Wergeld

Can we agree that, if a man kills someone's family pet over a political campaign, and that man is later hunted down and killed, we will all pledge not to convict the killer of any crime if asked to serve on the jury?

22 comments:

bthun said...

What scum...

I would take the pledge, but so far my 19th century views on crime and punishment have, for some reason, prevented me from being selected for jury duty. I have the notion that absent a cataclysmic climate cooling event occurring in Hades, I doubt I'd have the opportunity to take a jury nullification stand.

DL Sly said...

Not. Cool.

I'd take that pledge, but, like the resident Hun before me, I seem to not be a prosecutor or a defender's ideal jurist. And I never once showed up in my Grim Reaper costume.....
0>;~}

BillT said...

Agreed.

However, my background has been known to send defense lawyers into paroxysms to see which could set a new speed record in getting me out of the jury pool.

Current record -- two questions...

Texan99 said...

The perpetrator is better off dead, that's for sure. He's placed himself outside humanity.

E Hines said...

Not a priori.

Especially, not. I need to know the evidence and facts surrounding the incident first.

Eric Hines

Anonymous said...

Gotta know the facts.

Remember Susan Smith?
http://articles.latimes.com/1994-11-05/news/mn-58784_1_susan-smith

How about the Candy Man?
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Man-Who-Killed-Halloween-still-haunts-holiday-1971811.php

But I'd have no problem with jury nullification of the vigilante killing of the actual animal killer.

Valerie

DL Sly said...

Wow, Mr. DeBille, you actually get to answer questions? I never make it past the questionaire....
0>;~}

bthun said...

You two get questionnaires?

Sheesh, since I began showing up for, if not actively participating in County Commission meetings, oh, somewhere around 25 years ago, I've not received a single You Might Be A Juror If... mail notification. In spite I might add, of my vocal offers to do my civic duty.

Whoops, excuse me, my phone is ringing.

BillT said...

Why would they give me a questionnaire? They already *know* I can read and write...

DL Sly said...

The questionnaires are all general info crap: name, address, marital status, place of employment, any government or police associations, etc. etc. For some reason they seem to think that my being married to an MP in the Marine Corps makes me biased.
Go fig.
0>;~}

Anonymous said...

That is just sick. Very, very sick. Agree to the pledge but I don't think I'd stay in the pool past the question of "How many cats are you owned by?" A: "At any given time?"

LittleRed1

Anonymous said...

And anyone who has ever been around felines knows that they are either monarchists or libertarians, never ever liberal.

LittleRed1

E Hines said...

...anyone who has ever been around felines knows that they are either monarchists or libertarians....

Mine have all been both. They've defined, and enforced, libertarianism in their terms. And handed down their ruling for my benefit.

Eric Hines

Eric Blair said...

I sort of hate to say this, but when I saw that item, the first thing I thought was "Did the campaign manager do it himself just to gin up sympathy and outrage?"

dellbabe68 said...

And here I was hoping someone HAD hunted the perpetrator down and killed him. Damn.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Dog or cat?

Grim said...

Well, a cat, obviously. The existing rules of honor already cover a man who kills your dog.

rcl said...

I'll take the pledge. I've been on the jury pool in SD County for years. Now days you're only exposed for 1 day. I've been seated in the pool a few times. Once with a questionaire and a couple times via interview I get excluded as soon as they get to "Have you ever been the victim of a crime?" Something about my presentation of the list of times I've been robbed at home or business gives the defense the idea I'm itching for payback.

douglas said...

O.K., I'll bite. No, I'll have to pass on the pledge, assuming this isn't all tongue-in-cheek (in which case, my apologies). While I find the act despicable and vile, and I assume anyone who would kill a family pet for such unworthy reasons is probably headed toward full psychopathy, I at loathe to support the landslide of activism equating humans and animals. If I'm to be against PETA equating chickens and the holocaust, then I can't extend the logic to a families cat either, sorry.

Eric Blair, I too had the thought pass through my mind, especially reading that the guy packed his three kids under 5 into his car just to go get gas, and then came home to find this. That's unusual (at least for me) and doesn't leave much of a time window. Also, if you were slimy enough to do this, why "liberal"? Why not "commie" or something derogatory? Odd, I say.

So, just for argument sake, what if it was the owner?

Texan99 said...

I've been trying to sort through my real views on this for several days now. On the one hand, I'd support someone who caught him in the act and killed him to stop him. If he somehow were killed afterwards in error (say, an accident leaving the scene, or in a hail of police gunfire because he made a false move), I wouldn't regret his leaving the planet. But the purpose of trials is to prevent revenge murders in hot blood and instead to bring in a community standard, including making really sure there's no mistake about who did it. So I'd certainly consider the motive for killing him and drop the charge down to manslaughter, but I can't honestly say I'd acquit if he were tracked down and killed considerably later in cold blood.

I say that even though I have no problem with nullification in general. I've cheerfully led a jury to acquit when the charges didn't meet my standards of justice. I believe that's part of what juries are for. The D.A. didn't find that out about me, because he asked the wrong questions. He wanted to know how we felt about cops. Love 'em -- which didn't change the fact that this cop had been expected to enforce a very dumb law. Not his fault, but we weren't having it. They gave me a hole and I walked the panel right through it.

To the point about whether this is like PETA, I say it's not. As horrifying as I would find the casual murder of a cat, this is on an entirely different level and is a crime against the family more than against the cat. To kill a pet to make a point against the family, to inflict that kind of pain on children in order to make a political point (if he really was doing that and wasn't simply psychotic), and to invade a home to do so -- there are things that put a person outside the human boundaries and out in the cold wasteland. He can't ever be trusted to live among people again. So if the cat killer could be found and convicted, I'd treat him more harshly than I would the man who would kill him if he got to him first.

Grim said...

"[T]here are things that put a person outside the human boundaries and out in the cold wasteland."

There we are. That's the point of the suggestion -- which is not in jest. What you have there is the ancient and medieval concept of Outlawry, and it's a concept that we have lost from our system.

There are times and places, though, where it is a necessary concept. I remember watching a case where a man who had raped and murdered a young girl used his opportunity to speak at court, just after sentencing, to taunt her father about using her sexually before she died. The cops tackled and pulled the father to the ground and held him there while the criminal was escorted off to the safety of prison.

There's nothing that our court system can do in a case like that which approaches justice. That man deserves what the father wanted to do to him: our system needs a way of licensing it. Jury nullification is the only mechanism we have that approaches the old code here.

bthun said...

I've always thought myself to be a law & order kinda guy and have made every attempt to live accordingly. For as long as I can remember, I've agreed with the sentiment John Adams stated when he quoted Lord Chief Justice Hale during Adams 1770 defense of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. “It is better five guilty persons escape, than one innocent person suffer.”

Then came the rise of the intertubes through which we now have unrestrained and unedited access to news and opinion. Awash in this sea of information we are able see how often the guilty escape justice and the innocent are unjustly punished. This strains one's allegiance to Lord Hale's view.

Grim, your posting causes us look back towards a time when serious people attempted to treat violent, vile, or minor crimes against society/humanity justly and proportionately. IMHO, we can see that time has passed as too frequently we are presented with examples of the innocent being unjustly punished while the guilty, by hook, crook, or fortuitous association remain free as birds.

To my way of thinking, the wanton cruelty of a person who would kill an animal as described in the report points to a malicious character needing, at minimum, a month in the stocks on the square followed by a shunning of the citizens in the community, regardless of the motivation or who the cat killer might be.