January 13, 2012

"The defendants insisted on representing themselves; no one cross-examined witnesses on their behalf."

"When Clark appeared in court to make a closing argument, she merely confirmed her guilt. 'Revolutionary violence is necessary, and it is a liberating force," she told the jury."

64 comments:

Wally Kalbacken said...

Nice 'fro!

richard mcenroe said...

Yes, nothing like an "utterly personal break" that leaves two innocent men dead.

Leave. Her. There.

edutcher said...

After 9 pages, another of the Gray Lady's puff pieces on the terrorist murderers of the Baby Boom Generation.

She should be sharing a shower not only with Boudin, but Dohrn and Ayers, also.

Tim said...

Tl;df.

Regardless, someday it will be common knowledge that seeing all aspects of life through a political or ideological lens utterly distorts (if not destroys) one's perceptions of life.

Until then, willful misery.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The article is an excellent argument for the death penalty. When a person abandons conventional morality to the extent that murder is acceptable, that person should pay the ultimate price.

Pogo said...

Like other terrorists, she should have gotten a single bullet to the brain.

So she seems to be a nice old prison lady. Good. Soon she'll be a nice frail elderly prison nursing home lady, then dead in the ground.

May God have mercy on her soul.

phx said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actions have consequences. Not just for yourself but for everyone around you.

She learned this a little bit too late.

Tuff. I don't feel the least bit sorry for her. Her daughter and parents yes. Her...nope.

EMD said...

I still don't understand the frame of mind that leads people to believe that the robbery of a Brinks truck is the way to bring about political and economic change.

I mean, what did they assume would ultimately happen?

MadisonMan said...

It's not up to me to decide if she gets out. If the families of the victims want it to happen, then it should.

It does seem odd that a person who didn't do the actual killing is the one in prison longest. But I understand how it happened.

Pogo said...

"what did they assume would ultimately happen?"

Russia, 1917.

That was their avowed model.

Richard Dolan said...

MMan: "If the families of the victims want it to happen, then it should."

Strange way to look at things. The only issue is whether she is a deserving candidate for the exercise of clemency. Even if she is, no one is entitled to clemency; it is freely granted or withheld in the discretion of the chief executive. Executive clemency always presupposes guilt, usually involving a serious crime committed long ago. To say that she is guilty of such a heinous crime is the reason why her eligibility for clemency is an issue at all; it's not a disqualifier.

The granting (or denial) of clemency is intented to reflect a political judgment in the largest sense -- a societal value judgment, committed to the discretion of the chief executive but embodying the political community's sense of justice and mercy. It is not a matter of taking a vote in which only the "families of the victims" get to participate.

The article suggests that Governor Patterson declined to grant clemency for political reasons. Given the views expressed above, I think he was right to view this in those terms, even if I might have come out the other way had I been in his position. There is no bar to repeated petitions for clemency and there will undoubtedly be one addressed to Governor Cuomo, a politician as politically ambitious as they come. Perhaps he, like Clinton did when he refused to commute a death sentence when he was running for president, will also decline to grant clemency. Time will tell.

OldGrouchyCranky said...

I liked the comment above about the bullet to the brain; that lead pill cures so many societal problems with our bunch of spoiled rotten, red doper diaper babies.

I'm hoping this was a state court that sent this lost cause to prison because otherwise The "O" would pardon her hideous acts.

Plus what @edutcher said!

David said...

The reason for this endless and mindless article appears in the first few paragraphs.

She was "a member of the white left."

Still is, and her nice white suburban manners might get her out of the slammer. (Black lefties have to use the colored exit door.)

Her victims will still be in the grave.

PatCA said...

I read the first page and saw there were eight more. I stopped there. This is a dead giveaway that the Times is producing another puff piece apologia for this criminal so that we will feel sorry for her and let her out of jail.

Am I right?

lewsar said...

having read the article in its entirety, i think it was worth that little slice of my life. people do change, and if the author can be believed (an open question) judy clark has transformed herself, and good for her.

is it fair that she got a 75 year sentence when noone ever alleged she pulled a trigger? probably not, but she is living proof of the aphorism that when you're in a hole, STOP DIGGING! mouthing off at trial got her slapped down hard, and it's nobody's fault but her own.

the author obviously felt some kinship with judy clark, which is not not surprising as the author knew her in high school.

Joe said...

What a strange article. It claimed to be about a person's transformation, but there was no transformation. At best, Clark said that what happened was bad. I didn't read any quote of her expressing actual, intense, remorse. I didn't read of Clark wrestling with how to make restitution for what she had done.

Finally, just because you do have remorse, doesn't mean you are let off the hook. If I steal $10 from someone, I owe them $10. Whether I feel bad or not is irrelevant from a societal standpoint.

Marshal said...

" lewsar said...
having read the article in its entirety, i think it was worth that little slice of my life. people do change, and if the author can be believed (an open question) "


The clear answer is "not". The first question for anyone trying to understand the matter would be "is she truly repentant or feigning to get out". The author notes not a single effort on his part to discern between the two possibilities. Statements made on her behalf are treated as fact.

Puff piece is right, and it's apalling. But considering it's in the NYT a piece delivering no nuance written merely to reinforce their readers' view of politics I'd say business as usual.

Michael said...

Joe, I was struck by the same thing. The transformation that was promised never materialized. Instead we find a commonplace criminal who has a) grown up, b)wishes they had not committed the crime they committed c) uses their time in prison to good effect.

this last bit is meant to be some sort of change that requires the entire world to stop and admire. The world is disinterested in these kinds of conversions, expecting instead that people lead decent lives from the get go.

Greg Hlatky said...

You have to read down to the 75th paragraph before you get to the name of one of the victims. It's like murdering them a second time.

phx said...

The world is disinterested in these kinds of conversions, expecting instead that people lead decent lives from the get go.

I know. What was Jesus thinking with that whole prodigal son thing?

William said...

As a young revolutionary, Stalin engineered a bank robbery that left forty two bystanders dead. The most chilling thing about the robbery was that none of his fellow revolutionaries thought that this was excessive or had any second thoughts about what would happen if they should happen to get in the way of his revolutionary objectives.

Michael said...

phx: Good point. I think Jesus would forgive her. And leave her in prison where she is doing such good work.

phx said...
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William said...

It did not occur to the parents that there might be something wrong with Communism until after an extended stay in the USSR in the fifties. The father by way of shaming his daughter pointed out that she was wrong to kill a black police officer. Right. It's so much more wrong to murder black cops than white ones......Alternate scenario: the daughter of former KKK members feels that her parents have sold out. She joins the Aryan Brotherhood to keep alive the flame of their ideal of white supremacy. In the course of a bank robbery to support Aryan activities a white cop gets killed. Her father reproaches her and tells her the great sin of her crime was killing a white cop......Can you imagine that such people would get a sympathetic write up in the Times.

phx said...

I don't know what Jesus would make out of this woman but I do believe mercy and compassion are attributes of humanity that are second only to love.

Not everyone should be discharged from their debts. But speaking strictly for myself, compassion and mercy shouldn't be reserved just to those folks that I (or we) believe "deserve it".

David R. Graham said...

Groundwork for an appeal to Cuomo, battlespace prep.

john said...

So why DIDN'T Clinton pardon her?

I blame Holder.

David R. Graham said...

Or, political cover for a decision Cuomo or white house already to release her. New York is a very small town, smallest of my experience, three years in grad school there.

William said...

Jung Chang, in her bio of Mao, details how children were encouraged by Party elders to beat to death other children. Such children were called little landlords. Their deaths served the dual purpose of ridding the state of bourgeoise spawn and bonding the child killing children with the revolution. These things happened within the lifetimes of Ms. Clark and her parents.......Far left politics leads to hate crimes. Practitioners should be held in the same esteem as KKK members. These people are not idealists. They are haters.

Jon Burack said...

Some of the responses here are just a bit sickening in their self-righteousness. A bit like the self-righteousness that led Clark into the morass of fanaticism she chose. Be careful people. And please do not lecture me about the left and its insanities. I know more about that by far than most of you, believe me. I would myself be skeptical about a NYTs piece on this. The Times has made excuses for chic Sixties radicals galore, it is true. so I understand your initial skepticism. But neither this piece nor Clark herself appear to me to be making any excuses for what she did. For example, a women who can accept that she has sinned, admit that she sinned to her daughter, relate her own loss to those of her victims, etc., is a long way from the excuses stage. And exactly what else were you looking for as evidence of contrition, by the way,Joe? How much bathos would it take to reach your high standards of - for others - self-abasement? In a way, it is those posturing here who are the ones making all the excuses -- for yourselves. Let he who is without sin. . .

Pogo said...

" In a way, it is those posturing here who are the ones making all the excuses -- for yourselves. "

Meaningless twaddle.

She did something evil, and was fomenting , she thought, a nationwide revolution with its associated violence, in the hopes of bringing utopia.

Since it's too late to kill her by firing squad, she should die in prison, if only pour l'encouragement des autres.

Jon Burack said...

A firing squad, yet, eh Pogo? Lenin would be proud.

Pogo said...

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln would have been as well.

The USA has, like every other nation, executed murderers.

What's your point?

Tina Trent said...

Jon Burack -- Ms. Clark is calibrating a record of remorse and denial that fills the appropriate boxes in her parole appeal. Thus, the lies about not knowing about the gun that magically appeared in her purse, and the 'arm injury' that sent her scrambling towards it and would probably have spasmed an inadvertent but later 'regretted' trigger-squeezing in the face of a fourth victim, had she not been stopped. The Times, likewise, is pretending this is a story about remorse when it is a story laying the groundwork for a new rule that counts staged pseudo-activism on AIDS, etc. and fake MFAs for execrable poetry as points towards parole.

Not that you would know this by reading the paper.

BTW it was three dead, and some of the black offenders did not receive more time behind bars but far less. Several BLA/WU/BP of both races are tenured professors, the profession of choice for hate-filled, murderous Sixties radicals.

Theodore Dalrymple has an excellent recent article explaining why forgiveness is as much the "wild justice" of the mob as is revenge. Those who feel that their warm feelings towards murderers makes them superior to the law, and to others, including the actual victims of Ms. Clark, might uncomfortably find themselves in it.

TWM said...

I had forgotten about her. Hopefully after some time I will again.

SGT Ted said...

'Revolutionary violence is necessary, and it is a liberating force," she told the jury."

Not when Commies engage in it.

SGT Ted said...

Hey Jon, quit apologizing for the Commie murderer. It's disgusting.

Jon Burack said...

Tina, you depart from the company here at least in that you do try to make a case for your tough-guy stance. But it is not convincing to me. What do you know about this woman for a fact? That is, about her now? We all can see she was without remorse at the time. Fine. She does not deny it herself. So why dwell on it? The point is, she appears to have had a pretty deep change of heart. Neither you nor anyone else here yet has advanced one single shred of evidence suggesting she has not had that change of heart. And that is what makes her different from most of the other radical terrorists of Sixties fame.

Former leftists like David Horowitz or Whittaker Chambers were every bit as implicated in revolutionary violence as this woman was. (And please, do not try to chop logic on this, because both of those people would be the first to insist on this themselves.)Yet the right lionizes them because of their "second thoughts." Yes, they not only abandoned their utopianism, but went on to speak out about it and write books about it. Is that what gets them off the hook? Pretty pathetic if that's all it takes.

You also make the point that many others involved in Clark's crime got lesser sentences. So? That seems to argue for a bit less high and mighty indignation in her case, doesn't it? In any case, that aspect of this case is not that relevant to me, as I am not even taking a stand on whether she should be let out. All I say is she merits some respect if the description of her today is at all accurate. Not a one of you has offered an actual reason to doubt it. Therefore, I think it is arrogance and self-righteousness that is on display here, not wisdom.

phx said...
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richard mcenroe said...

She also transformed two human beings into slabs of meat, and seems okay with that. Not a patch on Planned Parenthood, but atill worth remembering.

William said...

Just to establish a base line, would you say that if Sirhan Sirhan said that he was remorseful for his past acts would you be in favor of parole for him?.......I think Ms. Clark, her parents, and now her daughter sincerely regret the tactics that she used for revolutionary ends. I don't think, however, that she or her family have any second thoughts about revolutionary goals. I'm sure that she believes that the rich are ontologically evil and that their wealth should be redistributed among the poor. She no longer believes that the wealthy and their ignorant stooges should be murdered to bring this about. That's progress I suppose...Perhaps her remorse is sincere, but there's nothing in her record to indicate that she wouldn't mind telling a few, little white lies to secure her release. The article claims that prison was a growth experience for her. I wouldn't mind letting her grow for a few more years.

Pogo said...

" Is that what gets them off the hook? Pretty pathetic if that's all it takes."

Remorse is of course a start, and a minimal one at that.

She doesn't seem to have any remorse except for her imprisonment.

Michael said...

Whittaker Chambers drove a getaway car? Horowitz? The equivalency you suggest is misplaced and deeply wrong. Fellow travelers are not the same as actors in terrorism.

If a "change of heart" was all required the prisons would be empty.

Chambers and Horowitz did more than have a "change of heart"' they actively campaigned against the ideologies they once supported. They decried the violence and wrongheadedness of their former beliefs. T he woman in question has not repudiated the ideas she supported, only the metholodology. If that. Her change of heart is less about the movement she supported and more about how a normal person lives and interacts with her fellow humans regardless of their political beliefs.

Jon Burack said...

First of all, Horowitz did WORSE than drive a getaway car. In a very particfular instance, he helped a women get a job with the Panthers that wound her up face down in the bay. More than that he was a very visible spokesman for evil in a very public way. For you to trivialize what he did is above all an insult to HIS courage in repudiating it.

Whittaker Chambers, in participating in Soviet spying was complicit in crimes that in fact did lead to deaths on a scale much larger than Clark's. Or do you think his spying was all about Natasha and the Norwalk tunnel and did not involve anything deadly at all? If so, you need to read more about it.

Secondly, so what if Clark has not repudiated her ideas. Her ideas are NOT complicit in the murders she took part in. A million people held her ideas but did not kill people. To be clear, I do not accept her ideas one bit, if she in fact does still hold them (which you do not know). But they are NOT any part of a reason to continue to detest her as you all do here. And are you seriously suggesting it WOULD exonerate her if she "confessed" her errors before some Bernard Gui of the holies in a show trial of your choosing? Recant the errors of her ways? Is THAT what this is all about? We can revile her because she still maybe does not agree with us? If so, count me out, totally.

jeff said...

"First of all, Horowitz did WORSE than drive a getaway car. In a very particfular instance, he helped a women get a job with the Panthers that wound her up face down in the bay"

What a breathtakingly dishonest statement. He helped a friend of his get a job working for the panthers, who at the time he thought were friends of his. The panthers killed her. For your statement to have any validity, he would have had to known such a outcome was possible, and instead it shocked him out of being a Marxist and led him to his politics today. I'm sure he blames himself for thinking the panthers were a misunderstood, oppressed group and getting his friend involved. This isn't remotely the same as participating in a red robbery and driving the get away car after your fellow criminals murdered 3 people, and for you pretend it was worse is absolutely contemptible.

Jon Burack said...

Oh give me a break with the "absolutely contemptible" stuff. Horowitz was complicit with murderers and he realized it. Clark was as well and she appears to have realized it. I consider David Horowitz a hero and, in fact, a friend. I know exactly what he is and is not responsible for. I was through the same fires myself. From what I can tell, none of the rest here have a clue as to what those were. You want a nice tidy world of sinners and saints.In fact, Jonathan Edwards had it right. We are all sinners in the hands of an angry god. Look to your own and leave it to that god to take care of those of others.

Michael said...

Jon,

With all due respect to the high degree of specialness you asisign to yourself and your unique understanding of the dark side of the sixties, you are full of shit From your high horse and insider hipness you may have missed the fact that you arent the only one who went through those "fires". Like our sainted jailbird we grew up. Your lecture is tiresome, sanctimonious and wrong and you insult those of us who know a bit about the topic.

Pogo said...

Jon Burack, apologist for 60s radicals. Sad, but typical tripe.

Carnifex said...

I disagree with the death penalty proponents as a matter of my religion. As for letting her out? No way! She may swear on a stack of Bibles, Torahs, and Korans, I don't care. She may very well have found Jesus, Budha, Allah, and Yahweh, all co-habitating in a 3 story walk-up in Nirvana, I don't care. I can't see into her heart, all I can do is judge her actions, and her actions were horrific, and without remorse.

I hope she has found salvation somewhere. It will make her time in prison more bearable, until she's dead.

Jon Burack said...

Michael,
I always have to laugh when someone starts out saying "with all due respect." Really, Michael, if you know something about Clark that I don't I must have missed it. Given the utter lack of knowledge here about her, all I see is vindictiveness and self-righteousness. But I've got better things to do than beat this dead horse any more. And I can see people are just getting uglier. So see you in another life, brother.

Jon Burack said...

But before I go, here is the take of Ron Radosh, another Ex-Sities radical from Madison, who has spoken out forcefully against the release of others from that era. And who has shown vastly more courage in the face of leftist intolerance than any of you ever will.

http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2012/01/13/the-sad-story-of-judith-clark/

THis is how someone talks who knows what they are talking about and who is not filled with the fury of self-righteousness I see here.

Pogo said...

You neglected Radosh's most important note: "The relatives of the dead police officers are not so forgiving."

And you chose not to mention Horowitz's better comment following Radosh:


"Far more important, a truly remorseful terrorist will feel obligated to turn his back on his fellow terrorists and their supporters and do the innocent a service by revealing what they know, and who their networks are, and what they actually did — not just what they got caught doing. "

Pogo said...

Clark hasn't shown remorse by admitting ALL that she had done, and as such she remains stubbornly selfish and irredeemably loathsome.

Marshal said...

" Jon Burack said...
First of all, Horowitz did WORSE than drive a getaway car. In a very particfular instance, he helped a women get a job with the Panthers that wound her up face down in the bay. More than that he was a very visible spokesman for evil in a very public way. For you to trivialize what he did is above all an insult to HIS courage in repudiating it."



The historical ignorance of this is apalling, made humorous by the author's ridicule of posturing while engaging in it. Horowitz believed the ideology but never engaged in violence. Further, the very incident our historically ignorant lecturer cites drove him from the left. But apparently some believe an innocent action (the eventual victim needed a job and Horowitz found her one as a bookkeeper) with a tragic ending is the same as intentionally committing armed robbery where someone dies.

Oh wait a minute - according to Jon it's not the same, it's worse. The idiocy required to believe leftism has to make any thinking person reject their ideas.

Chambers is an even worse comparison. Chambers organized in support of political activity. In his case the heartlessness of the organization itself proved to him the goals he naively supported would never be met.

One problem weith lefty defenders is that they virtually never understand what they're talking about. They're repeating the talking points they've been spoon fed, but since they've never actually spoken to anyone who didn't agree with them they never considered whether the talking points are in fact true.

It's sad. But when the fools lecture the rest of us sadness is transformed into humor. It's an amazing thing to watch.

Michael said...

Radosh's "plea" for her is pretty fucking weak if you ask me. He seems to barely want it himself.

I am troubled by the obvious belief of her supporters that remorse and a lack of continued criminality should translate to freedom. Is not the point of jail to concentrate the mind at which point the punishment begins, not ends? Are we to free all those prisoners who are suddenly helping others in the joint, all those who convert to Judiasm or Islam or who find Jesus? Those are the benefits of prison, not get out of jail cards.

I am very sorry this woman did not grow up until she was in prison. I wonder if she would have ever grown up had she not had a child. I wonder if her daughter likes the idea that she was born not out of a loving union but out of her mother's desire for a baby.

Power to the people. Curious too how the children of these terrorists find their way to top tier colleges. Wonder if the kids of the dead cops went to similar schools?

Jon Burack said...

I have to thank Ron Radosh for forcing some of you here finally to actually explain your invective rather than simply spewing if for the like-minded to approve of.

However, I do not think any of you yet gets what moved me to comment. I am no more certain of Clark's motives or whether she deserves to be released than Radosh is. I have not argued even once for her release. It is not my interest to do so. I am also only a bit more of open to seeing Clark as contrite than Horowitz is. But what Radosh and Horowitz have that none of the rest of you seem to have is a commitment to explain their views decently, as opposed to lashing out with vicious remarks about bullets to the head, etc.

As for my supposed misunderstanding of the difference between Horowitz and Clark, that's baloney. I did not limit my comment on Horowitz to the one episode involving the Panthers. I mentioned that episode ALONG WITH a reference to Horowitz's long assoication with the most extreme radicalism of Ramparts and his apologetics for it. No he did not pull the trigger in any bank robbery. All he did was give it its intellectual justifications. I believe he would regard himself in doing that as having fallen as far as Clark and as every bit as much in need of redeeming as she is. His criticism of her here is not from the perspective of someone who sinned less but of someone who repented more. I disagree with Horowitz and agree more with Radosh that she has repented enough to earn a decent hearing. That is all I have been arguing for. I am not arguing for her release, I am arguing against the viciousness I see from most of my opponents here.

Pogo said...

"I am arguing against the viciousness I see from most of my opponents here."

Clark helped kill innocent people in an effort to start a violent communist revolution to overthrow the US democratic republic, and now expresses regret only for those deaths she caused in that event for which she was imprisoned.

And we're described as vicious?

Pogo said...

"agree more with Radosh that she has repented enough to earn a decent hearing"

I see. We are vicious because we don't agree that she has 'earned' release (or the hearing for it).

Bah.

Citing other murderers released sooner than her only exposes how those killers should never have been released themselves.

You should not be able to 'earn' release from prison for murder, especially no multiple murders, and even worse, not political murders.

That debt cannot be paid or expunged. Ever. Only ignored. I forgive her, but forgiveness does not demand her freedom.

William said...

OK, there's an element of vindictiveness in the wish to see her remain in prison. But she is the one who originally politicized her trial and imprisonment. To now claim that her opponents are politicizing her continued incarceration reeks of bad faith. Her crimes, her trials, her imprisonment were all used for propaganda purposes. And now her parole hearings are being similarly used. See how much she has grown in wisdom and charity. Look at how petty and small are her opponents. This woman is a martyr. Punish her? Don't you see how prison has ennobled her. Her continued incarceration will just highlight her nobility and your vindictiveness. Those who argue for her freedom are radiant with her reflected splendor. Those who argue against it show how petty and vicious our society is. Perhaps she was right in the first place to take up arms against such people. What a bright, clean world it would be if people like Clark sat in judgement over those petit bourgeoise who sit on parole boards, instead of the other way around.

Pogo said...

Or better, what William said.

William said...

I think that CIA agent who sold info to the Russians was a far worse criminal the Bradley Manning. Nonetheless, I would find it far easier to give him a sympathetic hearing at a parole board than Bradley Manning. Some crimes are excerbated rather than mitigated by the purported lofty motives that the criminals say motivated them. Venality is more forgivable than grandiosity.

Marshal said...

"Jon Burack said...

However, I do not think any of you yet gets what moved me to comment."

Oh, we get it. You like to pretend you're superior so you criticize while refusing state a position you can't be criticized in turn. An intellectuial coward.

Still waiting for your explanation on how getting someone a job is WORSE than joining an armed robbery. There must be six people on the planet who agree with that one. They are all in the education field though, I'm pretty sure Bill Ayers is one of them. Do murderers really change , or like Bill do they just try new tactics?

And we're still waiting for you to make one single point that doesn't require accepting that this puff piece is both 100% accurate and 100% complete.

But you keep patting yourself on the back for your demonstrated humanity.

What a laugher.

Trashhauler said...

"The quality of mercy is not strained."

Mercy is not earned. It is given. Under Christian philosophy, to give mercy is to become more Godlike, which is a good thing.

However, Christianity also teaches that, since we live in an imperfect world, there must be necessary limits to all impulses, including the granting of mercy. So, society must judge whether the exercise of mercy in this case has more merit than any other case where it might be given.

I don't know this lady. She might be entirely different from who she was 30 years ago. Doubtless, so are many other criminals. Why her and not them?