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June 26, 2008

Oh, Justice Kennedy....

Quote of the Day:

"I Got Yer Evolving Standard Right Here, Buddy":

Gov. Jindal made it absolutely clear that signing this bill today was about more than just sending a no-tolerance message across his state: "I want to send the message loud and clear – to the Supreme Court of the United States and beyond – make no mistake about it, if anyone wants to molest children and commit sexual assaults on kids they should not do so here in Louisiana. Here, we will do everything in our power to protect our children and we will not rest until justice is won and we have fully punished those who harm them.”

Heh.

On the heels of today's SCOTUS decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana barring the death penalty for sex offenders, Gov. Bobby Jindal released a statement calling the ruling an "affront to the people of Louisiana" - and what's more, vowing to do whatever possible to amend the state’s laws in order to maintain the death penalty for child rape.

But that's not all he did.

Today, Gov. Jindal signed the "Sex Offender Chemical Castration Bill," authorizing the castration of convicted sex offenders. They get a choice: physical or chemical. Oh, and they don't just get castrated and leave - they still have to serve out their sentence.

I believe the term "Gates of Hell" applies. Read it all.

Posted by Cassandra at June 26, 2008 08:45 AM

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Comments

Hm... castration. That could work nearly as well. Of course, you still have to feed them and house them for forty years, so it's not quite as good as a rope; and the victim still has to live in the same world as the rapist, which is a downside; but it's probably nearly as effective at preventing additional rape.

On balance, though, I still favor death as the appropriate penalty.

Posted by: Grim at June 26, 2008 11:53 AM

I sat on a jury in AR on a child molestation (not rape) case. We convicted and sentenced him to a term that would keep him in prison until the girl had reached the age of majority. The thought was, during the sentencing phase of deliberations, that was the least we could do for the girl - she would be an adult by the time he was released and would hopefully be more self-empowered to deal with knowing he was "out there". You cannot divorce consideration for the victim when making decisions about punishment for such crimes...

And, good on Bobby Jindal. I'd like to see him as President some day, I think...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at June 26, 2008 12:02 PM

Well, the idea makes me terribly squeamish. I can't help it, Grim. However, I suppose it would be better than being executed.

I was more interested that someone was actually pushing back against the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 12:07 PM

However, I suppose it would be better than being executed.

For whom?

Posted by: BillT at June 26, 2008 12:16 PM

Indeed, Bill, that's the crux of the thing.

The problem with your work, Miss Ladybug, is that you can't control parole boards or sentencing reductions. In Georgia, there is -- almost no one knows this is so -- a board that reviews every sentence issued by courts, and adjusts them to bring them in line with each other. So, if you got 100 years for distribution of marijuana, but the usual sentence was 15 years, your sentence will be reduced to 15 years. The judge and jury's careful consideration of the facts is set aside in favor of simple consistency of sentence for the offense with which you were charged.

Since you are now serving 15 years, you're eligible for parole much sooner. Georgia issues parole pretty regularly, given overcrowding issues in prison; so you'll probably be out in six or seven years.

Prison not only doesn't rehabilitate (as was the only point of the thing -- the only reason we went to using prisons instead of death as the normal solution to serious felony), it can't be relied upon to honor the court's intentions.

Castration and death, however, are at least permanent. Death is better.

Posted by: Grim at June 26, 2008 12:33 PM

This has absolutely nothing to do with this topic but I'm feeling a little confused about nomenclature:

Are Cassandra, Cassidy, and Cass all the same person? And are all (or some) of them the blogger (or as I like to refer to her, the Villainous Company lady)?

Thanks.

Posted by: EliseK at June 26, 2008 12:37 PM

"Cassidy" is my fault. But the truth is, you've listed fewer than half her aliases. :)

Posted by: Grim at June 26, 2008 01:01 PM

Sorry! I have several computers in my office and I'm not terribly consistent about signing in with the same moniker.

And that says nothing about when I'm feeling mischievous :p

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 01:06 PM

The answer, by the way, was "yes".

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 01:06 PM

I asked the same question, EliseK....and Grim was correct in pointing out that you've only begun to name her many personae.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at June 26, 2008 01:56 PM

My personal favorite is "Princess-Leia-In-A-Cheese-Danish-Bikini"

Posted by: unkawill at June 26, 2008 02:03 PM

Castration, chemical or otherwise, does little to solve the problem. We are dealing with people who already have severe problems establishing a normal, healthy sexual relationship. At a minimum, they have deep psychological problems. Their use of sex is not about normal sexual gratification, but rather the gratification they receive from manipulation, domination and control of their victims. Taking a guy like that and cutting his balls off is only going to make him that much more pissed off.
It's cases like these that coined the phrase, "Hanging's too good for him."

Posted by: XBradTC at June 26, 2008 02:13 PM

That seems to amuse people, unkawill :p

I used to like Bush Ate My Soul and Bush Ate My Soul (with Fava Beans). Haven't used that one for a while, though.

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 02:14 PM

That seems to amuse people, unkawill

Hah -- so you *did* read the meme...

Posted by: BillT at June 26, 2008 03:26 PM

Oh, okay. Got it. Polymorph. Thanks.

Posted by: EliseK at June 26, 2008 03:36 PM

I usually do read :)

I'm sorry I've been so boring lately. Work is driving me batsh*t insane, Bill. I barely have time to breathe, much less post anything. I didn't want to quit so I'm trying to put something up even if it is lame :p

Please bear with me, guys.

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 03:45 PM

Cassandra at her lamest is better than 95% of everyone else out there at their best, Lady Cass.

Take a deep breath.

Exhale.

Repeat.

Posted by: BillT at June 26, 2008 04:21 PM

Cass is bats? Remember "How the universe got it's spots." You will thank me for it. Grrllzz can do physics exceptionally.

Posted by: Mark at June 26, 2008 04:45 PM

Of course in Massachusetts we have the other side of the political coin from Jindal ... here's what a state legislator (who's also a defense attorney) in Mass said when debating making a law for mandatory sentences for child rapists:

In a fiery soliloquy on the House floor, Fagan said he'd grill victims so that, "when they're 8 years old they throw up; when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep; when they're 19 years old, they'll have nightmares and they'll never have a relationship with anybody."

Posted by: Frodo at June 26, 2008 04:55 PM

I wish we had a governor like Jindal here in Arizona, but at least we have "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio.

Posted by: a former european at June 26, 2008 04:57 PM

:)

We call my little dog the Fruit Bat. That is what he looks like: a little bat. As for my sanity...

Posted by: Cass at June 26, 2008 05:00 PM

Good grief. I am shocked and awed that the Gov. Of Louisiana would be so proactive. Not only that, how DARE he invoke the 10th Amendment!

Good for him. Yes, it is extreme. There are six registered sex offenders living near me. Five of them...let's just say the 2nd Amendment exists for a reason and the sixth was convicted for making out with his 17 yo gf.

Posted by: Cricket at June 26, 2008 05:38 PM

Aciao is a hoot. He mourns the loss of chain gangs. I think he was the sherriff when I was born in Mesa umpteen years ago.

Posted by: Cricket at June 26, 2008 05:42 PM

I am very impressed with Gov Jindal. Every time I see him on TV or read about what he's doing my esteem for him grows. People talk about what a great VP he would be.

As much as I like that idea, I really think that Louisiana should have a chance to have solidly good government, and I think if anyone can do it, it is he. So I hope he reforms Louisiana, turns it into a red state, and then in a few years considers national office, VP or Pres.

And I also think he's got serious huevos.

Posted by: MathMom at June 26, 2008 05:52 PM

You know, I suspect there are a lot of myths that permeate our thinking regarding castration. You often hear that these are crimes of a sick mind seeking power not sexual gratification. I don't know. I suspect some are trying to get their jollies.

You also hear that the perp would still be able to get an erection so the terrifying instrument of power and domination would still be available. Something being said and then repeated does not make it true. I don't know.

I do know that when I was young we had a male dog with some leg hound and aggression issues. This surgical procedure yielded a docile dog that never molested again

Posted by: Pile On at June 26, 2008 07:29 PM

bobby jindal seems fearless. i hope he stays that way.

Posted by: zoey at June 26, 2008 07:53 PM

Having had up close and personal experience with people to whom the Kennedy v Louisiana case refers, I firmly believe that any decision that allows "people" like this to remain on this earth is the wrong decision.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 26, 2008 08:11 PM

Mr. On,

"...terrifying instrument of power and domination ..."
I fear that you may have given Bill Moyers fodder for his next venture into the world of myths, sans Joseph Campbell of course.

I'm going to side with Grim on the guillotine versus death question even though guillotine has a nice ring to it

"Death is better".
I also agree that Sheriff Joe is a shining beacon in the world of just treatment for those who break the law. Long may he reign over the criminals in his corner of Arizona.


Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at June 26, 2008 08:27 PM

Here is one person's account of his effects from voluntary castration.

Explicit.

Posted by: MathMom at June 26, 2008 08:38 PM

I am riven by the twin thoughts that, on the one hand, I might be responsible for the state-sanctioned murder of an innocent person, and, on the other hand, my personal desire to use my own hands to squeeze the life out of certain two-legged animals that, in my opinion, have no right to share in the air that I breathe. And justice for all.

This unending internal conflict leads me to believe that chemical castration is more than apppropriate in those cases where the evidence of guilt is supported by the testimony of but a single person. My understanding is that chemical castration is a reversable condition, and should the imprisoned be determined to have been the victim of malicious perjury - a rare, perhaps, but not unheard of occurance in annals of sexual crime - and at least permits the unjustly convicted the opportunity to procreate in or near the cardboard box under the overpass that he or she is afforded in society by virtue of their prior criminal record. Of course, it is only fair that justice demand that any person that is found to have willfully condemned another by false testimony to such a lifelong hell should themselves carry the full weight and punishment of the crime they so falsely accused of another.

Principled? Yes. Workable? No.

How about them apples.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 26, 2008 08:39 PM

"This unending internal conflict leads me to believe that chemical castration is more than apppropriate in those cases where the evidence of guilt is supported by the testimony of but a single person."
Hard to argue against that. But when there is conclusive proof in the form of DNA, and/or evidence other than just the testimony of but a single person, application of the death penalty to someone so convicted would be, at least in MHO, most appropriate.

Unfortunately our EU contingency of the SCOTUS has removed that option from the list.

Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at June 26, 2008 09:18 PM

I never said that I liked the apples. But I can't seem to take my eyes off of the basket.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 26, 2008 10:42 PM

"...on the other hand, my personal desire to use my own hands to squeeze the life out of certain two-legged animals that, in my opinion, have no right to share in the air that I breathe."

I like this side of you, spd.

Posted by: Grim at June 26, 2008 10:55 PM

I don't Grim. But I can't deny it.

Feh.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 26, 2008 11:21 PM

That may be the part that I like.

I had intended the comment as a flip reference to 3:10 to Yuma. However, it is a sincerely admirable quality: both that you are honest with yourself (and others) about having those feelings; and that you channel them toward justice.

You're a good and decent man, if these forums are any way to judge such things. I am somewhat less so, but enough to admire it in others.

Posted by: Grim at June 26, 2008 11:33 PM

I should have caught the reference, bro.

Thanks.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 26, 2008 11:50 PM

Mathmom writes:
I am riven by the twin thoughts that, on the one hand, I might be responsible for the state-sanctioned murder of an innocent person...

But the plaintiff never raised the question of his guilt or innocence to the Supreme Court, only the severity of his punishment.

I have issues with the way the death penalty is imposed. When Governor Ryan commuted all death sentences in Illinois, I wasn't upset. One, because it was clearly within his constitutional powers to do so, and two, there had been 13 executions of prisoners in the state since the ban was lifted, and 13 convictions overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct so gross that there was in fact a reasonable doubt of guilt.

We sanction state killings all the time. That's what the Armed Forces are for. And what about the police? Just this month, a police officer shot and killed a man who beat a child to death. The dead man received no trial, no writ of habeus corpus, no counsel, wasn't even read his Miranda rights. And yet the officer will face no sanctions from his department, will not be investigated for violating the man's civil rights, will not face angry protesters shouting about police brutality. Indeed, he's been praised on blogs, hailed as a hero, and will likely receive a commendation. And the only evidence of his guilt was the officers judgement.

Posted by: XBradTC at June 27, 2008 12:34 AM

Grim~

IIRC, the girl was in junior high. We did not give the max sentence, but neither did he get a minimum. We may have also considered the possibility that he might be paroled, I can't recall. That's been the only time I've served on a jury. Since his was his "first offense" - he hadn't a long history of molesting the girl - when it first happened, the girl went for help, so that also factored into the decision. If he'd been molesting the girls for years, I think we'd have been more harsh in the sentencing phase.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at June 27, 2008 03:15 AM

Cass opines;

Well, the idea makes me terribly squeamish. I can't help it, Grim. However, I suppose it would be better than being executed.

Yeah, same here. Very squeamish. Beyond squeamish. If I ever act so callously that people are actually debating whether to cut me off from among the living, or just to cut me off, period, let me say here and now that I'd take Extra Crispy anytime.

Posted by: Gregory at June 27, 2008 04:19 AM

Whenever I think of how many characters Cass has and how her fortune cookie HTML program said she was a "total character", it's still fall down laughing time.

Taking a guy like that and cutting his balls off is only going to make him that much more pissed off.

You can't really piss off if you don't have a penis to angle the stream "away" and if you don't have the balls to produce the testosterine required for instant violent rage.

One could, perhaps, work them up to such things artificially, but any handicap to the enemy is always better than nothing. And besides, psychological warfare was always better, in the end, than simply killing or executing one's enemies.

I tend to think the wisest thing would be to combine capital punishment with castration.

It's always nice to have options so the jury can't be stuck between this or that. Just give them many options of punishment, to motivate them into choosing the most appropriate. The death penalty has always had the flaw that it is too final and harsh for many people, and so they often select the alternative to it, which is jail, release and early parole. That or life imprisonment, which is more or less the same thing as the death penalty in some states like California, since it takes 20-25 years to sentence and execute a person on death roll.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 27, 2008 05:19 AM

Usually it's the men that get squallish and squeamish at the idea, Cass ; )

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 27, 2008 05:22 AM

I didn't get my male dog 'fixed' until he was 9 years old, Ymar. And then, only because the damned vet fussed at me and because he was getting snappish and aggressive.

I have always thought it was weird the way vets are so eager to do that. I understand the whole birth control aspect, but my dog is never allowed to run free. And let's face it: he is six inches tall. It's not like he's going to impregnate a Doberman Pinscher. So I didn't see the point. But they convinced me (finally) that I needed to worry about cancer or some such nonsense. Also, as I said, all of a sudden he was behaving aggressively and that really did solve the problem. But it's a hell of a way to deal with it. At the same time, I won't have a dog that I have to worry about nipping people - he was as gentle as could be with me, but not always with people coming to the door: he was extremely protective of me.

*sigh*

Posted by: Cass at June 27, 2008 06:31 AM

"I understand the whole birth control aspect, but my dog is never allowed to run free. And let's face it: he is six inches tall. It's not like he's going to impregnate a Doberman Pinscher."
In my yout' I would have agreed with that supposition, but... did I mention that I had to pull Shore Patrol duty overseas in a notorious liberty port? Let me tell ya, it was a real eye-opener WRT to who was capable of doing what and to whom, for this young fellow, full of innocence and naivety. Yikes! Yoweee! OMG, call the medics! =8^}

Posted by: bthun at June 27, 2008 10:04 AM

Well most of all bthun, I count on the fact that my kids are grown and he is never allowed to run free :p

Posted by: Cass at June 27, 2008 10:07 AM


Well castration sounds good but do it 100%
remove all parts not just the Cajones and
fix it so they need to use a bag!!Then work
them 12-14 hrs a day at real hard labor and
as for a sentence give 99 years plus 10 as
in most states you have to serve 33% of your
time, comes to 35.97 years of hard labor and
no equipment to play with...

Posted by: Gator at June 27, 2008 11:07 AM

"he is never allowed to run free"
Ahh, then I might be inclined to bite someone too.

Little fellow just needs (needed) a little lady Dachshund that he could nuzzle and whisper sweet little Mon Cherie Amour's -or sing Stevie Wonder's rendition- into her big floppy ears. =8^}

Posted by: bt_don't-fence-me-in_hun at June 27, 2008 11:13 AM

I keep trying to get a little girl, bthun.

Talk to my husband :p
I'm dying to get a puppy.

Posted by: Cass at June 27, 2008 11:16 AM

M'lady,

Walkin' Boss gets most anything she wants without breaking a sweat. As do my daughters. Do ya'll attend some secret school to learn the techniques? Anyway, I'm certain that you can persuade the Unit to allow you to get a puppy if you want one. =8^]

E.g. I'm in the process of planning to build a fence around a section of the property so that Walkin' Boss can have a couple of Boxer pups. Truth be told, I'm looking forward to it too. After I finish all the prep work inside and out -which may take some time given my terminal velocity of late.

Posted by: bt_don't-fence-me-in_hun at June 27, 2008 11:25 AM

He hasn't exactly refused to get me a puppy :)
He just pointed out that I like to travel, and he won't be able to take me places easily if we have two dogs to board.

I didn't push him :p
However, I think I should get to have an adorable puppy AND travel!

Posted by: Cass at June 27, 2008 11:31 AM

"However, I think I should get to have an adorable puppy AND travel!"
After 3 decades of negotiations en route to connubial bliss, I sense a done deal... =;^}

Posted by: bt_don't-fence-me-in_hun at June 27, 2008 11:39 AM

You need a flying puppy, Cass.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 28, 2008 04:20 PM

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