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.
8 responses to “Just a Tad Extreme”
It is one of the most difficult things we deal with, at times we associate ourselves with others and what we would hope would be done? In respect to ourselves, we want to believe that no matter what there is always a cure. That there is always a hope of change and that no one is beyond redemption.
But sadly I will say, that is not always the case there really are those who there is not that curing for them.
No realistic chance of change or redemption, thankfully they are rare and few but still they are treated the same as everyone else is.
They drift through and in and out of the system, the hidden ill kept secret that those within the system know of. And that they can and will always be a threat to the public, as long as they are alive they will always be the silent poisonous snakes waiting in the grass.
Only noticed once again when they strike and someone is killed or so damaged that their lives are beyond repair. Why and what caused this 23 years old to hunt and want to kill a child?
Is there something in some textbook that will explain it and like some tech manual explain how to fix such a thing?
There is little question that there is some mental illness involved, that said it was not his doing or control that caused it. Mental illness is the lacking of control and reason that would stop someone from acting on a moment’s impulse.
In that perhaps that is the real thought on what should happen when mental illness is involved.
For we all have those moment’s impulses, that strange and normally out of character thought that comes from out of nowhere and suddenly just pops into the mind.
It’s mob mentality. One-up-manship as to who can say the most horrible thing.
There was a story in the local paper a couple of days ago about a woman who gave birth to a baby in her home, then instructed someone to take the baby to the authorities, because she chose not to keep it. This was not a young teen. The woman was 29. The majority of the comments condemned the woman for her actions. A few pointed out that she could have dumped it in the garbage or worse. One person called her a birthing machine. WTF? No one, not one person commenting, knew the history of the woman, her pregnancy, or anything about her life or situation, yet too many were ready to stone her verbally, if not physically.
Let’s face it. Everyone else out there is perfect and believe they have the right to judge every single action of all others, holding themselves up as equal to the Messiah. It stinks.
I’m sure we were all told the following at one time: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
So here’s my New Rule: Everyone should be forced to adhere to the above for one month. The punishment for not doing it should be painful death. 😉
Just like ‘pay it forward’ a new attitude can begin with only one person and spread.
I take your challenge! For one month — until Nov. 13th — I will try my hardest to say nothing unless I can find something nice to say.
Who knows we could begin a revolution that hurts no one and has potential for good! If I’m the only person affected by my self-imposed conduct that will still be a positive change!
Does it take an aberrant state to be able to kill another human? Is there a tipping point beyond which there is no control over ones own actions? I certainly have done things I wish I hadn’t, said words I wish could be taken back. Couldn’t undo those actions or words! I would like to think I’m not capable of violence, but can I know for sure how far I could go under conditions I can’t imagine?
I’m with you, Will. I do not believe in putting people to death, no matter how heinous the crime.
There are many, many, MANY things worse than death. For some of the most vile people, living is the worst punishment.
Make ’em think about things for a few more decades before death mercifully sets them free!
As far as blogging my best offense is controlling my desire to respond. Just let the words that may have elicited emotion sit there and speak for themselves, speak for the person who typed them and not add my own to the fire.
Sometimes I’m even successful!
“Have we become so calloused that we flippantly advocate Iranian-style justice in the United States”
This part of Will’s posting caught my eye since we have been hearing so much ranting from the Conservative Right how Muslim Sharia law is becoming rampant across our country and they are fighting it tooth and nail.
But, I guess it is okay for good Christian Right Americans to call for the death of a mentally ill person in the case of this boy’s stabbing but it is not okay for Muslim’s to have their Sharia law?
I don’t get it. Seems to me – the Muslims Sharia law and this mob mentality (as Wicked described it) are eerily the same.
One of the sadist situations I saw was a guy named Robert, the nicest guy I had ever met.
This guy was warmly friendly and could make you smile just being around him.
The sad part, he was a cold blooded killer and had killed four people all in one setting.
He walked into his ex-girlfriend house and counted how many people were there.
Then counted out shotgun shells one per person a total of five shells.
Then shot everyone once in a systematic fashion, the only one who survived was a 14 y.o. girl.
The girl was holding a two y.o. and when Robert shot the two y.o. the blast blew off two of the girl’s fingers. And the baby’s blood splattered all over the girl’s face.
The girl fell to the floor and had the piece of mind to lay still as if she was dead.
Robert thought he had killed both them with one round.
The Jail P.A. told me that Robert was on the highest dose of Throizan he had ever given someone.
The only way you would know that it was effecting Robert was when it was wearing off he would turn into a babbling idiot and suffered severe shaking fits.
It is one of those cases when true mental illness is a living Hell for the person going through it.
The problem is a double curse, one being that it is incurable it is something that is a life time existence.
The second is that the system has two driving needs to cure and to dismiss.
So with a moment seeming cure they are ready to declare the patent cured and then kick them out on their own.
Kansas is one of the few states where it is very difficult to hold someone against their will.
If you walked into the mental health unit that use to be on Main and said you were hearing voices telling you to kill everyone. They would admit you, but if in a week you decide you want to leave they can not stop you even if they think you are still hearing those voices!
The Court is very reluctant to order a mental commitment until there is actually someone killed.