killers in the bin Laden mold, but as revolutionaries & freedom fighters in the Washingtonian mold. Just as predictably tiresome is the Right’s refusal to acknowledge some of the seemingly specious evidence in the case. To them, LP is just another troublemaker who got his due- someone who was in league with the demonic forces that seek to destroy America’s white hegemony. The only fact that remains is that, like MAJ, LP is either a murderer, or facilitator to murder.
The last of the Left’s heroes is the least competent of the trio. She is also a WASP Midwestern female: Kathleen Soliah. KS was a bored 1960s suburban teen infatuated with the intrigue & romance of being a ‘revolutionary’ with the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) of Patty Hearst infamy. She was charged with involvement in the murder/robbery of 1 Myrna Opsahl. KS pled not guilty. She was also charged with placing bombs under 2 LAPD cars in August of 1975. Fortunately, she was an incompetent bombsmith. In 1976 she was indicted for the attempted murders, but cowardly fled & spent over 2 decades on the lam. She adopted the alias of Sara Jane Olson, married a doctor, had 3 kids & did the Minnesota housewife/PTA thing. She was thought of as a model hausfrau until arrested by the FBI in summer of 1999. She became a cause celebré for Leftists. Her alleged crimes were ignored because she had spent years as a good civilian- so quoth Leftists of all stripes. She did interviews, posed for newspaper covers (City Pages), & claimed the world was plotting against her. She even shilled a cookbook! A few months back, while brought to trial in Los Angeles, & confronted with overwhelming evidence of her guilt, a remorseless KS finally pled guilty to her crimes, only to recant minutes later outside the courtroom to the media. She was obviously setting herself up for an insanity appeal. She claimed political bias would not allow her a fair trial- thus her guilty plea. The judge did not buy that & found her guilty. Still the Left alibis for this would-be, but incompetent, killer. The cry is- but her cause was JUST! At least to the Liberals who defended her- to the Conservatives she was part of the 1960s anti-American conspiracy to strip the USA of all its decency. Neither side could view the KS case objectively. This sick logic reached its nadir for me when, in 1999, at the time of her arrest, I was regularly performing at the Balls cabaret in downtown Minneapolis. The cabaret was run by local singer Leslie Ball- a very sincere, nice, but naïve & bleeding heart Liberal. Ball, who had for years decried all sorts of injustices & criminals, & who had served on abortion clinic protection lines- against anti-abortion terrorists, now started defending the good Liberal terrorist KS- mouthing the silly & fallacious conspiracy lies. It was sad to see that hypocrisy lay at the root of Ball’s convictions- but that is the way for most humans, especially those who identify with a ‘group’ rather than an ethos.
Ironically, 1 of the terrorists that Ball most vociferously railed against was Olympic & anti-abortion bomber/terrorist Eric Rudolph. In truth, the only fundamental difference between ER & KS was not that 1 was a Right Wing terrorist & the other was a Left Wing terrorist, but that ER was a competent bombmaker & killer- KS was not. Here is where we switch gears. While defending a KS, a Ball would twist back her own logic & claim evil for ER. Here’s a synopsis of this Right Wing criminal/hero: charged with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, as well as several other abortion clinics bombings in 1997 & 1998. A Birmingham cop- Robert Sanderson- was killed in the 1998 bombing, & a nurse was severely injured. ER claimed to be on a holy mission to kill baby killers & has spouted many other Right Wing staples regarding racism & Jewish Conspiracy theories, as well support for mass killer & Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh. ER escaped capture & lit out for the wilds of Dixie. For over 4 years he has been on the lam. Now, we see a role reversal: the Right claims him as a hero who’s standing up against a government conspiracy to murder white babies & remove God from America, while the Left claims him a perverse, psychopathic demon who did not even have the guts to stand trial. These are the same folks who ‘could not blame’ KS for her cowardly flight from justice- for the same- yet paradoxical- reason: The government was out ‘to get her’. As with the 3 Lefty heroes, the Right has trotted out all sorts of excuses to justify ER’s crimes, merely because he supports the Right’s ‘right’ causes. Similarly, the Left- who have alibied galore for KS, LP, & MAJ- whereas ER is concerned, finds no pity for a ‘monster’. For both extremes their support comes down to politics, not evidence. Government conspiracies, supposed nobility & justice are spouted, yet neither side can admit that these extremists are merely mirror images of each other.
Perhaps the best example of this willful blindness comes from the ‘Mother Of All’ Right Wing Clinton Era conspiracies: The Waco standoff in 1993 between several federal agencies & the Branch Davidian cult, headed by mass killer David Koresh. Koresh was really Vernon Howell, ashamed of both his being born out of wedlock & being dyslexic. He was not a bright child, & claimed abuse from bullies was what made him turn to evil. Like many losers, he turned to religion for succor. 7th Day Adventists banned him for his attractions to younger children. He decided to rebel & become a rock star. Predictably, he failed & headed to Waco, in the early 80s, & joined the Branch Davidian cult- a cult plagued with accusations of assorted sexual perversions. DK had an affair with the sexagenarian cult leader Lois Roden, then battled her son (after her death) for leadership of the cult. DK & his sect openly warred with George Roden’s faction & DK stood trial for the attempted murder of the younger Roden. A mistrial provided the impetus for DK to seize control of the cult. By 1993 charges of pedophilia by ex-cultists led to a local investigation. Things spiraled out of control & from 2/28 to 4/19/93 an armed standoff ensued between the cultists & members of the FBI, ATF, & other authorities. The standoff ended when DK, in Messianic delusions, torched the compound & killed 76 people (including himself) in the process. Naturally, Right wingers blamed Clinton’s incompetent Attorney General Janet Reno, the assorted government agencies (with murder, & coverup), & the ‘Liberal’ media for calling the cult ‘a cult’. Lefties saw the siege as a necessary intervention- an odd stance since they had decried the earlier police intervention & deaths on the raid of the left wing MOVE Philadelphia cult compound in 1985. Neither side could admit that their takes on these events had nothing to do with facts, but with the political stances of the cults. That MOVE was a cult praised by the Left Wing killer MAJ, is a perfect example of political sidling. As for Waco, the fact that DK was a pedophile (often demonized by Rightists as the ultimate end result of homosexuality) did nothing to deter his martyr status to the Right. That evidence proved the fire was DK’s doing, not that of the government, was still more proof of the government’s & media’s twin perversions. That incredible restraint was shown, during the standoff, is lost. This Jim Jones wannabe became an icon, whose martyrdom inspired McVeigh & dozens of lesser loonies from the Right. Of course, the Left pointed this out as hypocrisy, even as they were chanting & protesting for the freedoms of the killers MAJ & LP.
More similarities crop up- both Left & Right extremists have ‘seminal’ stories of governmental evils- for the Left it is the MOVE bombing & for the right the 1992 shootout in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. These dual ‘atrocities’, to their respective camps, have been used as all sorts of justifications for real atrocities committed by later avengers on either side: Lefties turn a blind eye to the fact that many of the groups using their rationales traffic in drugs, pornography, & dealings with foreign terrorist groups, resulting in untold amounts of wasteful death & destruction. Similarly, the Right uses Ruby Ridge to recruit for all sorts of cults, paramilitary groups, & hate groups- the Oklahoma City bombing just the most famed & bloody result.
Let me step back, however, & get to the heart of this essay- the idea of capital punishment- the DEATH PENALTY! I am unabashedly pro-death penalty. I do not like the mamby-pambyism that surrounds most folks’ stands on it & other political issues. Pro-lifers are really anti-abortionists- that’s their ax. Pro-choicers are really pro-abortionists like me but haven’t the guts to say so- they hide behind ‘fetal research’ & these ‘rights’ & those ‘rights’. But rights are just mutually consented human inventions. Were a race of all-powerful aliens to reduce humanity to beasts of burden &/or a potential food source we would see what ‘rights’ really are. Similarly, if there’s any human life more pathetic & dumb than an anti-abortionist, it is an anti-capital punishment fool who holds candlelight vigils for whatever mass killer there is about to die. These people feel it’s OK to waste public resources on people who felt nothing as they slaughtered their way behind bars. BUT, they cry, he/she could be innocent! I will deal with that shortly. 1st, let me list a short statement of my beliefs:
I am pro-death penalty, pro-abortion, pro-union, pro-civil rights, pro-gay rights, pro-human rights, pro-gun ownership, pro-animal research, pro-drug legalization, pro-pornography, pro-free speech, pro-freedom of & from religion, pro-polygamy, pro-legal prostitution, etc. These pros tend to cut across the beliefs of Left & Right, yet I am the 1 who is consistent in my belief in individual responsibility: I support the rights of legal adults to engage in whatever stupid acts they wish- as long as they do not endanger nor hurt others. I support good things like killing killers, aborting unwanted humans, assorted rights, including free speech- don’t hide behind amendments nor BS charges of libel or slander! I also support the right to some things that can cause grave harm: guns, drugs, sex industries, religion, polygamy. That’s because I am willing to take the risks associated with FREEDOM. Too many on either extreme claim so, but do not. The Right trumpets America’s freedoms worldwide, even as it wants to lasciviously peer into bedrooms & burn books. The Left counters, even as it tries to take away individuals’ rights to self-protection, or burning porno mags in the fallacious name of ‘misogyny’.
Yet, all of these issues, & extremists, rarely touch on the essence of their debate. Let me return to the death penalty. & let us FUCK what the Bible says or does not say! The Constitution is the Word in these matters. Clearly, states have a right to impose the death penalty for whatever it concludes is a capital crime: usually 1st degree murder, interstate kidnapping, espionage, etc. The crux of the question is not then- does the state have that right- it does; but should it exercise that right in a particular case? Most people share the common sense belief that yes, a convicted & clear-cut murderer should part with his/her life for those lives (life) they have taken. On the individual case basis it boils down to this: 1) guilt or not- is this person, beyond a shadow of a doubt, guilty? If so, execute them. The Ted Bundys, John Wayne Gacys, Tim McVeighs, Eric Rudolphs, David Koreshes, Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravanos, Osama bin Ladens, etc. of the world fall here. These guys are all blatantly guilty- & most were infused with a braggadocio over their crimes. If the evidence of guilt is plenty, but there are some lingering doubts- then life imprisonment is the ticket. Here I would put the Mumia Abu Jamals, Leonard Peltiers, O.J. Simpsons, Albert DeSalvos, Henry Lee Lucases, etc. of the world. Group 1 is for the manifestly guilty who willfully murdered. Group 2 is for the probably guilty &/or crimes of passion type- woman kills hubby & lover, etc. 2) if guilty- do you believe in basic fairness? No needless conflating of justice with vengeance, because on a fundamental level vengeance & justice are the exact same thing. We impose penalties on criminals to avenge their crimes against innocents. Legally it is perfectly fair to kill a killer. 3) accountability- again. Let’s fuck the BIBLE BS. Do you believe individuals are responsible for their actions?
Let me now deflate some of the most well-known arguments against capital punishment:
1) Possible innocence- Well, no one wants to see an innocent die. It kills an innocent & lets the guilty free to kill again. I, & most DP advocates, manifestly want only the guilty executed. I want the death penalty in place so all know that an innocent’s life costs your own. Establish a scrupulously high standard, & impose penalties on DAs, cops, lawyers, & others who tamper with evidence. Make it a capital crime to tamper with evidence in a capital criminal case & I am sure you will see very few capital cases brought. If no cases meet the state’s scrupulous standard for capital punishment in a year or 3, so be it. I’m content knowing it’s there for the Dahmers, Mansons, Gottis, & their ilk. But do not be afraid to use it when it is sorely needed. Another factor is this- rare is the death row occupant without a severe criminal & violent past. In fact, many an executed has gotten ‘real justice’ for prior crimes unrevealed, & unreported.
2) Deterrence- or its lack actually. This is a red herring the Left loves to throw because it is 100% unprovable scientifically. Yet, we all know it does deter. No, it won’t deter the doped-up 15 year old gang-banger, or the cuckold, or the serial killer, or the fundamentalist of some dogma. But, believe it or not, these are a small fraction of known murders. Most folk are killed by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, folks they know- usually over some long-simmering grudge. Most women thinking about doing in their louse of a hubby for some life insurance policy will not risk it. People DO THINK about consequences more often than not- why do you think most people procrastinate on most things? Let me give you this example: when I was in High School 20 years ago I belonged to a gang. The teenagers were the younger members of a group which did all the typical: drug-dealing, gambling, prostitution, gun-running, contracts. There were only 2 basic commandments: 1) Loyalty. 2) Avoid New Jersey. OK- what gives? Well, back in the day, then-Governor Mario Cuomo of New York was staunchly opposed to & often vetoed Death Penalty legislation. New Jersey, however, had a death penalty. Hence, all business should be conducted on New York soil, lest a screwup should lead to bloodshed. In Jersey you’d be toast. In New York- who gives a shit? Trust me, don’t believe for a second that deterrence is not a major factor in the minds of the vast majority of would-be murderers. Why, then, do Leftists tout it as proof that the death penalty is a failure? Simple- & it’s not difficult to understand. 2 concepts to bear in mind are 1) you cannot prove a negative & 2) trends tend to pick up steam before petering out & are not dependent on any 1 single factor. Let us use the simplistic scenario Leftists trot out. I will vastly simplify the #s & timescales involved. In year 1 (before Death Penalty) there are 5 murders committed. In year 2 (BDP) there are 10 murders committed. Folks are outraged & a new Governor & Legislature are elected & pass a DP law. But, horrors, in year 3 (after DP) there are 12 murders committed- obviously, the DP is a failure as murder still rose 20%. Let us now look behind those statistics. DP advocacy always rises with a general increase in crime, which in turn rises with sourer economic conditions (or other causes). But for this purpose, all that is needed to be known is that crime/murder rates rise & the DP surfaces. Likely, the # of murders committed is never the # of those actually contemplated, & with a rise in crime/murder- not only does the # of actual murders rise, but the percentage of murders committed compared to those contemplated also rises. Going back to year 1 (BDP)- 5 murders are done- but perhaps out of only 20 planned. So, only 25% of planned murders are committed & 15 people are still alive. In year 2 (BDP) 10 people are murdered- & because of the general rise in crime there were 25 plotted killings. Both contemplated & completed murders rose, while the percentage of planned & committed murders rises to 40%, YET the # of people still left living was THE SAME. In year 3 (ADP), with still rising crime, murders rise to 12, & contemplated murders rise to 30. MY GOD, it’s not working. Both contemplated & completed murders rose, BUT the percentage of planned & committed murders leveled off at 40 %, AND the # of still breathing souls rose to 18- a 20% INCREASE in saved lives. Now, 1 cannot prove these things that did not happen but this is common sense & practical experience from my own past confirms this. It is also likely that year 4 will see similar trends- say 13 murders, but out of 35 planned. A rise in planned & committed murder- BUT a decrease in the planned & committed murders to 37%, & a rise in saved lived to 22- an increase of 22% from year 3 & 47% from years 1 & 2. These are the figures common sense tells us are so, but which are wholly unprovable since they did not occur. By year 5 we start to see undeniable & provable proof of DP’s working. We’re back to only 10 murders, this time out of 35 planned. Planned murders have peaked & leveled, & real murders have dropped 23 %. The percentage of planned & committed murders is 29% & the # of saved lives is 25- a 14% increase from year 4, 39% increase from year 3, & a whopping 67% increase from years 1 & 2. The trends are obvious, but states are rarely presented with such scenarios as outside factors blur even the ‘provable’ trends. Year 5s rarely happen because Years 3s & 4s tend to present political consequences which deny Year 5s’ occurrence. A mirror example which shows the ineffectiveness of the very whole of this reasoning- pro or con- is how in the late 1980s, without a death penalty, New York City was suffering about 2000 murders a year. A decade later, with the death penalty, that # had fallen below 1000, to almost 1/3 its former heights- SEE, DP advocates chime- IT works! Well, it’s not that simple. Just as outside trends like citizen protest, economic woes, whether the nation is at war, etc., blur things against the DP, so do they in defense of the DP. NYC’s decrease is just as likely the result of the 90s being better economic times locally, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s tougher (Gestapan) approach to crime, more urban development, decrease in drug use, rising education scores, etc., with or without the DP’s involvement. The truth is deterrence of others is a total non-issue in regards to murder.
3) Punishment- The main issue is punishment, not deterrence. We have a Penal System, not a Rehabilitative System. I’m not saying we should not try to salvage those criminals who will 1 day be set free, but it’s an ancillary task to that of punishing the murderer (& other criminals) for their crime. I honestly don’t give a damn if the execution of Ted Bundy deterred a single would-be murderer. The unassailable fact is it deterred Bundy permanently. But, if deterring others is a goal the best solution is to televise executions live on PBS & encourage children to watch death up close. I have never forgotten the 1st time I saw a murder victim die before me. Here is another reason why murderers should be executed. Life imprisonment DOES NOT mean they will not kill again. 100s of murders happen behind bars every year. Should an embezzler have to pay for their crimes with their life simply because they unlucky enough to draw the ire of a hired assassin or serial killer? Rightists tend to believe no punishment is enough, while Leftists believe no punishment is just- as long as the presumed criminal is of the ‘other ilk’. They believe no crime is worth death, all the while forgetting the basic idea is to protect society’s being. & why should society feed, house, & clothe a murderer for years or decades?
4) Racism- mostly in the fact that murderers (of any background) of white people get the death penalty while those murderers (of any background)of non-whites do not. This is really a subsection of Point 1. The same remedies apply. Personally, I don’t give a damn about such ancillary things as who was murdered, by whom, or how. The act of murder is the crux- not these other points.
& here is where both Left & Right check in their credibility. Motives are not crimes, actions are! The crime is the crux- not its perpetrator, victim, nor motive. It matters not to the murdered if they were killed by a retard or Jew, a black man or a white woman, for money or revenge or perversion- society needs to deal with the act, not the alibi! Otherwise we get caught up in ceaseless conundra like- Is a hitman less evil than a serial killer? Or, was a Leonard Peltier, after decades of racism, justified in his murderous actions? The only real questions are if the accused actually committed the crime. This way we avoid the nonsense over whether, say, someone with a low IQ or mental illness who kills should be executed. Ask the murdered. The fact that a killer may not be able to understand wrong & right is irrelevant- in fact, it may be a GREATER reason for execution, since they may be more likely to kill again. Few tears are shed for rabid dogs or wild cougars that kill humans- & they are even ‘less responsible’ than a retard or a schizophrenic! But, there is this political stultification over the ‘supposed’ specialness of humans & human life (or the hubris humans accord themselves over lesser animals)- now, see how sickeningly close we are to the perversions of the anti-abortionists or animal rights loons?
The DP is a singular remedy for the killer’s singular crime(s), not any of the side issues, be they societal issues that influence the rates of murder nor the ideas of guilt or innocence being influenced by motives or the state of the murderer. To those who would say that this rules out degrees of murder- no. There merely needs to be a re-apportioning. Say a man discovers his wife has been raped. He looks outside & sees the rapist in his yard fleeing. He pursues, loses the rapist. Then an hour later comes upon him & kills the rapist. Is this murder? Not to me. That’s justifiable homicide- no time served. But, let’s say the man accidentally kills a guy who looks like the rapist. Is this murder? Technically, but not capital murder- this lesser degree would get the rape victim’s husband a stiff sentence- but we can spare his life. But he must serve time- this the penalty for taking the chance that he might kill an innocent. This is a far different scenario than say a retarded pedophile who murders children. The retard should fry. It really is all common sense. The avenger is probably the only sort of mitigation to be allowed.
But the Law is schizoid in its approaches- often they are too gung-ho, often incompetent, & eternally corrupt on even the smallest levels. There are those times, however, when not enough is done. I recall a pedophile/serial killer I once knew who prospered for nearly 40 years under the aegis of his corrupt policeman brother. Or, as in Waco, inaction rules the day- I’d’ve stormed the goddamned building within 48 hours to get the pedophilic Koresh- dead or alive! But, to most, politics trumps justice- this is why the Left alibis for a Kathleen Soliah, while condemning the Right when it shills for Eric Rudolph- & vice-versa. Again, only KS’s incompetence seems to have saved her from the death penalty that she so ethically deserves. As for MAJ & LP- just enough doubt exists that I would not impose the DP- but neither man would ever see freedom again unless they came clean & named names. Don’t think I’m anti-Left- I’m a working class pro-union Democrat- the Right’s just as wacked. But a greater disappointment exists for those who bastardize terms like ‘Liberal’ & make it a revulsive word to others. In short- any good Liberal should know better- I expect more from them. I don’t want MAJ or LP or ER killed if innocent- yet no matter how scrupulous the investigation proceeds, supporters will always BS of conspiracies & the like. But these killers are loathed not for their murderous deeds, but for the beliefs that supposedly led to the deeds.
Let me end with this last remedy. We should bifurcate the U.S. Supreme Court into a civil branch which would do the same thing the current Court does- decide matters of legality & constitutionality, & a criminal branch- which would hear all capital appeals automatically- no need to go through 17 layers of lower courts- wherever in the U.S. you are convicted of a capital crime the case automatically goes directly to the Criminal Supreme Court. This would mitigate the public’s anger over criminals using the system to delay justice, & the Court itself could overturn any decision, order a retrial, or set a defendant free, as well as act as a Grand Jury & indict any individuals suspected of tampering with the evidence or process.
These are just a few common sense thoughts & remedies about what really is not so agonizing an issue. Of course, that means they will never be approached nor enacted- oh well. That would mean depriving the public of their own Mumia Abu-Jamal licensed products, & why would anyone wanna do that?
Return to Bylines