Sunday Soapbox: Rapists and Punishment

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

*Steps on Soapbox*

Again, we're going for a short entry here partially because I'm very focused on my new novel (which I'm still in love with). Before the end of the day, I'll have 40K words in a little over three weeks. Woot! I'm loving this!

The other reason is because my soapbox is on a topic I've discussed before and at length. I hate rapists, I feel it should be a capital crime and, yes, I'm pro capital punishment. No sense ranting on it; clearly, I feel strongly just as many people (who are against capital punishment) feel very strongly. Most people won't admit to approving rape, but many have a tendency to dismiss it, which is just as bad in my opinion.

Part of the reason I feel the way I do is that I had a father who did his best to educate me on what I should be wary of. I know far more than the average person on some of the worst scum who ever lived (at least in the past century or so). I believe that rape should be a capital crime because, when they regress (and sexual crimes have some of the highest rates of recidivism), they often react to their previous involvement with the criminal justice system by eradicating the witnesses. Read about serial killers, and the pattern repeats over and over again.

Here are some stories about Anthony Sowell from earlier this week, here, and here. In a nutshell, in case you missed it or lost it because of the tragedy at Fort Hood, Sowell was a convicted rapist, served his time, lived as a registered sex offender and crossed all the t's he was supposed to. He also, apparently, spent the last four years killing at least ten women. He is a living poster child for whY I believe the way I do. Why? Because as much as we, as a society, would be responsible for his death if we put him to death, we are just as culpable for those no less than ten innocent women who were brutally murdered by someone we had the opportunity to stop once and for all.

10+ women who hadn't hurt anyone vs. one person who had. Either way, we're responsible.

Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one is at least disposed of.
--H.L. Mencken
Just sayin'.

(I will, for brevity, spare you all my opinion of how repeated reports of awful smells went ignored by authorities, or how a woman reported rape on September 22, and the cops finally came to check it out [without warrants] more than a month later on October 30. Nice job there, guys.)

*Steps off soapbox*


  • The Mother

    I'm pro capital punishment, too.

    Once the DNA is back, anyway.

  • Quadmama

    I second what The Mother said.

  • Stephanie B

    DNA data stands to make a huge difference in reducing the fuzz in such cases. I'm all for it, though, with crime as it is in the country, DNA labs are horrible backed up.

    I don't want anyone to die for something they didn't do. But I don't think it less horrible when society knows someone is capable of heinous crimes and allows them access to the general public. Those women died at least as senselessly as anyone wrongfully accused.

    At least, as is common on my blog, that's my opinion.

  • Poetic Shutterbug

    I completely agree with you. I know this statement will get some criticism but if I were the one that captured him, I would have shot him on the spot. He's a worthless piece of trash.

  • Jeff King

    Amen... to all of the above.


  • Relax Max

    I'm sure you already know my stance on capital punishment. Not sure that I would extend it beyond murder, though.

  • Stephanie B

    Sowell's a good argument for my side actually, and his profile with regards to serial killers is very much the norm.

    Actually, the problem I have with rape is that it is primarily a crime of power (not passion) against those seen as most vulnerable: women and children. Rapists steal innocence (I'm not talking about virginity, but innocence about what people are capable of). They steal a sense of security (possibly forever). They change lives, potentially ruin them, sometimes precluding love and trust, frequently ruining marriages or causing permanent damage in children.

    I don't know if you've ever dealt rape victims. I have. I honestly can't see how police and medical practitioners who do deal with it can't be more violently opposed.

    I think the reason people can get sentences of only a few years (given the recidivism and escalation that so frequently go with rape - and how hard it is to prosecute since victims are often too traumatized to prosecute) is a leftover of millenia of misogynism. Of course, that's my opinion, not fact. The rapist many people blamed on the girl scout killings (who was acquitted despite the evidence, much like OJ) had raped and sodomized two pregnant women and received 2 years in prison years before. When he was caught burglarizing later, he got over 100 years. That's just wrong.

    There may be justification to kill someone. I can't think of a single legitimate reason to rape someone. In both cases, the criminal is stealing the victim's future. With murder, their entire future. With rape, just the future they might have had.

  • flit

    I'm Canadian - not big on capital punishment (I am a product of my society, obviously) ... and was horrified by an article I read that said that people in the US figured accidently offing an innocent man was a reasonable risk!!!

    Some of our newer technologies - especially in regards to DNA evidence - make it somewhat more tempting to consider - if one could be 100% sure.....

    but reality, it seems to me, is that it only takes one person in the judicial system who is lacking in ethics, morals, humanity screw everything up - even DNA evidence. Seems to me that some people get themselves SO convinced that their view of things is right that they will ignore evidence or otherwise tamper with it to make sure that they are ~proved~ right.

    It has happened all too often that we've discovered years - sometimes decades - after the fact - that we had the wrong guy.That worries me.

    So I'm content to let truly evil people rot in jails to avoid the risk of killing an innocent.

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