Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Perhaps it’s not that surprising when a clearly schizophrenic gunman kills a bunch of people, including a Democratic Congresswoman, the “mainstream” leftist media immediately describes him as merely “alienated” and the result of an atmosphere of “bigotry.” Where are these powers of generalization when all-too-common Islamic terrorism occurs?  Or black on white crime?  Or immigration-fueled gang violence?  Why in those cases is everything sui generis? Why in those more common cases, where reliable patterns have emerged, are we warned not to jump to conclusions about motives nor to demonize whole communities?

On the other hand, when a nutjob loosely affiliated with one of the two major political factions in this country, in that case, we can draw connections of beliefs and actions and demonize half the country in the process.

The liberal frenzy to find a Tea Party angle to the Tuscon mass murder is only made more ridiculous because this man many equally be said to be “left wing,” not least for his self-satisfied flag-burning demonstration on You Tube. The whole farcical reaction by the left is reminiscent of the 1960s-era desire to paint the Communist Lee Harvey Oswald as a tool of shadowy right-wing forces.

Seriously, the Arizona shooter wrote, “You shouldn’t be afraid of the stars. There’s a new bird on my right shoulder. The beak is two feet and lime green. The rarest bird on earth, there’s no feathers, but small grey scales all over the body. It’s with one large red eye with a light blue iris. The bird feet are the same as a woodpecker. This new bird and there’s only one, the gender is not female or male. The wings of this bird are beautiful; 3 feet wide with the shape of a bald eagle that you could die for. If you can see this bird then you will understand. You think this bird is able to chat about a government? I want you to imagine a comet or meteoroid coming through the atmosphere. On the other hand, welcome yourself to the desert: Maybe your ability to protest is from the brainwash of the current government structure.”  This is neither right, nor left.  Even if it were more one than the other, taken as a whole, it’s self-evidently the meaningless blather of a man that has completely lost his mind.

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If you’ve ever spent any time around convicts, you’ll learn one thing in a hurry: our prisons are full of “innocent” men. They’re not innocent in the ordinary sense. They actually did commit the robberies, rapes, drug deals, and murders they’re convicted of. But they’re innocent in the sense that they protest their innocence with remarkable sincerity and passion. They will tell you how they were railroaded by mean-spirited prosecutors, flat-footed detectives, and corrupt “snitches.” In other words, they’re living in a manipulative fantasy land with which ordinary people are entirely unfamiliar.

Surely, there are some innocent people in prison. This is inevitable considering how many defendants were convicted before the era of DNA testing, when witness identifications often suffer from confusion, and when circumstantial evidence often provides overwhelming proof that someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This law review article on the subject of DNA testing was unique and apposite. It notes that more than half of the folks that pass the Innocence Project’s initial screening process end up confirming their own guilt with DNA testing. This may seem odd to outside observers. Why would they go through this process. Well, if you’re guilty, and you’re already in prison, why not try? In their minds, perhaps there’s some fluke in the test and it’s worth a shot; they likely also don’t realize how reliable DNA is in confirming guilt.

The authors propose that when DNA testing confirms guilt, the prisoners in question should be punished for wasting everyone’s time with significant additional length added to their prison sentences. This seems perfectly reasonable, as the petitioners alone know when the test is likely to confirm guilt. The Innocence Project and DNA testing are both very worthy endeavors in my mind. Few tragedies inspire as much horror as a lengthy incarceration of an innocent man. One of the great advancements of forensic science in the last few decades is the incredibe precision offered by a DNA test. But we should not assume that the prisons are filled with innocent people; even in the past, juries and witnesses wanted the same things we want today: for the innocent to walk free and for the guilty to go to jail. And, like today, they mostly got it right.

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Unfortunately, with an impending Democratic presidency, we can expect more calls for gun control.  Horrible shootings like the schoolyard shootings in Stockton and Columbine were widely discussed in the national media and given front page treatment.  It’s not surprising that the recent tragedy involving a mass shooting by a police officer in Wisconsin is buried on the New York Times’ website today.  And why?  Well, it doesn’t support gun control, because even anti-gun types believe police should have guns.  The gun control agenda depends upon manipulating images rather than dealing with facts.  Accidental and mass shootings receive saturation coverage, while uses of guns in self-defense and the misuse of guns by officials are generally relegated to the local news, if they are covered at all.

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