Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A fair trial followed by a first class hangin'

posted by Jazz at 12/02/2004 07:21:00 AM


DISCLAIMER: This blog entry deals with the extremely unpleasant and upsetting subject of child abuse. If you are easily disturbed, you may want to scroll down to the next post.

This is going to wind up being a question about the death penalty, but it takes a few minutes, so bear with me. Recently, police arrested a man, Thomas Redeker, who lives less than an hour away from me. Initially it looked like his primary offense was possession of disgusting child pornography material. That's bad enough, but then it turned out that he was actually starring in some of the videos. We're talking some severely sick stuff... torture, rape, I won't go into any details, but it all involved children. Then, in what became a bonus for the police, it came to light that this sick pervert had a "co-star" in these films, who the perpetrator gave up to the cops in some sort of plea deal.

The other twisted deviate in question turned out to be a Wisconsin native named John Perry. Upon searching his house, police found lots more videos, and were able to determine that Perry was not only involved in this particular string of odious behavior, but was also the same person who police had dubbed the "Mall Rapist" during the nineties. It seems that this fine upstanding citizen had abducted, tortured and raped a number of women who worked in a shopping mall over the last decade, but had always evaded capture. Apparently, not satisfied with abusing adult women, he later moved on to child molestation, performing the same sick acts with children whom he and Redeker abducted.

Thus far Perry has been sentenced to 180 years in prison for other crimes. (That was before the child torture tapes turned up.) He's never going to breath free air again. So what difference does it make to him if a judge tacks another five hundred years onto his sentence?

This brings me to my question. I know that many of my more liberal readers, and some of my guest bloggers as well, are opposed to the death penalty. Please tell me exactly why we can't strap this monster down on a table and pump him full of Drain-O. If your answer is based on religion and the conviction that it is always wrong to take another human life, then fine. Don't bother to answer because I already understand and respect your opinion, even if I don't agree with it. But if you are a person who admits that in some cases the death penalty can be justified - say for mass murderers - what is the issue with putting this guy in a hole in the ground?

This isn't one of those cases where we're not sure who the perpetrator is. There isn't going to be some DNA evidence surfacing ten years from now showing that somebody else committed the crimes. We have the bastard on video tape and a confession to boot. He systematically raped and tortured a series of women and children over a period of fifteen years. If we can't lynch this freak, then who will we ever prosecute that could be more deserving?