November 7, 2009

"Brigitte has shown no remorse."

"Sometimes the crime itself warrants punishment."

21 comments:

lucid said...

God, this is a tough one. Preventing the (further?) abuse of his granddaughters is a noble goal. Were there noother means? Possibly not, for this woman, though there certainly are other things that someone could have done. But the purpose of legal punishment is directed not only to the guilty individual but also to establish and enforce standards for behavior in the community generally. They guy deserved it, but she , I think, also has to face consequences.

vet66 said...

One can sympathize with her anger and yet be curious why she didn't contact law enforcement to deal with the abuse. Child Protective Services should have been given the opportunity to properly investigate the allegations.

'standards for behavior' begs the question as to what cultural standards are being applied here. The adopted country or the country of origin. The third option is that some folks live outside the judicial process because they feel it exists for others and not for them. What we have is arguably a failure to assimilate into one's own country (Bobbit) or one's adopted country (Brigitte).

Photog714 said...

A very tough call. Thought experiment: Imagine that no civil or criminal law is applicable to this case. You must decide what is to be done. What is your judgment, and what is its rationale?

Bissage said...

I say “let her go” mostly because I like the name “Brigitte.”

Cedarford said...

"The Twinkie Defense"
"The Abuse Excuse of Female Murderers"
The "The old Asian man called me nigger so I's shots him and 'tole off wi' his wallet as racial reperations" defense.
The Menendez Brothers "We Deserve Some Real Sympathy Since WE Are Orphans Now!" defense.

The Saudi "I was just in Afghanistan carrying a machine gun trying to find the wedding party of a man I can't describe and don't know the name of- So let me out of GITMO!" defense.

The Eric Holder "When white people threaten voters with billy clubs its a racist civil rights violation, but if Black PAnthers do it it's just a misunderstanding" defense.

The "dog ate my homework" defense.

The "it can't be spying for Israel if a few phone calls and envelopes of cash to higher ups leads to all charges being dropped...ergo, nuthin' to it!" defense.

"Taxes and stuff are complicated...How do you expect me of all people to know whats proper or not??" Charlie Rangel, Chair of the Taxwriting Committee - defense.

"All problems are Bush's fault" Obama defense.

"I'm not a quitter" Sarah Palin explaining why her euphemism "Going Rogue" is why she abandoned her last 3 jobs. But, "darn it!" that's not quitting! You betcha not!

"It will make us even better, more careful and vigilent!" The Goldman Sachs people on why they deserve 3 billion bonuses from taxpayer bailouts of Goldman Sach's interest in AIG. (where AIG got burned following GS advice triggering massive executive bonus target points achieved.)

"I was too busy defending America from Evildoers to worry much about all the other chickshit stuff" Bush excuse.

Freder Frederson - "If the laws of thermodynamics were different, I'd be right you assholes! So shut up!" excuse

"No one told us pygmies were human. We thought they were just bush meat we could eat. Now we feel bad, and won't do it again unless we get very hungry" Congolese child soldier excuse.


(Among other alibis and excuses we are sick of)

edutcher said...

What ever happened to call the cops? I know things in Dear Old England ain't what they used to be, but I had assumed they still had law enforcement. Maybe there's so much red tape (the way the sophists are trying to make it here), people don't think it's worth getting involved with the system. Comments, professor?

As to the line, "I didn't want him to die"; with all the arteries and veins in that part of the body, what did she think would happen? Maybe she didn't know.

I always thought it was a miracle Lorena Bobbitt didn't have to face a murder charge when she did the same thing. As a great American philosopher once observed, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

knox said...

As to the line, "I didn't want him to die"; with all the arteries and veins in that part of the body, what did she think would happen? Maybe she didn't know.

She handcuffed him to a chair and stuck a towel in his mouth. He died of suffocation.

Can't say I approve of her methods ,but when I think of him raping a three-year-old, I just can't muster much outrage.

William said...

I have no problem with the murder. The severing of the penis I find problematic. I think society should do its utmost to inhibit this vile predilection of so many women.

Pastafarian said...

I'm not sure if my opinion here makes sense, but here it is: She should go to prison, but maybe she still did the right thing. The right thing isn't always the legal thing.

And in this case, she should have been willing to accept the consequences of her actions, knowing that they were illegal as hell. Would we want to live in a society where what she did was excusable?

So lock her up, and give her a medal.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm with knox. Rape a three year old? Watch me not care when someone exterminates you.

Gabriel Hanna said...

So lock her up, and give her a medal.

I'm with knox. Rape a three year old? Watch me not care when someone exterminates you.

If only there were some way to know if the guy was actually guilty of anything.

"Testimony from mental health professionals", yes, the same august body responsible for the day-care accusations-for which people are STILL in prison; the Wenatchee sex ring, which only existed in testimony bullied from young children by an unscrupulous cop; and accusations of multi-generational cults of imaginary Satanists.

This is why "lynching" is a PEJORATIVE.

Even if this guy did molest children, WHICH WE NOW HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW, his murderer is still a murderer.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can know whether or not someone committed a crime even if the person is dead.

If he didn't do it, she deserves an incredibly harsh sentence.

Freeman Hunt said...

Could her going to the authorities have prevented him from leaving for Liberia with the granddaughters? I think the answer to that question matters, but I don't know what the answer is.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Some context, Freeman:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenatchee_sex_ring

The investigation started in January 1995 when Detective Robert Perez was told by his 13-year-old foster daughter, Donna Perez, that she was sexually molested. She had said she had been raped or molested by almost every adult she knew, and the same molestation had occurred to almost every other child she knew. On March 13, 1995, Perez put Donna in his police car with two social services caseworkers and they drove through Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Donna pointed out houses and buildings where she says she and other children were repeatedly raped and molested since January 1988. She listed 22 locations.

Many of the people convicted were poor, mentally retarded and on welfare, and their lawyers stated that their guilty pleas were coerced. In 1995, after Pastor Robert Roberson criticized the investigation, he was arrested and charged with eleven counts of the sexual abuse of a child. Roberson and his wife were acquitted of all charges.

Forty-three adults were arrested on 29,726 charges of child sex abuse, involving 60 children in 1995. Parents and Sunday school teachers were charged and many were convicted of abusing children, often including their own, or their foster children.

Prosecutors were unable to provide any physical evidence to support the charges. The main witness was Perez' foster daughter; Perez was the investigator of the cases.

Those who were convicted were freed by higher courts and had their convictions overturned or pleaded guilty on lesser charges. Five served their full sentences before their cases were overturned. Some lost parental rights. By 2000 the last person in custody, Michael Rose, was released, after a judge vacated his March 1995 convictions.

Brigitte's evidence that her father abused her is of the same kind. She may have really been sexually abused. Or she may have been convinced that she had been by unscrupulous therapists, which has happened many times before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovered_memories

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_care_sex_abuse_hysteria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial

And then there are the Menendez brothers, who successfully put their parents on trial for their own murder.

That is an abomination. Dead people cannot defend themselves from accusations. A murderer should not be able to put his victim on trial.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Not picking on you, Freeman, I genrally like and agree with your comments--just not this time.

I just hope you can understand where I'm coming from. Accusations of sexual abuse need to be treated critically; more critically than most crimes, considering the conequences to those accused of them.

Freeman Hunt said...

Accusations of sexual abuse need to be treated critically; more critically than most crimes, considering the conequences to those accused of them.

You are right. You make a good point.

I don't know the full facts of this case, but if the only proof against the guy is the say so of the victim and her therapists, that is certainly not enough. My comments were based on the possibly incorrect assumption that the man's guilt was established beyond a reasonable doubt.

EDH said...

This sidebar to the story caught my eye.

'Bobbitt' case: I cut off dad's penis and burned it, but I didn't want him to die, Queens woman says

The Queens woman who mutilated her father and burned his penis on the stove has been taking a cooking class in jail.

kentuckyliz said...

edutcher: England? This was in Queens. New York. Not "The Queen," Queens.

Where there's plenty of cops and social workers to handle your family abuse cases.

If she put as much energy into working with CPS as she did researching Lorena Bobbitt's surgical methods, she might not be rotting in jail.

Hold women just as accountable for their actions as you would a man who cut off body parts of a woman and suffocated her to death.

This is domestic violence and murder.

Photog714 said...

Even if this guy did molest children, WHICH WE NOW HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW, his murderer is still a murderer.

1. We read on the Internet that he molested her.

2. We read on the Internet that she killed him.

If the first reading doesn't give us knowledge of molestation, how does the second reading give you knowledge of murder?

Synova said...

"Could her going to the authorities have prevented him from leaving for Liberia with the granddaughters?"

No. Well, in theory it's very hard to take minors out of the country anymore, and for just this reason. It's still a credible threat, however, as threats go. And if, for some bizarre reason the Grandfather actually had custody, or the other family members who had legal authority were likely to side with dear old Grandpa... it'd be easy as pie to take the kids and never be seen again.

"I think the answer to that question matters, but I don't know what the answer is."

The answer to the question is probably... it's a really bad idea to procreate with foreigners. Ever.

As for why not go to authorities... first because it might cause Grandpa to run with the kids and even if you think he *probably* can't do it... do you take the risk? And second, because the authorities never helped YOU. Why should now be different?

My feeling on stuff like this is that if someone really *deserves* to die, it's worth the exchange of spending a very long time in prison afterward. I think that juries, and most people, feel on some level that very light sentences or no sentence is an apology for past failure to protect those who are abused... particularly as children.

Maybe there is an element, not of giving in to the sad story, but of recognition that someone did what the community and justice should have done but didn't.

We might go too far that way, of course, because vigilantism is generally a bad thing. How do we figure out rightly if the vigilantism is *really* a response to the failure of the social contract with the state?

careen said...

It's not hard at all. The justice and social system failed and often still fails people in this situation.

If I were on the jury, my only misgiving would be that acknowledging that I would have to give her some jail time, but reducing the sentence like the jury is being chided for?

Not a problem.