Skip to main content

This is about an interview, over an hour long, that I just listened to on the Washington Post site.  It is with Lee Boyd Malvo, who at 17 years of age, was one of the two snipers who terrorized the D.C. area, killing at least ten people a decade ago.  After posting this, I found an extensive article by the reporter who did the interview (who crossed his pass during the killings) that while well written does not allow the depth of understanding as hearing Malvo's own voice. So, I recommend taking the time to listen to the 75 minute interview.  

After listening to the interview, I left this comment:

Lee Boyd Malvo was a lost child whose mother ignored him when not expressing complete hatred. He found what he needed the most, someone who would acknowledge his existence. His suffering was so great at one point that he attempted suicide, and his mother responded by "beating him to a bloody pulp"

What Lee needed was simple human contact, and he found it. It could have been someone else, maybe someone who is reading this. We channel our emotion over his murders into hatred of Lee, as that is relatively easy. Will any of us seek out those like him, those children who are desperate and give them our time. Will I have the courage to call school districts with the most dysfunctional families and try to relate to a child.

Lee is not making excuses, as there is no reason to. His fate is sealed and he knows it. He is describing his existence, how his need was an opening for the disturbed man John Muhammad who was the puppeteer whom he followed when he first met him when he was only fourteen years old.  It could have been Rev. Jim Jones, or any cult figure, or an abusive spouse, or a pimp......any one who would provide attention, and what passes for affection.  

Lee is describing a common social psychological phenomenon, that is only differentiated by cultural norms from what he described as "child soldiers" throughout the third world, but also our own military, where we desensitize young adults to the inborn resistance to killing another human. If he had been an American Marine, or a SEAL, his singular focus on killing the enemy, as it would have been validated by our patriotic values, would have made him a hero.

One of the messages of this interview is the insight that it provides to those who have been in the midst of military combat, who suffer some of the same regret, but are prevented from full release by it being considered not something that is shameful, but heroic.  

I plan to listen to this again, and write more extensively on what we as a society can learn from Lee's experience. Those who feel only contempt for this murderer, that this interview is giving a platform for someone who deserves only the worse punishment, will not be able to accept  my approach. Yet, out of this tragedy the only good that could come form it would be increased understanding of the human condition.

Malvo's erudition, even his mispronunciation of certain words, shows that he learned the hard way, not in a classroom, but by reading books where the pronunciation can be ambiguous.   His fate was not preordained, as he is highly intelligent with a profound thirst for knowledge.  Those whom he killed, and the penumbra of these deaths, the extensive "exponential  harm" that he himself describes to neighbors and communities need not have happened. Personally, I will not be satisfied to simply punish this man, nor do I reject his being punished.  The tragedy, this one that we can control, would be not to learn anything from his life.
This is a link to the report by the Psychologist Steve Eichel that describes the defense argument that resulted in Malvo being sentenced to life without parole rather than execution.  

Originally posted to ARODB on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Most riveting statement from Malvo (11+ / 0-)
    He scanned the area to make sure John Allen Muhammad had a clean shot. He gave the “go” order and looked across Route 50 in Seven Corners at the target. Muhammad, hidden on a hill above, pulled the trigger. A bullet screamed across the highway, instantly killing Linda Franklin, who just happened to be going about her business at the Home Depot in Virginia at precisely the wrong time.

    But mostly he remembers Ted Franklin’s eyes — the devastation, the shock, the sadness. “They are penetrating,” Malvo said in a rare media interview from prison. “It is the worst sort of pain I have ever seen in my life. His eyes. . . . Words do not possess the depth in which to fully convey that emotion and what I felt when I saw it. . . . You feel like the worst piece of scum on the planet.”
    •  Thanks, I didn't see the article.. (6+ / 0-)

      which I just read.  While it was well done, I'm glad I didn't see it before or I might not have listened to the entire interview, which gave a fuller understanding of Malvo's life.

      •  That's appropriate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arodb, Persiflage, Neuroptimalian

        that he "feels like the worst piece of scum on the planet"

        •  If you have the time... (0+ / 0-)

          listen to the entire interview.  

        •  He's not even a pale ghost of Dick Cheney, (5+ / 0-)

          when it comes to scumminess.

          Never, ever, let Dick Cheney off the hook by suggesting that some other living person is in the same league of malevolent evil.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arodb, JamieG from Md, Neuroptimalian

            I never had to worry about DC  blowing me away with a rifle  just for fun while  I fill my gas tank.   And I know to stay far away from his hunting trips.

            His geopolitical transgressions are another  discussion.

            •  Please yourself. (0+ / 0-)

              Dick Cheney did far more direct damage to you and everybody you love than 17-year-old Lee Malvo could have ever imagined doing, and that isn't even taking into account the direct comparison of how much fear each induced in how many people. Cheney's transgressions weren't "geopolitical" to the parents of the children he slaughtered -- they were murders, pure and simple, ghastly in their utter lack of any human sensibility. He is a mass murderer on a 7-figure scale, a torturer, and a usurper of the people's sovereignty.

              As far as fear goes, you never had to worry about LM blowing you away with a rifle, either -- you chose to worry about it, even though you were probably more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the gas station, a likelihood you continue to live with each and every day without losing any sleep. Beyond which, even on the fairly insignificant (in the grand scheme of sorrows and horrors visited upon one's fellow humans) metric of "creating fear of dying from extremely unlikely attacks by angry men you don't even know", Dick Cheney without question has been responsible for far more moments of such fear: First, by being complicit in incompetently (we generously assume*) allowing one small band of such angry men to actually kill about 1000 times as many people as Malvo, and second, by then doing everything possible to create a sense of fear and foreboding in the minds of your countrymen.

              Are your horizons really so very parochial that you can rank Malvo even in the same species of evil as Cheney, just because for a few weeks he frightened you -- specifically, you?


              * In my case, there's nothing very generous about the assumption. The only assumption I make is that Dick Cheney probably doesn't have the guts to pull off a conspiracy to execute a false-flag op of 911 proportions. I have no doubt -- not one flickering thread of cognitive uncertainty -- that Cheney would do such a thing, if he were certain he could do it with impunity.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:09:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And yet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neuroptimalian, Kitty

      he went on to shoot at two more victims, killing one.

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by JamieG from Md on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:23:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A recommend a book entitled (0+ / 0-)

    "Some Rules for Killing People".

    Or at least the titular essay -- the book is a collection.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:43:01 PM PDT

  •  In the minutes after the Franklin killing, (5+ / 0-)

    before we knew it was the Franklin killing, I was driving home on the GW Parkway, heard the screaming sirens, and ultimately got waved through a police checkpoint in the fruitless manhunt that immediately followed. I didn't know exactly where it had happened, but there was no mistaking the response in those horrifying days. I made a point of filling my gas tank as soon as I could, because I knew the snipers were busy elsewhere, and gas stations seemed a marginally preferred target. At least one station set up a tarp to hide customers from view while they pumped their gas.  

    That's how crazy it was. People like me, fully aware of the statistical improbability of becoming a random victim, particularly in such a large area and dense population, altering their behavior, if only slightly. Knowing how weak the eyewitness reports sounded, yet looking askance at white box trucks. (I actually saw one with a message scrawled in the dirt on the back of the truck -- "No, it's not me." A rare bit of humor in those days.)

    I haven't read the article yet, and I imagine this is mentioned, but I think some people underestimate the effects the 9/11 and anthrax attacks had on the DC area population. Following on the heels of these traumas -- the anthrax fears lasted longer in workplaces and on public transit than outsiders might realize -- the snipers represented the third major source of feelings of vulnerability in about a year. These are the days I think about when I hear about our latest nifty drone action in some country with which we're not at war. Random death makes for an angry and skittish population.

    I am not sure I want to revisit it at all, so I've bookmarked for future listening, but I appreciate your commentary. I was then and am now completely opposed to capital punishment, but I have no doubt I would have killed them both without hesitation in those days (not in custody, of course). But even in the early months after their capture, there was concern for Malvo as a possible victim of a Svengali. He was bright, artistic, and probably irreparably damaged by his background even before Muhammad got to him, but he also had people spinning for him early. I'm not sure Muhammad was any less damaged, so I hesitate to conclude he was more worthy of opprobrium -- or the death penalty -- just because he made it to adulthood. Unfortunately, his execution increases the likelihood that a "poor Lee" story less complex than the reality of this duo will become the accepted narrative.

    They are/were both human beings. And they were both, during their reign of terror, monsters.

    •  I was raised in DC.... (4+ / 0-)

      and my sister still lives in Potomac, so I'm not sure I will even send this to her.  What you describe is so genuine, that we can have both a primal response-fear and rage -while still knowing that the killers are human themselves.

      You really should listen to the entire interview.  First the reporter, who was probably selected by Malvo because of his humanity and intelligence, did a magnificent job, never forgetting his place as subordinate to the subject.

      Ultimately every "monster" is one because of events that shaped their lives.  What makes Lee's story so fascinating is that he is exceptionally bright and sensitive-yes, the mass murderer is sensitive, and perhaps that's what is part of the profile, a vulnerability that caused him to cleave to a Svengali.

      I have been for capital punishment for many complex reasons, yet, this case makes me rethink my position.  Of course if our prisons are virtual torture, death is less cruel, something that must be part of the issue.

      I have written about this on my own blog,  and if you do want to discuss your reactions after you have listened to the interview, please go on the site, and there may be other discussions you may value.



      •  I will try to do so. Thanks. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  one thing we could do... (0+ / 0-)

        ... is harsh-up the child abuse laws to the max:

        1)  Surgical sterilization upon conviction: no more making kids to torture.

        2)  Long prison sentences.

        3)  Criminal liability for the actions of the abused child up to the age of 21:  in this case Malvo's parents would be up for "accessory to murder" with multiple counts and a potential life sentence.  

        4)  Svengali types should also be held accountable per (3) for kids they indoctrinate into committing crimes.  And yes this goes for religious cults and "Jesus camp" outfits that indoctrinate kids into becoming "martyrs" (their own word).  

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:31:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If teenagers can be punished as adults... (0+ / 0-)

        .... they deserve the right to vote.

        This is the same case that was made during the Vietnam war, to lower the voting age from 21 to 18:   If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote.

        Thus, if you're old enough to be punished as an adult, you're old enough to vote as an adult.

        The logic of that is irrefutable.

        I think I'm going to start agitating for it.  

        Oh, and think of the partisan implications of that one, eh?

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:14:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You can't save them all but... (5+ / 0-) can sometimes save one.

    As the parent of an older child adopted from foster care, I've made a bit of a study of outcomes for kids who age out of the system and they're heartbreaking. Even wrote a diary about it many moons ago, but can't link it on this cheap tablet.

    There are many ways to help one child - mentoring programs like big bothers/sister, tutoring programs, foster care, or even adoption of an older child. The average age of kids adopted from foster care is about 5 years old. The average age of kids available for adoption is much older. It's the young ones who get adopted, the older ones who need it so desperately.

    Many states have programs to help with placement of special needs kids, which typically includes those considered to old for most people to adopt.

    •  Yeah, I wish I had the stuff... (4+ / 0-)

      but I don't think I do.  Maybe there are residential facilities, like a friend of mine works in, that could use volunteers.  I'll try that first.

      My respect and admiration for your taking on the responsibility of caring for those who otherwise face abject loneliness.  Listen to the long interview, and you deserve the satisfaction of knowing that you have actually done something that could have changed the course of his life, and the tragedies that it lead to.

      •  if I was wealthy.... (0+ / 0-)

        .... one thing I would really want to do is start some kind of collective home for troubled kids, properly staffed with at minimum a nurse and a psychologist on duty around the clock, and a doctor and a psychiatrist on call.

        I've worked with some troubled 20-somethings in the past, in a project to help them get work (it was completely informal and it ultimately succeeded with the group we were working with, so having completed the task, we wrapped it up and that was that).  But it was clear that more is needed, and the kids we were working with were relatively "mild" cases in that they at least had roofs over their heads and no major substance problems or legal trouble.  A more ambitious version of that project didn't get off the ground because we ran into the issue of "case management" for people with chronic problems: and that takes $$$ that we did not have.  

        The degree to which our society treats children and young adults as disposable commodities, makes me want to vomit.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:36:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I worked in Manassas (4+ / 0-)

    and lived in Lake Ridge during the sniper shootings.  The kids homecoming parade and outside activities were canceled.  There was a lot of fear.  I can remember looking at white box trucks with suspicion and worrying when I got gas (and even to this day white box trucks make me a little nervous).  It was surreal.  I feel for the guy - I think everyone knew who the ringleader was.  But what is the solution?  Is our justice system revenge or rehabilitation?  Do we want this man, this killer,  back on the streets?  Do we want him to waste away in jail?  Kill him?  What about the victims and the victim's families?  There is certainly a lot of gray - and I am just glad I am not the one to have to make these kinds of decisions.

    •  Our justice system, and our political system... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Villanova Rhodes, G2geek

      has become revenge only.  Lee was 14 when he came under the influence of John Muhammad, and was under his control   His actions could not have possibly brought him any gain, only destruction.  

      A few decades ago, he would have been tried as a juvenile, and released after he is shown not to be a threat to repeat his crimes.  Listen to the entire interviews, and you make your own decision.  

  •  human monster (0+ / 0-)

    Colorado has a much higher GDP than Utah because it is culturally superior

    by memofromturner on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:50:05 PM PDT

  •  I live in Annapolis, MD and I lived through those (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villanova Rhodes, Wee Mama, arodb, G2geek

    horrific, nightmarish and terrifying three weeks in October of 2002. I have a large extended family and circle of friends who live in the surburban Maryland and Northern Virginia (extending all the way to Richmond) area. One of the first shootings in Montgomery County occurred directly across the street from my aunt and uncle's house and the shooting of a 13 year old middle school student (who miraculously survived) occurred less than 15 miles from my house and less than a mile from my oldest brother's house.

    I have never seen Lee Malvo as anything other than a human being, John Allen Muhammed took advantage of a young boy's desperation to have a family and over an extended period, brainwashed this poor kid into becoming a monsterous mass murderer all to cover up the murder of his sole intended victim, his ex-wife.

    Now, don't get me wrong, Lee Malvo, although manipulated and coerced by Muhammed, knew what he was doing was wrong. He was rightfully held accontable for his actions. Do I believe that life w/o the possibilty of parole was an appropriate sentence? No, I do not. For several reasons. One, but for John Allen Muhammed, Lee Malvo would never have become a killer. That is a fact that all the psycologists and investigators that worked Malvo for months and years (including the FBI) agree with unequivocally. Two, there is nothing to indicate that he would present a further danger to society. Should he spend 20, 25 years in prison? I wouldn't disagree with that, the difference with Lee Malvo is that he has had extensive psycotherapy since he was apprehended. He first had to be, basically, deprogrammed. That took a very long time. And once he was, he has shown enormous and continued remorse for what he did. He testified honestly and unhesitatingly against Muhammed at both trials (Virginia and Maryland). Luckily, they were apprehended in Maryland, not Virginia. We were able to pretty much  strong arm them into accepting a plea deal for a life sentence and his time was to be served in Maryland, not Virginia. He has continued to recieve extensive counseling since the trials. And all of his counselor's and most of the investigator's involved truly care about him. And feel compassion for him, because the bottom line is that he was a victim of both his mother and John Allen Muhammed too.

    And lastly, I feel compelled to disclose that I am a family member of a murder victim. And the reason I feel compelled to disclose that information is that it gives my analysis of Lee Malvo a bit more weight. I am against the death penalty and in certain cases, I have absolutely no problem with life w/o parole, My cousin's murderer just died of natural causes in prison this past March, almost 34 years after the murder. And life w/o parole for him was appropriate, based on the crime he committed against my cousin and his past record. But not all murders are the same and we must consider mitigating circumstances and the future potential of being a danger to society. It's called the justice system after all, not the vengenance system.  

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by mindara on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:01:48 PM PDT

    •  The pendulum has swung too far... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, mindara

      Most states allow any youth to be tried as an adult, seemingly based on nothing more than public pressure.  I'm in California where I wrote publically against a more punitive bill for sex offenders.

      While it was porportedly to apply to the worst of the worst, the first person tried was a mentally damaged older person who exposed himself to young boys who he thought were his grandsons.

      The judge threw out the case, but it shows the degree of rage and how it grows into crevices we would never imagine.

      Sorry about the loss of your cousin, and glad it has not made you so bitter that you can no longer feel compassion.

      •  Thank you, fact the loss of my cousin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has made me more compassionate, not less. And my cousin's late mother (she died in 2006) is directly responsible for that. She was what I call my "mother of the soul". We were very close and she fought ferociously to obtain justice for her 12 year old son and once we had obtained that, she fought just as ferociously to change the system to prevent other children from being harmed and to obtain rights for victim's of violent crime. It is due to her efforts along with a group of other parents of murdered children that the state of Maryland was the first state in the country to pass Victim's Rights Legislation. But she was not at all of the mindset that believed in swinging the pendelum to the opposite end of the spectrum that you mentioned. And the most offensive change to the criminal justice system has been the ever increasing move nationwide to prosecute juveniles as adults and impose life sentences w/o possibilty of parole. While there was an absolute need for changes in the juvenile justice system with regard to the most serious and violent crimes, this was not the answer.

        "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by mindara on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:35:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When someone purposefully kills another for the (0+ / 0-)

    fun of it, they deserve to be executed.   No one will ever convince me that any other human being doesn't innately know that it's wrong to kill for fun.  Even sociopaths know it's wrong...they just enjoy it.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:21:46 PM PDT

    •  There is an article in current Military History... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      magazine on the Mai Lai massacre by Americans in Viet Nam.  It described the very same state of mind, the dehumanization of the targeted human beings by the soldiers that was described by Malvo.

      An entire generation of Japanese and Germans were conditioned to kill large masses of people by means not unlike Malvo's conditioning.  Yes, those Axis troops were our enemies and we slaughtered them.  And Murderers are our enemies our instincts are to slaughter them also.

      In this case, Malvo came under the control of his dominating partner when he was a devastated 14 year old.  Perhaps he has to stay in jail, in solitary for the rest of his life?  But it's hard for me to understand what is gained by it.

      •  people have lived lives of wisdom and reflection (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arodb, G2geek

        in prison. Straitened as the circumstances are, they still allow choices.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:16:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just read the Three Sieves... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, G2geek

          While it is good for starters, and for children, I would buy two out of three, True, for sure, and then kindness is balanced against "necessary."

          There are times, and issues that must be expressed, or I feel I must state them even if to some it will be unkind.  The justification must be that it is necessary, or "important" to state for reasons that I have to justify in what I am expressing.

          Buit when a comment is going to hurt someone, I try to take special effort to mitigate the injury.

      •  the difference in warfare is... (0+ / 0-)

        .... that the opposing forces are alive and running around on the battlefield.  Once they are captured it's improper and illegal to kill them in custody.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:41:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing is gained for society. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Except a knowledge that this person will not again be loose on the streets.   Sorta like Charles Manson.   Yes, there are differences, but to the dead and their families it's not a compelling distinction..

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:07:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a family member of a murder victim (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and there is a compelling distinction. It does us no good as a society to move toward a system of justice utterly devoid of compassion and the ability to discern the very real differences between a Charles Manson and a Lee Malvo. And there is a direct correlation to be made between the utter lack of compassion in the justice system and the continuation of the death penalty in this country to the utter lack of compassion and empathy for our fellow Americans and the desire of the GOP to completely destroy our social safety net.

          As I also commented earlier, I live in Annapolis, MD and lived through those three horrific weeks in October 2002.

          "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by mindara on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:02:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry about your family's loss. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I should have said there would be no compelling distinction to me.   If you are magnanimous enough to discern a difference in death at the hands of a Lee Malvo versus at the hands of someone else, that's your choice.  I want you to understand I'm saying that in an unchallenging and unjudgemental way.    

            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

            by Persiflage on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:13:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that it's very important to look at the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              motivation and circumstances of every case. And to not do so in the case of Lee Malvo is a mistake because the vital lessons that can be learned from his case go ignored and allow those circumstances to go unchecked in the future. Lee Malvo was only 15 years old when his mother allowed him to come to the US and placed him completely under John Allen Muhammed's control. And I appreciate your point of view, I mean that honestly, I feel that it is enormously important that we have this debate as a society.

              "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

              by mindara on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 07:37:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your views obviously come from a big heart, a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                heart in some ways larger than my own.  I believe humans have an innate understanding of the difference between right and wrong when it comes to some types of behavior.  Killing, bullying, or torturing someone else for fun, or cruelty to animals, fall into those types of my opinion.  When our brain tells us we wouldn't like to have something done to ourself that we are doing to others...or an animal...we know its wrong.  Some people do it anyway, for whatever their reasons might be...if they're caught and have to explain.

                So, for me, the punishment ought to fit the crime regardless of "circumstance" whenever the cruelty/death perpetrated on another falls into the "for fun" category.

                The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                by Persiflage on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 05:44:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  So killing for fun is worse than killing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for profit?

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:31:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Youre the only one talking about it. (0+ / 0-)

        Why not make a diary instead of planting yourself in someone else's with your pet issue?

        •  Blah blah. (0+ / 0-)

          98% of everything you post around here is pointless (and largely witless) argumentation, and you're going to take me to task over an authentic question about how people judge the evil in other persons, a question I offered in a diary whose essential question has to do with the judgement of evil in one particular person?

          Funny, BTW, that you directly connect this to my other comment, projecting on to me a spamlike agenda that doesn't actually exist. My comments are related in theme -- but only because they are both related to the theme of this discussion. In this case, the comment to which I responded highlighted "killing for fun" as particularly egregious. I'm asking the simple Socratic question: Is there, then, something about killing for fun that makes it worse than killing for material gain?

          It's not a subtle question, but is not off-topic either. You, on the other hand, are just making noise.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 07:02:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  that particular comment raises an... (0+ / 0-)

          ... insightful question, so it's not out of place.

          I don't know what other comment history you might be referring to.

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:42:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me neither since I didn't bring up comment history (0+ / 0-)

            The diary is about a domestic serial killer/helper. It's about him, and perhaps only also relevant to others domestic civilian serial killers, particular ones that are manipulated into conducting these activities. The only reason to bring up Dick Cheney is because the commenter doesn't think it's being talked about enough, and so decided to start it up in an unrelated diary.

    •  18% of death penalty cases.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... where the convicted person appealed on the grounds of innocence, and got the DNA evidence examined, were found to be wrongful convictions: the guy really did not commit the murder.

      So: given the numbers, do you want to send a predictable number of innocent people to the death chamber?

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:40:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one questions Malvo's guilt (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not arguing the pros and cons of our justice system.  

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:57:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes you are. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb, Persiflage

          You made the generalized statement, "When someone purposely kills another for the fun of it, they should be executed."

          That's not the same thing as saying "Malvo deliberately killed others for the fun of it, so he should be executed."  

          Making the general statement opens up the general subject.

          As for Malvo: is a kid under the influence of a Svengali more or less culpable than a kid under the influence of a gang?

          To my mind, where an individual is thoroughly manipulated into a criminal behavior, those who did the manipulating are the ones who bear the full culpability for the acts they caused.

          Further, I would hold abusive parents responsible as accessories to crimes their kids commit, right up to the age of 21, and possibly beyond.  That future responsibility would accrue as part of the penalty for being found guilty of child abuse.   And yes, there are some abused kids who would go off and commit crimes just to see their abusive parents imprisoned, even if they themselves were also imprisoned into the deal.  It would take only a handful of such cases, widely publicized, to put parents on notice that they will face ongoing consequences for abusing their children.

          Alternately, we just make serious child abuse punishable by up to and including life w/o parole in severe cases.  And then enforce the law ruthlessly.  

          Bottom line is, the planet is severely overpopulated as it is, so it's necessary to shift from "quantity" to "quality" when it comes to adding any more humans.  Those who damage their offspring deserve to be dealt with harshly.  

          Further, a diagnosis of rage disorder or conviction of any crime of force or fraud, would carry the additional penalty of surgical sterilization.   Nowhere in the US Constitution is there anything about a "right" to reproduce.  It may have historically been assumed, but that assumption is groundless.  But even if one assumes a "right" to reproduce, that "right", as with one's 2nd Amendment rights, can be rescinded as a penalty for certain categories of criminal offenses.  

          Lastly but by no means leastly:

          If we are going to try juvenile offenders as adults, then the age at which they become eligible for that treatment is the age at which they should also gain the right to vote.

          The logic for this is identical for that with the logic of lowering the voting age to 18 during the Vietnam war: if you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote.   Thus if you're old enough to be tried for crimes as an adult, you're old enough to vote as an adult.  

          Know what?  I think I'm going to start agitating for that.  

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:10:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You make some points. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm not going to argue your interpretation of my statement or your thoughts above.  I often read your stuff and generally respect what you have to say.  I've either inadvertently poked your button or you've had a bad day.

            Fortunately for Mr. Malvo, what I think doesn't matter.  If it did, he'd be very unhappy and life in the slammer would look real good.

            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

            by Persiflage on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:58:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site