Category Archives: Crimes

Just a Tad Extreme

Recently, I read a story at one of the online news websites about a man who stalked and stabbed an eight year old boy at an arcade. As is my normal practice, I also perused the comment section of the article. The backstory:

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — A man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old boy playing video games at a restaurant arcade had spent weeks stalking potential victims at area shopping malls, police said Monday. “His intent was to kill a child,” Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said of 23-year-old Evan Sachs. Sachs was arrested Friday night, moments after police say he plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife five times into the boy’s back.”

The story went on to state that the accused was undergoing  psychiatric care.

Now, lest there be any confusion, I certainly do not have any empathy for the accused, but I was shocked at the comments that I read about him. It would seem that a fair portion of our fellow citizens feel that capital punishment without trial would be appropriate for the accused and that incarceration for the mentally ill should be mandatory.

The anonymity of faceless blogging does tend to bring out the worst in people, but really, capital punishment? I believe I have thoroughly explained my opposition to capital punishment, so it goes without saying that I am not in agreement with that type of commentary, but I have to wonder what drives someone to such levels of hatred.

Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I don’t recall many people with similar points of view in my journeys. Since when do we take a position completely contrary to the right of due process under the Constitution? Have we become so calloused that we flippantly advocate Iranian-style justice in the United States?

If in fact mental illness drove this young man to this crime, it needs to be dealt with accordingly, otherwise, the court system should proceed as it does with thousands of other cases each year. Despite the desires of extremists. we have yet to sink to the levels of barbarians.

I hope and pray that the eight year old boy recovers physically and psychologically. I also hope and pray that justice will be served under the law.

 


William Stephenson Clark

 

PS: The mine rescue events in Chile this evening (Tuesday) stand in stark contrast with the thoughts of some of our fellow Americans. It has to make you think about the direction we are headed.




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Filed under Crimes, Death Penalty

The Ultimate Punishment.

“Well your honor I do believe I’d be better off dead
So if you can take a man’s life for the thoughts that’s in his head
Then sit back in that chair and think it over judge one more time
And let `em shave off my hair and put me on that killin’ line”

Bruce Springsteen – “Johnny 99″ – 1982 – from the album “Nebraska”

The death penalty, the ultimate punishment for a crime. To many, it is a thoroughly fitting punishment for murder. Many more are clamoring for new laws to shorten or eliminate some of the appeal process. There are some that want capital punishment to be extended to other crimes, beyond murder.

Vengeance. Deterrence. The cost of housing prisoners. Prison isn’t bad enough. Parole. Escape possibilities. Many, many more.

There are numerous reasons for capital punishment.

There are 138 + 8 reasons against it.

Since 1973 there have been 138 people released from Death Row after their innocence was proven. There have been eight men executed despite strong evidence that they were innocent. There have been many executed for crimes that did not fit the punishment.

I do not doubt the guilt of the Carr Brothers, Kleypus and Thurber, and I believe their crimes to be heinous, beyond human understanding. That having been said, I still can’t get past – 138 + 8.

My solution is not unique – life without the possibility of parole in a  super-maximum security prison.

In a super-maximum security facility, prisoners are confined to their cells 23 hours a day, with only a single hour for solitary exercise. They receive their meals in their cells. They take two showers per week, alone. They have a radio and a television, but the programming is limited to recreational, educational and religious, and the inmate can’t reach the electronics. Their reading materials and mail are censored and they have no contact with anyone except the guards. No one has ever escaped from a super-maximum security facility in the United States.

Super-max detention has been described by prisoners and prison officials as a “cleaner version of Hell.”

To me, I would opt for death before living like that.

These are my thoughts. What are yours?


William Stephenson Clark


6 Comments

Filed under Crimes

You Know What Else is Un-American, Rand Paul?

— from Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones contributer

Newly minted Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul apparently thinks that criticizing BP for the Gulf spill is “really un-American.” Because, you know, “sometimes accidents happen.”

You know what’s un-American? British Petroleum. You know what else is un-American? Operating your drilling rig in US waters under flag of the Marshall Islands so you can skirt Coast Guard oversight.

Here in Kansas we don’t have to worry about oil spills. At least untill Coffeyville KS floods again! ~ sekanblogger

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Filed under Crimes, Ethics, Humor, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Illegal Immigration……………………

File:Berlinermauer.jpg

There are probably few topics that get more people hopping mad than the issue of illegal immigration. The recent “Stop and show me your papers!” law in Arizona has thrust the debate to center ice. There are critics of the law on both sides of the aisle, as well as supporters both red and blue.

Everyone, it seems, has a “solution” for the problem, some rational and some clearly idiotic. Estimates of the number of illegals in country range from official estimates of 10.8 – 12 million to insanely inflated totals of 30 million or more.

Solutions for dealing with those that are already here range from total amnesty to a mind-boggling round ‘em up and bus them to Mexico, as if that were practical or all are Mexican nationals, for that matter.

Ideas regarding  border security include such thoughts as landmines, fences – real and virtual, machine gun nests, calling out the National Guard or the Army  and armed patrols of citizens.

There is no question that illegal immigration is a serious problem and it seems that damned near everyone has their own thoughts on the possible solutions.

These are mine……………………………………………………………………….

One, put some serious teeth into the penalties for knowingly hiring illegal workers. Teeth, as in “buckle-your-knees” jail time.

Two, provide a date certain by which those already in country,  for at least a year, can apply for and and receive for a Green Card without repercussion. At that time, they could begin the process of applying for citizenship under current rules.

Three, national ID cards, if there is a way to make them counterfeit proof.

Four, after that date certain, anyone found to be in country illegally would summarily deported to their country of origin.

Five, allow our president to use every option available to our military to protect our borders as he or she deems necessary.

Those are my thoughts. The pot is boiling and the lid is about to be blown off. What are your thoughts?


William Stephenson Clark

57 Comments

Filed under Crimes, Drug Wars, hate groups, Psychological Disorders, racism, Uncategorized

Ensign Scandal Investigation

Politico reports that a federal grand jury has subpoenaed the National Republican Senatorial Committee as part of its investigation into Senator John Ensign’s affair with a former staffer. The jury wants documents from the committee pertaining to Ensign’s tenure as the NRSC chairman during the 2007-2008 election cycle. According to local reports, federal agents are also investigating Ensign for allegedly offering to block legislation for a Nevada credit-card company in exchange for a $28,000 donation to the NRSC.

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Filed under Crimes, Republicans

Banker Charged With Defrauding TARP

In a “desperate attempt” to salvage his New York bank, longtime finance executive Charles J. Antonucci Sr. allegedly lied to regulators to receive around $11 million through the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. The former president and chief executive of Park Avenue Bank of New York is the first person to be charged criminally with attempting to defraud TARP, The Wall Street Journal reports. He’s also been accused of bribery and other crimes, including “accepting free plane rides from a bank customer and stealing $103,000 from pastors of a church.” The bank, which specialized in commercial real-estate loans, failed on Friday after piling up more than $27 million in net losses last year. Antonucci could face up to 30 years in prison for each fraud or embezzlement charge.

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Filed under Crimes

The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged…

As our very own DavidB related yesterday, Frank Rich of the NYTimes wrote an interesting editorial about Andrew Joseph Stack III, the pilot who crashed his single engine airplane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas.  Rich was fascinated by the right’s reaction to this act domestic terrorism – in some cases they came close to praising the suicide mission as an expression of patriotism.  For example, Steve King (R) of Iowa said, “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened, but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.”  No one condemned the comments of King about the plane crash that resulted in the death of a single 68 year old postal worker.

Rich continues on and speculates that the political atmosphere is as poisonous now as it was in 1995 when Timothy McVeigh launched his attack on a Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.  I remember that time well and during that period I had a job where I often drove home late at night and to occupy myself I listened to A.M. talk radio.  The nuts were out in full force back in that day and I wonder if truly we are having a re-emergence of that painful partisanship.

I hope Rich is wrong.  See the editorial here.  What do you all think?

iggydonnelly

10 Comments

Filed under Crimes, hate groups, Uncategorized

ETHICS . . . POLITICANS WORST NIGHTMARE.

ethics-9651There are currently two separate ethics investigations going on in Washington: investigations to see if Rep. Laura Richardson and Rep. Maxine Waters, both Democrats from California, violated rules of conduct. Rep. Laura Richardson’s case involves whether she received preferential treatment in the foreclosure and eventual re-acquisition of her home in Sacramento, California.

Waters is being investigated for allegedly seeking preferential treatment for a bank linked to her husband, the committee said. According to the panel’s announcement, the investigation will look into whether Waters or her husband benefited from any of her communications or actions involving One United Bank, in which her husband held stock and previously was a director.

At a time when politicians are under intense scrutiny by every pundit with a camera or a computer, one would think those same politicians would learn crime doesn’t pay. South Carolina has had its share of idiots as well, both Republicans, so it’s not limited to any one party. So what is it about politics that tends to bring out the worst in some people? Or do the statistics reflect the general population?  I can imagine the answer to that question runs the gamete of everything from stupidity to outright greed, to it isn’t any different than pick a city near you. But I think there’s a basic question that does need to be answered:  Is politics, hence party affiliation, really involved, or does the perp lose that when he or she walks the on the unethical side? My answer to that is: a crook is a crook, and what party they belong to makes no difference. I’ve seen it used too often when either a Democrat or  Republican is charged with a crime, then suddenly it’s their parties fault. One can list the unethical from both parties, and the list would be ten pages long, at least. So using party affiliation as a blaming factor for criminal behavior is pointless. Any other views?

jammer5

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Filed under Crimes, Elections, Ethics

Not Low-Level People Gone Wild . . .

This New York Times article suggests that the CIA retained tight control over the detainee interrogations.  A quote:

“The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret interrogation program operated under strict rules, and the rules were dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy.”

So these were not low level people gone wild, which was what was alleged with the Abu Ghraib scandal, but instead was orchestrated by the highest levels in Washington.

This just might get interesting…  Way past time, but, oh well…

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Filed under Crimes

Red handed!

Rove ResigningYes, we already knew he was responsible for the politically-motivated firings of attorneys, so we could file this under the things we already knew.  The question now is will there be any accountability?  The whole fiasco of the bush the lesser administration begs for assurances that crooks can’t be running our country.

The House Committee investigating the Bush-era U.S. attorney firings released 5,400 pages of interviews with Karl Rove and Harriet Miers as well as RNC and White House e-mails that reveal “White House officials were deeply involved in the U.S. attorney firings and the administration made a concerted effort to hide that fact from the American people,” according to the press release from the committee.

Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing U.S. attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horsetrading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the U.S. attorney corps–that of U.S. Attorney Iglesias—because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections,” Conyers said.

fnord

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Filed under Crimes, Republicans, Wingnuts!

The Dept of Homeland Security, Sans Confusion, Anxiety and Fear?

napolitano2[2]Janet Napolitano, Head of the Dept of Homeland Secuity, on Wednesday said, “For too long, we’ve treated the public as a liability to be protected rather than as an asset in our nation’s collective security.  This approach, unfortunately, has allowed confusion, anxiety and fear to linger.”  Well, Janet, your points are exactly 100% true.  Do you not get that sowing confusion, anxiety and fear was the express purpose of the Dept of Homeland Security.  George and Dick had a good thing going with this schtick, too.  They won the presidency in 2004 after allowing the worst attack in history on American soil.  They won that contest by convincing voters that they would be better at keeping America safe.

So, you’re talking about educating U.S. citizens on recognizing terrorism precusors, working with foreign governments in processing their intelligence data, and improving the communication among local and federal law enforcement in this country.  All that sounds good, but what about this self-defeating plan of reducing confusion, anxiety, and fear?  Do you need a job, or not?

iggydonnelly

22 Comments

Filed under Cheney, Crimes, History, Political Reform, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Why No Death Penalty for Scott Roeder?

ScottRoeder-300x250.300wide.250high[1]The death penalty will not be considered for Scott Roeder whom many eye-witnesses attest murdered George Tiller, M.D. in cold blood in his Church on 05-31-09.  My question is:  why not?

While Nola Foulston likes to talk tough, it is my opinion she is a pretty conservative in the sense that she does not like to take political risks.  I think I agree with what I speculate are her moral calculations with this case.

Roeder has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia in the past.  His court appointed attorneys would likely raise a McNaughton defense* if the sought penalty was death.  I think Nola’s calculus is “let’s get him for something less than the death penalty; he will likely die in prison, anyway”.  Mission accomplished.

I am pro-choice and anti-death penalty.  My ex-wife used to enjoy pointing out the basic inconsistencies of my position on these subjects. Inconsistency does not bother me that much.  I think our support of the death penalty in this country groups us with some of the most backward and fascist governments in the world.  I would hope for more for America.

Given all of the above, I have to wonder if the death penalty for Scott Roeder would not send an important message to the next generation of abortion doctor killers?  I think Roeder says pretty outrageous things for press and the attention, but I have no doubt there are many poised to follow in his footsteps.

In the end, I do agree with Ms. Foulston; a state sponsored killing of Roeder, makes the state no better than him.  Though I am doubting the preceding was her rationalization.

*McNaughton = not guilty by reason of insanity defense.  These are rarely won – which is contrary to what the public believes as revealed by numerous surveys.

iggydonnelly

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Filed under abortion, Crimes, hate groups, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Newman. You’re invited to leave town…

TroyNewman2[1]It is interesting that Scott Roeder is saying that Operation Rescue took over $1,000 in donations from him.  Newman is denying finding Scott in their data-base.

I wonder if Troy Newman (pictured) will decide that now might be a good time for him to get out of Wichita.  What purpose does the scum have here now that Tiller is deceased?  Please join me in inviting Mr. Newman to leave Doodah, ASAP.  And, Troy, don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you go…

9 Comments

Filed under abortion, Crimes, hate groups, Kansas, Kansas History, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Ann Coulter on the Murder of George Tiller, M.D.

These are Ann Coulter’s words on the murder of Abortion doctor, Geroge Tiller:

“I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.”
“I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.”

I have very mixed feelings about giving Ann any coverage.  But I decided we need to see these people for what they really are.

Coulter made these statements on the O’Reilly show.  Read more here.

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Filed under abortion, Crimes, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Mohammed Jawad: A Huge Injustice

Mohamed Jawad

Mohammed Jawad was taken into U.S. custody during our war in Afghanistan. He confessed to throwing a hand grenade that injured U.S. soldiers. It was later revealed that this confession was obtained with torture. He is from a poor Afghan family where exact dates of birth are not known. It is probable that he was born in 1991 based upon his mother’s recollection of significant events – this in turn means that in 2003 when Jawad was captured that he was 12 years old. The official U.S. documents contend that he was age 18 when he was transferred to the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay – this is unlikely.

The U.S. Army officer assigned to conduct Jawad’s military tribunal removed himself from the case due to his inability to “in good conscience” complete this assignment.

Read the accounts here and here of this shameful case. It is way past time to free Jawad.

The photo above was taken three months before Jawad was captured.

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Filed under Crimes, Enhanced Interrogations, History, Republicans, torture, WAR, World Politics