8 comments on “A Modest Proposal: Hang The Pedophiles

  1. Suppose we could send murderers to an asteroid from which there is no escape, never to kill again, would you accept that as an alternative to the death penalty? Or is it really about revenge? I’m not knocking revenge, but if it’s all about retribution, say so.

    • Perhaps you should re-read the last paragraph of the article. No, it’s not about revenge (although I believe revenge to be a purifying if not glorious act), it’s about of getting rid of child predators with a permanence that cannot be undone. Since this is an impossibility on our small planet thanks to the revolving door of our justice system, I suggest that death is a viable and practical alternative worthy of consideration. So yes, an asteroid would do nicely, if such a thing were even possible. If you could provide logistics for this prospect I think society would owe you a debt of gratitude. Better still would be a type of ‘Phantom Zone’ floating quadrangle such as the one featured in Superman II. Oh, wait, that’s impossible too.

      • I have a problem with permanence. I vividly recall the 1980s McMartin preschool trial when children were coerced/manipulated into recalling sexual abuse that never happened. Although in my heart I would love to see actual child predators roasted over an open fire, I know that 75% of all eyewitness testimony misidentifies the perpetrator and in the case of children, it’s even worse, so it would be criminal to do away with defendants just because we think so.

        Yes, I have children and grandchildren, but I know we can never know with 100% certainty. I was 42 years old when I first read of the evidence against the McMartins and I was so certain they were guilty. Time showed how wrong I was.

        Executions do not allow time to exonerate the wrongly accused. I also know that there are people who would rather execute 10 innocent people than let one guilty person go on living.

        • A defining characteristic of Liberals, I find, is a categorical avoidance of permanence of any sort and a general inability to make harsh, disagreeable decisions in favour of violence. More often they are disposed towards rhetoric, to straw-man arguments, and to weak, feel-good compromises.

          Bernie, for example, cites the McMartin Preschool Trial, in which convictions were sought based on unsound testimony by coached children. Because this turned out to be a spurious ruse, it therefore must cast doubt on the entire institution of Capital Punishment, right? Surely this discounts any argument to the contrary. Because when we execute we just don’t “have time to exonerate the innocent” and mistakes have been known to happen; it’s just not right to kill, says Bernie. Add in Bernie’s own admission that he himself has children and grandchildren and we have a complete parcel: we have successfully dispelled the argument that Capital Punishment is ever a good idea.

          But Bernie, what about the situations in which there is little or no margin for error? An offender caught in the act of sodomizing or torturing a child by a police agency? A child pornographer found ‘performing’ in his own featurettes, in possession of a library of other child porn? What about the egregious instances where a full, unsolicited confession is received by an accused child predator? Surely the whole legal argument for hanging these men cannot be thrown out with the bathwater because some witnesses have been known to be unreliable in the past.

          And what about you Bernie? Something tells me you haven’t personally encountered an instance involving one of your own family members. Let’s suppose someone abducted and molested your grandchild, was caught in the act and then arrested. Let’s furthermore imagine that he taped the fetid act, and that he later confessed to it all and more. You might change your tune once it’s become personal, once your own blood has been despoiled. I’d bet that you’d be reaching for the noose yourself if such a thing befell you. But you haven’t crossed that threshold yet, have you? You’re soft and safe and inexperienced in the realm of such horrors. Such a pity that it always takes such extreme measures to convert a Liberal opponent to the death penalty. ‘Would you, could you, in a box?’

          It reminds me of a quip by T.J. Hooker back in 1982: “You know the definition of a Conservative? A Liberal who got mugged”. Truer words were never spoken.

  2. What about the situations in which there is little or no margin for error? There is a big difference between little and no.

    Most confessions are coerced.

    Only some witnesses have been known to be unreliable? Actually 75% of eyewitness testimony is wrong.

    Police evidence? Sadly police often fabricate evidence if they feel the party is guilty and there is not enough evidence to convict.

    You failed to mention scientific evidence of guilt, so just in case you do, let me inform you that the National Academy of Sciences has found that FBI Forensic Analyses to be unreliable.

    As for not having personal experience, you should not assume. I have more experience in these matters than 99% of the public having handled thousands of hours with criminals of all kinds, filing briefs, attending hundreds and hundreds of trials. After decades of investigating prosecutorial misconduct it has become patently obvious that most, not some or a few, but most prosecutors tamper with evidence, hide exculpatory evidence, coerce defendants to confess or plea to a crime they did not commit because they have no desire in furthering the interests of justice but only to advancing their careers.

    Would I feel different if it were my child? Yes, I would want the culprit flayed alive, salted occasionally, and roasted to death. However a civilized society should not base a justice system on my feelings. If it were up to me, simply being a liberal should be enough cause to have that person put up against a wall and shot. But that would be wrong.

    I don’t want you to think I am evading the question. Should we execute a person who is 100% guilty of murder? Yes. As soon as I see it written into law that only those who are 100% guilty are executed, I’m on your side.

    How do we make such a system? Simple: the prosecutor and jury can choose death or Life without parole upon conviction. If they choose LWOP, then the judge thanks the jury and dismisses them. If they choose death, then they all agree, prosecutor and jury, to be summarily executed if the convicted person turns out to have been innocent. In this way, only when a prosecutor and jury are 100%, absolutely, undeniably, beyond all reasonable doubt positive of the person’s guilt is he executed.

    By the way, this last suggestion is precisely the same system of justice promulgated by Hammurabi and Jewish Law: if a person accuses an innocent man of a capital crime, then the accuser is executed. I’ll sign on to such a system and so I guess I am now pro-death-penalty. How about you?

    I have links supporting each argument above but Debbie’s comment system thinks I am spamming. If you want those links, send me an email.

  3. Hello Bernie. I’ve given a great deal of thought to your carefully considered response months ago. Numerous times I’ve thought of responding, but in each instance have had last minute misgivings. You made some very good points, and clearly, I underestimated you. Many of your earlier comments led me to conclude that you were a liberal, seemingly throwing out contrary hypothetical arguments or garbage for the sake of confusing my words or blowing smoke. But then I re-read your paragraph:

    “Would I feel different if it were my child? Yes, I would want the culprit flayed alive, salted occasionally, and roasted to death. However a civilized society should not base a justice system on my feelings. If it were up to me, simply being a liberal should be enough cause to have that person put up against a wall and shot. But that would be wrong.”

    Nobody save for a true conservative would write such a thing. And then, at the end of your argument, you admitted that if the existing death penalty were adjusted to meet higher moral specifications, you too would be an advocate of it. If provisions were made to assign much greater personal responsibility to each of the jurors in attendance, you too would be on board for killing. For this admission I salute you, it mustn’t have been easy.

    At first, upon reading your suggestion that each juror bear a fatal onus for sentencing a man falsely to the grave I thought to myself: ‘yes, and then nobody would volunteer for such a duty’. Nothing would get done as a result, and more offenders would ride the merry-go-round of incarceration. It was my initial opinion that your alternative was probably suggested as merely another method of striking down any further arguments in favour of the death penalty. Nobody would do it, and therefore the death penalty would seem, once again, an obsolete punishment.

    But then I asked myself a question: “would I… could I volunteer to be a hangman juror if my life was on the line for casting a false judgment?” Would I lay down my own life in order to rid the world of another wretched pedophile, another miscreant rapist, or another filthy murdering degenerate? The answer in each instance, resoundingly, was ‘yes’. I would do it, gladly, and face my own executioners if somehow I erroneously extinguished somebody’s life. I would do it not only because I believe in taking responsibility for one’s own actions, but also because I could be assured that even in error, the offending person’s life would probably be worth the investment.

    You see Bernie, I too have a great deal of experience when it comes to the legal system. I have dealt with wrongdoers and seen their records and often borne witness the full extent of their baseness. Maybe it seems trivial to someone who deals with these offenders exclusively in the courts, but the men convicted of truly heinous crimes are seldom without a long and terrible history. Every felon who makes it to prison for one of his actions undoubtedly will have dozens of previous, undetected (and detected) crimes in his past. In other words, even if I did contribute to a man going to his death wrongfully for a capital offense, I could still feel comforted in knowing that the man was still abhorrent and deserving of his fate on a myriad of other levels without a doubt. I would face my executioner with a smile.

    So yes, sign me up for jury duty in such a courtroom as you described. If it’s good enough for Hammurabi, then by God, it’s good enough for me.

  4. I recall the following thought experiment: put a 20 foot long, 4-inch wide plank on the floor and have a group of 12 men and women walk that plank without falling off. No one would be afraid to attempt it because there are no consequences for mistakes. I have no doubt that no one will fall off. However, place that exact same plank between two 10-storey-high buildings and very few of that same cohort will proceed to walk that plank with the same lack of thought or hesitation as previously. Only those who are 100% sure of their agility will attempt it.

    Death penalty cases are exactly the same. A juror who is only 5% sure of the guilt of a defendant has no consequences for going along with other jurors who likewise may not be certain of a person’s guilt. It’s not his life on the line after all. Life is so precious we shouldn’t make it simple to snuff it out.

    I am happy to see that we are in agreement.

  5. Dr Brian Neil Talarico North Bay Has been convicted of child molestation and possession of child pornography on his computer, in addition to sexually molesting a young boy. He had prior convictions for child molestation in 1990 and 2001 and was paroled in 2006. Dr. Brian Talarico Works for the Northeast Mental Health Centre, despite his background and a multitude of complaints against him, including abuse, fraud, negligence (not to mention his past imprisonment.) Address: Northeast Mental Health Centre, North Bay Campus Highway 11 North, North Bay Ontario P1B 8L1, and now works for Act 2, North Bay.

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