3 women abducted as teens a decade ago found alive in Cleveland; 3 brothers arrested

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Sylvia, May 7, 2013.

  1. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Where did I say she's a bad mother? I said she sounds like a nut. IMO her daughter doesn't need to hear kindness or spite toward her persecutor right now, esp from her mother. I know someone who was abused by a family member as a child. When her mother found out years later she did not alter her behavior toward this family member in any way. The daughter told me she had as much trouble getting over that as she did by the abuse. It made her feel that her mother either didn't believe her or else didn't think it was all that bad.

    I'm trying to think of what would be admirable about it, if it were true. Forgive? Yes. Hugging & blessing the perp is another thing. Since it was reported from the Daily Mail it may not be 100% true but she must have made some kind of statement.
  2. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    You said that if you were Gina, you would stay away from her.

    1 - Staying away from her mother is something a girl who was abducted and abused for 9 years is something that's probably not good for Gina's recovery or something she wants to do
    2 - If you're not saying that she's a bad mother, why do you think her Gina should stay away from her?
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  3. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Because I think she is getting a negative message from her. It's too soon to be all concillitory & forgiving. Her mother (IMO) should be giving as much love & understanding as possible to Gina, not her abuser. The person I mentioned above distanced herself from her mother for a long time. She was in therapy with more than one psychologist & each one recommended that distance during her recovery. At the appropriate time when she was ready the current therapist told her she needed to confront her mother with how her actions made her feel. Her mother told me later that she feels guilty that she added to her daughter's stress & recovery. When bad things happen to you, you want to feel that the people you love are firmly on your side. I think if I were Gina I would be absolutely devastated by her mother's words.

    That is, IF this story is true.
  4. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    Wow indeed...

    That sounds very callous to me... I wonder what her daughter thinks of that...
  5. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I think forgiving him is admirable. I think the comment about hugging him and saying "God bless you" is weird. To me, a hug is a sign of affection. I also think it's weird that her mother would go on TV and say ANYTHING about the captor, especially since the reports are that she didn't have a great relationship with her daughter, I would think he focus wouldn't be on the criminal, but on her daughter. I have far more respect for the families just asking for privacy than this woman who is giving interviews but (at least at the time of writing) hadn't seen her daughter yet.

    Me, too. I certainly wouldn't think it's what she would be wanting to hear at the moment, and I don't see a reason for the mother to make it public at this point in time.
  6. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the mother is just so thankful that her daughter is alive that she is just happy he didn't kill her?
  7. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I think hugging someone because you're happy they didn't kill your daughter is bizarre. "Thank you so much for not killing my daughter, you only kidnapped her and held her against her will, beat her so she lost babies you fathered when you repeatedly raped her for 10 years, but thank you for not killing her. I forgive you for everything." *hug*

    It's not as if she said she wants to hug the person/people that saved her daughter, but the person who put her daughter in this position. I think it's bizarre anyway, but even more bizarre that she said it to reporters, at this time. The forgiveness I get (though not telling reporters), the comment about hugging? :scream: I really do feel extra sorry for Gina, when her mum is speaking to reporters like this.

    (And before someone jumps on me, I will add "allegedly" to all the comments.)
  8. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that comment by DeJesus mother is weird.
  9. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    The comment by DeJesus' mom is very strange. And way too soon. But it does come from an admirable place (even thought it's odd), at least.

    Everything I've read from Knight's family is just...off. I can see why she is not interested in reuniting with them, and while she does need support for her recovery, it certainly doesn't have to come from her bio family. If it's true Mama DeJesus is willing to open her home to Michelle Knight, that might be the best of all for Michelle. I mean honestly, people have posted discomfort with having Amanda's daughter's name and picture published, I'm thinking that Mama Knight spilling all of Michelle's childhood traumas in excruciating detail, and saying she "heard" Michelle has a mental problem, is really horrid.

    Everything about this situation is heartbreaking.
  10. duane

    duane New Member

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    And you too can become Castro's pen pal, or use him as your platform for "no suffering in prison--even for scum".
  11. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I was definitely referring to the forgiveness being admirable. The hugging thing is weird to me too, but I do know people for whom that wouldn't be weird at all. My ex-mil actually told me once that she hugged the drunk driver that killed her daughter. It's a bit of a different situation, but the point being that for some people a hug would be a visible demonstration of forgiveness.
  12. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I have hugged the two people who killed someone I loved dearly (also by driving drunk). I felt sorry for them. I forgave them, but it was an entirely different situation, even though they were complete strangers. Their one stupid action (two actually, since they stole the car) caused someone else to die, and caused a huge amount of pain to others. They showed complete remorse, and were put into juvenile detention and then jail for a short amount of time. I thought the sentence was fair. One killed himself, he could not live with what he'd done, even though I forgave him. The other completely turned his life around and he is actually now a friend. Plenty of people make stupid mistakes that hurt, sometimes maim or kill, others. I can see hugging them and even feeling sorry for them. This man kidnapped three women and raped them repeatedly for 10 years - I will never understand the mother of a victim of this kind of thing wanting to hug this monster. This wasn't an accident, it was 10 years of deliberate, repeated, horrendous violence. And one women wasn't enough, it was three. I would like to think I could forgive him, but I know I wouldn't want to be near him, let alone hug or bless him.

    Everyone reacts differently, but I still think it's weird, the timing is off, and the focus, wrong.
  13. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, because serving a life sentence in prison is so much fun! Unfortunately for you, that pesky 8th amendment makes certain things unconstitutional, and the justice system is not in the habit of sentencing people to whichever extra punishments you see fit. Personally, I'm disgusted by anyone who feels that prison violence, including sexual violence, is something to be encouraged.

    Perhaps you should take matters into your own hands with the pen pal stuff? Then you can express your thoughts about appropriate penal policy directly to Castro, or to convicts of your choosing.
  14. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    IF the story is true, indeed. Also, we don't know what's going on behind the scene. Mama Dejesus's actions may have been prompted by her daughter. Gina hasn't spoken to the media, so how do we know she didn't ask her mother to do it?

    Natascha Kampusch described conflicting emotions after her escape. She escaped, she wanted to escape, but like it or not her captor had been a huge part of her life and she was dependent on him for food etc for 8 years. It's the same with these girls. Objectively, they can hate him and know the absolute horror of what he did, but they can't help how they feel. If they do feel some sorrow or guilt because he kept them alive long enough for them to escape, are we really going to judge them?

    I doubt Mrs Dejesus is doing anything that her daughter doesn't want her to do right now, or maybe she just subscribes to the theory that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Maybe she said it to end the media circus, to distance herself and her family, so they're not constantly being asked about him. I just don't think she should be separated from her daughter because a third party with no first hand knowledge of the situation doesn't like the fact that she's making an effort to leave the past behind.

    And what of Amanda, who has a child with him? There's no doubt she loves her daughter. Do you think she could do that without forgiving Castro in some capacity? And her family?

    There is nothing nice about this situation. It's incredibly nasty all over, but I think that telling these people how to grieve when we're only looking at the situation through a long lens and don't know what factors prompted the public statement is unhelpful and precisely what is described by Natascha Kampush about the public turning against her because she refused to do what they expected of her.

    I suppose the difference between a drunk driver and Castro is the premeditation. While people should know that they'll possibly/probably kill someone while driving drunk, it lacks that element of pre-meditation and calculation that this case has...not to mention the length of time they had to endure his crimes.

    No one can change what's happened. By saying this (and not by actually doing this, which I think is a key point), she's distancing herself from it and showing that she wants to move on. Chances are, this is what her daughter wants.
  15. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the Daily Mail was correct. Mrs Dejesus was on 20/20. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mother-gina-dejesus-forgives-ariel-castro-article-1.1341199

    And I doubt her daughter was thrilled with her words so we'll have to agree to disagree. I think it's way too soon for something like this. If Mrs D had said her faith teaches her to forgive and stopped there I wouldn't be having this discussion. And I learned long time ago not to hold onto my anger & that hate hurts the hater more than it does the object of hate. As far as being separated from her daughter, that's not up to me - my opinion won't make a bit of difference. But what you call the past is really the present - those 3 are still living in hell. It's not over for them & maybe it never will be. So I still think she's a nut.
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Well, that's what happens in prisons for those who committed violent felonies. Unless you set it up so prisoners have no access at all to each other, that's how it is. There's nothing authorities can do to make violent felons be kind, sweet, gentle little people unless they're kept strictly away from each other and psychologically conditioned, and even then there's no guarantee it will work. The problem with Eastern Pen's experiment with total solitary was the goal was wrong--whether they become "penitent" or not is beside the point. Lock them up, cut off human contact, offer food, water, toilet facilities and a light/dark cycle, personally I'd put in a closed-circuit TV and feed educational programming all day (nothing TOO entertaining), provide limited reading material, and monitor remotely. For violent lifers, who cares if they "change" or not? They're locked away, never see the light of day again, and solitary solves the issue of other inmates imposing their own sentences. Prison is not for reforming when it comes to certain people. If you're not going to execute them, make it a very unpleasant experience.
  17. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I think her comments about forgiving and hugging are over the top, and reading the article linked.....how many times did she say "I"? It's as if she's trying to grandstand about what an awesome, forgiving person she is. This isn't about you, lady. This is about your daughter enduring almost a decade of torture and degradation.

    I'm wondering if Castro didn't deliberately target these victims. DeJesus's mom said she knew him before the abduction. Berry was apparently friends with his daughter. Maybe he knew that their home lives were not ideal (certainly the case with Knight) and they would be more malleable, easy targets. Some sociopaths have a sense for this, they can tell who's got self-esteem issues and is an easy mark.
  18. CanuckSk8r

    CanuckSk8r New Member

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    Just because the violence already happens within prison walls doesn't make it right to wish for these things to happen. For many reasons, one of them being the safety of those working that, by law, must do their best to stop these events from happening.

    On a less severe comparison, if a child that is a bully is transferred to another school, does that mean it is ok for that kid to get bullied in the new school yard? Since these things happen anyway?
  19. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    Well with that full (yet still heavily edited) version of her statement...I see this:

    Guys, she's just repeating something she said years ago. It sounds like bargaining, to be honest, which is apparently one of the stages of grief. Forgiveness in return for letting her go.

    OR...shocking alternative...Mrs Dejesus has endured hell for the past 9 years too, and is somewhat overwhelmed with the events of the past week. The whole family has been hounded for interviews for days, she gave one and is still so happy that her daughter is back home, she said it.

    I just think you're all being pretty unsympathetic to a woman who kept the search for her daughter going for nine years...long after the police and everyone else said she was dead.

    That is the theory, yes. Gina was friends with his daughter though, not Amanda. She accepted a lift from him because she knew him as her best friend's dad. Amanda and Michele needed lifts. I think it's possible they could have known him because he was a bus driver in that area. I haven't read that he knew Berry or Knight beforehand, so it's possibly opportunistic or he had been following them for a while.
  20. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  21. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    To Jen's point, I think Gina was the best known missing person in Cleveland. Her parents kept the torch lit the entire time, and that is to their credit.
  22. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Agree. In any crisis, blame is a big factor. People need someone to blame so they can put the whole thing in another box and move on with their lives.

    Reports say that Castro was a known member of his community, and it sounds like many of his neighbours had contact with him over the years, and as you said, at first they were all surprised - because he seemed like a normal guy who played in a local band, participated in community events, was nice to the local kids, didn't have any conflicts with anyone.

    Then as the truth of what was happening right under their noses for many years comes out, the horror turns inward - people realize that they talked to him, spent time in his company, maybe even liked him. And they start to feel guilty - small things come back to them and they wonder if they should've caught it at the time or said something, and they question their own judgement and decisions. Maybe they recall other incidents in their lives - times when they knew something was wrong and did nothing about it, or when they were victims themselves and felt like no one would help them, and they start to imagine what they could have done if only they had known. And every day, they have to go by that house or see it across the street and it continues to haunt them.

    And that's when people look for someone else to blame.
  23. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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  24. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    And outsiders wishing for particularly detestable offenders to be victims of violence at the hands of fellow inmates won't guarantee that only the detestable end up as victims.

    Prisoners who come across as weak, who may be guilty of lesser crimes or innocent of the crimes they were convicted of could also be subject to similar violence even though there's no one on the outside hoping for them to be singled out as victims.

    Inmates who are inclined to attack other inmates aren't going to target only the victims we'd most want to see targeted.
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  25. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Isn't the purpose of locking up people who are not rehabilitatable such as some sociopaths and sexual offenders to keep them from being able to do more harm? What is the point of vicious punishment? Punishment makes sense if someone is going to be released from prison and needs to understand the consequences of his/her actions so as to not do it again. But if someone is going to prison for life which this guy, if found guilty, will be unless he gets the death penalty, isn't the purpose to keep society safe from him?

    I'm not getting what else people want and why.
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  26. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    For some, it sounds like vengeance to me.
  27. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Well that is a human reaction to someone committing heinous acts. I hope people understand that organized, civilized societies don't engage in vengeance. There is retribution which may be what people are feeling the need for and punishment such as imprisonment can be retributive justice. But there's no place for violent vengeance; the whole point of having a criminal justice system is to remove justice to an extent from immediate human emotions.

    And as Zemgirl mentioned above the U.S. Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment. The fact that rape and other forms of violence happen in U.S. prisons is a violation of our Constitutional values and something that should not happen, not a part of our mandated punishment.
  28. duane

    duane New Member

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    Who said they wish for it to happen? All that was initially said is that it does happen. Unless you're a big bad-*ss who can easily take care of himself, those convicted of certain crimes will either spend their time in isolation for protection, or (if it gets out what they were convicted of) often have to deal with 'prison justice'. There's no reason for me to wish anything on this Castro guy, because if convicted, I already know what awaits him. And yet again, I don't feel at ALL for sorry for what likely awaits him. Do you?
  29. Twizzler

    Twizzler Well-Known Member

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    I actually said that he should be chained up and the other prisoners should have their way with him. I stand by it. He is not reformable. He is scum. I wouldn't want my tax money to go to keeping him alive in prison for the rest of his life.

    I, like you, am not at all sorry for what awaits him. No matter what his fate, NOTHING can be worse than what he did to those poor girls, their families, and the community. I guess I'm a horrible person.
  30. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    The problem with this kind of retribution - with torture and abuse as retribution - is that it reduces one to the same level as the monster who committed the atrocity. I wonder if I would want such retribution had I been the victim of such a monster. Or, if I would want such retribution had I been a victim of a Hitler or Stalin. I just don't know the answer.

    At the same time, I question the purpose of keeping such criminals alive. Technically I don't support the death penalty, but to be honest on some level, I wonder why someone just doesn't off such persons, off the record. Or leave them to the devices of other prisoners, many of whom despise rapists and pedophiles. There is a man imprisoned for the torture and death of some 43 prostitutes here in British Columbia (known as the pig farmer). I really wonder why someone just didn't 'arrange' his death. To what point is he sitting in prison for life?
  31. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, the purpose of prison is to protect society. There are a lot of punishments aimed at reform, but prison isn't one of them. In fact, the rate of re-offending is quite high, which is why for less serious crimes, some sort of control order or rehabilitation is sometimes favoured. It's why Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab so many times, really ;)

    As to why they didn't 'arrange' his death: people in Western societies are generally fairly happy about the fact they are "free". In the Us especially, it's supposed to be the home of the free. You cannot have a free society when governments or prison guards are secretly arranging the execution of prisoners at will. It's simply too arbitrary.

    Either you have a proper death penalty and death row policy, or you don't. There's absolutely no room for the arbitrary, secret execution of prisoners unless you want to forgo your freedoms and admit that you live in a country that Obama and Bush describe as anti-democratic, such as Iraq or Iran. There would be outrage if an innocent person was put in jail without a trial and then arbitrarily executed, and there absolutely should be. The justice system doesn't just protect criminals, it protects everyone. It fails at times, sure. But in general, it's a hell of a lot better than living in a country where women are stoned to death for refusing a forced marriage, or where you can be tortured for the colour of your skin.

    Also, as others have said, the point of prison is punishment and to keep offenders off the street. If Castro is in prison for life, he can't re-offend. If he's dead, there's always the risk that he will become a martyr for sick bastards who aspire to commit the same crime. There's a perverse glory in being executed that the vast majority of murderers and rapists simply don't deserve.
  32. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I've always thought it silly that people think those in jail can't reoffend. They often do reoffend, but it's in the confines of the jail. Plenty of prisoners have extra sentences tacked on to the sentences they were originally sent to prison for because they committed crimes while in jail. A crime is a crime whether committed in the confines of a jail or not. People just don't care so much about crimes committed in jail, because they figure it was deserved -whether for the crime they committed to get locked up in the first place, or something else. People rarely feel as sorry for criminals who have crimes committed against them.

    I am for the death penalty in theory, but in practice I am not. One innocent life taken is one too many, and people make mistakes and wrongly convict. I'd love it to be implemented in cases where it is "certain" that the guilty party is indeed guilty (as seems the case here), but then all cases are "certain" when they're found guilty. In theory, it should work, in practice, it doesn't.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
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  33. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Do you really think that believing in a civilized justice system is about feeling sympathy for people who commit heinous crimes? What I care about is my country and how it functions and that we are able collectively through our justice system to deal aptly with those who commit such horrific crimes.

    Needless to say you're not a horrible person. For me, I put this perpetrator as much as possible out of my mind. I trust to our justice system to deal with him and yes it does fail sometimes but that is a different discussion. I don't want to give him continued power even as he is in custody to wreak havoc by even thinking about him so much that it evokes anger. He isn't worth a moment's thought.
  34. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that the objectives (in no particular order), are to punish, to protect society, and in many cases, also to rehabilitate. Lindsay Lohan usually goes to rehab (not prison/jail) for substance abuse issues, which is not the same thing; addiction is a hard thing to kick. As for recidivism, I'm not sure what the rates are for different types of offenses, but there are certainly people who do manage to stay out of prison and lead normal lives after they are released. Supervision is important, and so are opportunities to reintegrate into society. Though all that, of course, is not relevant to Castro's case. He's not going to be leaving prison, at least not legally.

    That's a good point; the statistics on prison rape are appalling, and often it's the weakest who are targeted. It's worth noting that many people are in prison for things other than violent crimes, and that women in prison are often the target of violence too, including sexual violence. Of course Ariel Castro's crimes as reported so far are truly heinous, and he belongs in prison; but I just don't feel society, and the criminal justice system, should be in the business of condoning any sort of violent additions to anyone's sentence. Rape is a crime, always; it should never be considered a legitimate form of punishment. And it's the job of the justice system to dispense justice on behalf of victims and society, not that of fellow inmates.

    Yes, wrongful convictions are something that has really affected the way people think about the death penalty. While there are cases where there's no doubt that the crime is horrific and the right person is being punished, all you need is to look at a case like Anthony Graves', or the Central Park Five, or quite a few of the cases listed by the Innocence Project, to have serious concerns about how the death penalty is applied.

    Returning to the victims/survivors in this case, this article argues that the public interest and the media attention are essentially keeping the women prisoner now, and hindering their recovery. I think that's a valid point.
  35. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The Constitution is not about values. It is SOLELY a list of what the federal government does and is not permitted to do. The Bill of Rights is about what the federal government CANNOT do (prevent citizens from assembling, owning weapons, require them to belong to a particular church to serve in government, seize property without legal cause, quarter troops in their homes, self-incriminate, and in the context of this conversation inflict punishment judged to be excessively cruel or 'unusual'.) It's about limiting government power, not about granting rights or establishing values. The only real "value" it's establishing is strict limits on the national government.

    Guards encouraging other prisoners to torture someone would be a crime itself, not because it's cruel or unusual but because telling someone to commit a violent crime is a crime. Not caring if it happens to someone who's committed heinous acts against innocent people is human nature.

    And prison is not supposed to be comfortable or pleasant. If they're not going to execute someone, but not going to release them, it should be the minimum required to sustain life. There is no reason to make someone comfortable, healthy, or happy in prison if they are being kept there because they're a danger to the public.
  36. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I have faith in Karma and I sincerely hope that this horrible man will somehow, somewhere be on the receiving end for everything that he has dealt out to those women. I trust the justice system to find him guilty. If while he is in prison and confined the way he confined his victims, he suffers the same indignities and abuse that he heaped on them, I am not going to cry about it.
  37. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Aside from life sentences, if we're talking about shorter sentences then we're also talking about people who presumably will be released back to the community. In those cases, imprisonment is a punishment that should be unpleasant, but we don't want it to be such torture that the prisoners even more unsocialized when they get out than when they went in.
  38. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Well I think the Constitution embodies the values on which this country was founded and endures. I'm not sure we are really talking about the same thing in that regard, but its mostly beside the point.

    I agree people who lose their rights to live freely in society should not expect for life in prison to be pleasant. They should have their human needs met but there isn't going to be much else. You've lost those rights if you are convicted and sentenced to life in prision. You have not lost the right to be treated humanely but that is not the same thing.

    It certainly is a normal human reaction to a heinous crime(s) to think of the perpetrator being served up the treatment he inflicted on others. When we learn about something like this we're processing how to deal with the notion that in our society someone could inflict this horror on three young women. I don't want to focus on the perpetrator at all, that's my way of dealing with it, but others will be so disgusted they will feel the need to say he should be treated in ways we don't as a society condone. I don't blame anyone for feeling that way.

    As someone noted above, crimes can be committed in prison and beating or raping another prisoner no matter what crime that person was convicted of, is just another crime. As a society its incumbent on us to prevent those crimes, just as we seek to prevent crimes against citizens who are not incarcerated.
  39. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    There are conflicting reports about whether Michelle Knight's mother has seen her or not, but MamaKnight (and her lawyer) continue to make this about her...and I read Michelle Knight may need facial reconstruction surgery. It sounds like she was made to bear the brunt of the physical abuse - not to diminish the abuse of the others, it's not a zero sum situation, but reading that she was pregnant a lot but abused to keep her from having children while Amanda's child was not only wanted but the others were threatened if the baby died, it does sound like she was made to physically suffer just unbelievably. Every tie I think the story can't get worse it does.
  40. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Messages:
    25,227
    This whole thing is mind boggling. Castro would not allow his brothers to go past the kitchen, and yet nobody thought it was odd? I am not saying they had a hand in it, but why wouldn't anyone question a bizzare behavior for almost 10 years? I can understand- though to a small extent- neighbors not wanting to interfere when something looks odd, but family members?

    I have a tough time having sympathy for this jerk and the guy who kidnapped Jaycee Dugard. They are scums and they deserve to be in prison, with no possibility of parol. I am not going to condone anyone attacking a prison mate, but if that happens, it is the result of the horrible things these evil people did to the innocent girls. They have 'earned' it. I see no reason to make their lives in prison 'pleasant'. As far as safety goes, prison rules are to be followed, that's all.

    JMO of course