Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I don't often watch the news, because it is always depressing. However lately, I've been catching some snippets. Since I've lived here, there have been several murders (not all IN Asheville). There were at least 2 children and one elderly lady killed, all in seperate incidents.

One of the children - an 8 year old girl - was shot 4 times in the head execution style by her dad's girlfriend's ex-husband. The man was trying to get back at his ex-wife, so he shot her future stepdaughter. Nice huh?

Another child was killed "accidentally." An off duty police officer was apparently having a "bad" day, and hit a little girl with his car as she walked home from school. She was killed. He of course, was fine. Nevermind that he had a previous tarnish on his record for reckless driving. What was his punishment for taking an innocent life? One year house-arrest and four years' probation.

Here's the thing I have with that. Obviously the first guy was a whackjob and he's in jail now for a very long time, where I'm sure the other inmates will treat him very nicely (as people who hurt children so generally are treated). But the second guy? He gets a tiny slap on the wrist. It's true, it was an accident, but he killed a child. I think he should get a full punishment.

Here's my reasoning: When a murder is planned, generally the murderer has an idea that what he is doing is wrong. He knows he'll be punished. Will the punishment teach him not to kill people? Who knows. But when it's an accidental murder, there definitely needs to be some conditioning done, i.e. certain behaviors will lead to punishment. It's very B.F. Skinner - if you hit a dog's nose with a newspaper every time he pees in the house, he'll learn to stop peeing in the house. The fact that this guy had already been in trouble at least once for reckless driving should be a testament. He wasn't punished severely enough, and now he's killed a small child.

But it's ok, he got one year of house arrest. I'm sure the girl's parents are ok with that. And it will never ever happen again.

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