Crime & Punishment

I’m not a fan of the death penalty. I’m not absolutely against it, as there are times and places where it is a necessity. Poor societies cannot afford to house and feed monsters so they have no choice but to execute their violent criminals. It’s a matter of self-defense. If they try to segregate killers, there’s a good chance the killer gets loose and kills again. Or, the killer harms a fellow prisoner or guard.

My view on the death penalty is a libertarian one. The state derives its authority from the people and the people have a right to self-defense. As a matter of self-defense, the state can kill enemies, but only enemies that are a threat. A man in chains is no threat so hanging him is murder. It is no different than a man shooting a burglar in his home versus hunting down the burglar and shooting him in the back.

That said, I get why people are in favor of the death penalty as a matter of vengeance. A guy who kills kids, for example, commits the worst possible offense against society. Hanging the guy simply as an act of vengeance brings some satisfaction to the people. The trouble is the state gets stuff wrong all the time so vengeance could very well lead to hanging an innocent man. You can let a man out of jail, but not out of the grave.

That’s the theory. The reality is a case like this one in America’s Paper of Record.

A follower of Charles Manson who participated in his cult’s infamous 1969 massacre has won approval for parole.

Leslie Van Houten, 66, the youngest member of the so-called Manson Family, “was granted parole suitability today by commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings meeting at the California Institution for Women in Corona,” according to Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Correction.

“We’re really ecstatic,” Van Houten’s lawyer, Christie Webb, told The Post. “Leslie is an individual. She can’t change what she did, but she has tremendous remorse.”

The parole board will review the judgment for up to 120 days and, if its members uphold the decision, the matter will be forwarded to California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown “will have a maximum of 30 days to either uphold, reverse or modify the decision, or send it to the full board of commissioners sitting en banc for review,” Patino said.

Van Houten was convicted in 1971 for the savage murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca in their Los Feliz home on August 10, 1969.

She later admitted that she was whacked out on LSD when she stabbed Rosemary 14 times with a knife.

The double murder came one day after several other Manson disciples killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate – who was married to renowned director Roman Polanski in her Benedict Canyon home. Several of her friends were massacred.

These crimes were monstrous. The people who committed them admitted to the crimes, even bragged about them. There’s simply no way to argue that they may have been wrongly convicted. The best you can do is claim some mitigation like insanity or excessive drug taking. Even so, this woman was given life with a chance at parole. Now, she may be released after spending 40 years in prison.

This is why people support the death penalty. This woman should never be free, but she is old and the government is broke so they are letting criminals go free. There’s also the fetish among our rulers for committing outrages against the people. Letting a monster go free is a way they can feel hip and edgy by outraging the squares out in the suburbs. The death penalty closes off this stuff. If Van Houten had been hanged, this is not a story. Instead, she will be released and probably be invited to the White House.

This is why I think we should get back to having penal colonies. The Cloud People are simply too greedy and self-absorbed to run a proper criminal justices system. They will always look for reasons to set monsters loose on the rest of us. At the same time, wholesale execution of violent predators is never coming back in the West, until the Muslims take over.  A compromise is to setup penal colonies to house people like this women.

The monsters can be dumped on an island with ample food and water, but otherwise they must self-organize. Maybe a facility to dispense food, water and medical care is run by the state. If they kill each other, so be it. The non-violent, who simply cannot stop committing crimes, can be dropped into a more regulated colony. They live out their lives with no chance of return, unless they are exonerated. Maybe we setup a court for them on the island to help regulate the colony. We can call it Australia, just to make it fun.

The point is we have, at any one time, about 500,000 or so people in jail that we never want out of jail. The billions spent doing this, and the endless criminal proceedings that come with it, can be solved with penal colonies. That would free up resources to run a sane prison system for the petty thieves, errant losers and young knuckleheads. A Leslie Van Houton would be sent to Murderer’s Island out in the Pacific, never to walk our streets again.

43 thoughts on “Crime & Punishment

  1. mate. I like what you write for the most but as an Australian I have to tell you, no way.
    Same as my attitude to immigration: Fuck off- we’re full. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#110)

  3. We’ve got plenty of possible prison islands. The Aleutians are full of them. I think it never gets much warmer than 50 degrees and is overcast and rainy continuously. What better place for criminal scum. O on the other hand should be kept at Gitmo for the remainder of his deplorable life.

  4. Sorry, I gotta disagree, knowing what I know about her case, prosecutors and criminal “justice”. This old lady was really screwed up by her parents divorce, drugs and the whole SoCal social scene of that era, run by evil clowns like Manson. She should have been released 15-20 years ago based upon her rehabilitation and the fact she accepted responsibility for an act that really didn’t hurt anybody—stabbing a corpse isn’t a major crime.
    Besides, Bugliosi is an egotistical jerk who played up his role in the prosecution for everything it was worth. She was just another notch on his gun, despite her low status and minor participation. If she was anybody other than a Manson Family member, she would have been released a long time ago.

  5. I think Western prisons fail both on punishment and on rehabilitation and salvation..
    I also think unrepentant violent offenders shouldn’t be allowed to leave their cell and socialize, since socializing with hardened criminals can only harden their criminality through peer pressure.

    • 19th century American prison systems in their turn tried everything you could think up.Tocqueville’s trip to America was funded by the French government under the guise of studying these various progressive methods. Isolation and even silence didn’t work because inmates were already highly defective and became more so. Intensive six day a week factory work had a better effect, but didn’t carry outside prison and was not actually economical. And these criminals were white.

      It’s been a while, but I once worked out that every prisoner in America could be incarcerated on Catalina Island on a thousand square foot lot per, leaving room for a few public nicks and knacks. The government could practice doing what it really wants to do, tracking each con with an ankle bracelet which delivers a jolt when they attempt an unapproved activity.

      • I visited Alcatraz some years ago. As I recall, they shut it down because it was too expensive despite it was an island in the middle of the SF Bay. I always thought they should have used the Farallon Islands instead, since it’s a breeding ground for great white sharks. But in reality, the most serious criminals who pose the greatest risk to our respective countries reside in Washington D.C., Paris, Berlin and London. And we actually vote for them every so often.

  6. Dolphins expel errant dolphins from their community. This has been documented. Unfortunately, no one understands why. Apparently, they don’t build prisons for them, but that might be because they can’t actually build anything.
    Next time someone tells you how kind dolphins are, tell them you’re not impressed with their penal system.

  7. I think the idea of a penal colony is great, Z-Man. I say, for added fun, we strap a ring type bomb around their necks, should they decide to try to sneak away from our Purgatory Island, like in the movie “Wedlock.”

  8. All societies have a form of human sacrifice. It’s in the code.

    Zman, do a post on genocide!

  9. I have the ideal location: Newfoundland, Canada.
    Why? A vast majority of the current population on the island do no useful work. They work a few months then collect pogey (Unemployment Insurance) or they work for the government. The few productive people left on the island could either stay or be moved to the mainland.
    All Canadian prisons would be emptied saving the taxpayers billions. Prisoners being held for victimless crimes would be freed. The rest would be shipped to Newfoundland and instructed to become self-sufficient (something the native Newfoundlanders have a problem with).
    For a modest fee, I am sure that we could accommodate the American prison population as well.

  10. I am probably one of the few Germans who supports the death penalty. Our society accepts the death of our police, firemen and military who serve to protect our lives. Why can they not accept the loss of the lives of convicted criminals who are willing to take ours.

    My view, while unpopular with many of my colleagues, is based not on vengeance, but the fact I refuse to pay and support someone who is incapable and unwilling to live in civilized society and has no conscious towards the life of those around them. In fact, we should stop calling people “terrorists” and call them what they are; murderers. By definition, terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation, murder is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

    In my eyes, anyone who openly promotes the murder of innocents has already shown they are incapable of reconciliation or reformation. They have made a conscious decision to harm another human being, I have made a conscious decision how we should deal with them if they do.

    • Indeed, Karl. Murder is a line that must not be crossed, and for those who ponder it, the death penalty provides guard rails that may hold them back, provided it’s execution comes within living memory of the crime.

      The way I see it, we all die. In a sense, then, we are all on death row awaiting our time. A jury does not decide that someone will die, they simply decide when. Moving a killer up on the schedule doesn’t bother me at all.

    • So then, this makes us two Germans who support the DP (under a proper rule-of-law system of course, in which it is not administered for political reasons).

  11. Your proposal on penal colonies sounds much like something Robert A. Heinlein used in his short story “Coventry”.

  12. Retribution should not be overlooked in the death penalty argument. It is important that the law, as written, be enforced and, more importantly, that it be seen to be enforced.

    • Also, I’d much rather run the risk of a mistaken conviction & execution, than the constant bullying of thugs – who seem to have a complicit govt that just likes to run them through the revolving door.

  13. A lengthy stay on on Criminal Island (Terrific, retro idea, BTW) is also in the cards for repeat drunk drivers. Say, after conviction 3 or 4. Those peeps just won’t stop doing it, unless they are jailed 24/7/365. Even the work release ones go right back at it.. We often overlook the astonishing waste of productive lives they cause.

    I’d be good with some egregious bankster criminals voted onto that island, too. My first vote goes for John Corzine. A VERY deserving slimebag.

    • In some places, drunk drivers are made to work at the local dump or work on a road gang collecting trash. The hard core never learn, but the first time offenders get religion quickly. I had a friend who got popped for DUI in Mass. They made him see a parole officer once a week for six months. He stopped drinking after that experience.

    • The French had the right idea, it was called Devil’s Island. It ran for 100-years before it was shut down.

      • Yep. It solves many problems. One major problem we have here in the states is the drug gangs are able to run the jails. They get help from guards and from their former mates on the outside. If Tavon White was living on Wake Island, this would never have happened.

        • Given the US has worked to hard to save money by outsourcing, it would seem logical to outsource prisons to Mexico too. Especially since so many in your prisons are Mexican anyway you could solve several problems at the same time; reduce the number of prisons, get rid of illegal Mexican prisoners, reduce the cost of running prisons. I suspect if Americans knew they would be spending time in an outsourced Mexican prison, they might think twice about the crimes they commit.

          • Honestly, I’m surprised this has not yet happened. I’ve been waiting for someone to propose it, but nothing so far. I suspect the reason is the demographics of the prisons. Then you have the fact that Mexico would become a world power in basketball.

          • I have no figures to support this idea, but it may be that in the same way industries that support the military (which I don’t believe are outsourced), prisons are a way to ensure federal funds and jobs to local communities; e.g. the US Penitentiary in Allenwood as sacred as Lockheed-Martin in Ft. Worth, Texas. That may be why it was never proposed – no politician wants to see a federal prison or government contractor leave his state.

          • In California they call it the Prison Industrial Complex. The prison union lobbies for more criminal laws because that leads to more criminals and that means more prisons, which means more prison guards. The prison guard unions will fight any attempt to outsource their industry, but the steel and coal workers can tell them how that works out in the long run.

      • Britain has some rocky islands off the north west coast of Scotland which would be ideal dumping grounds for terrorists/hardened criminals (Yes, I know, if the Scots finally get independence then they would have to deal with them and… wait, what a good idea that is…)

        By the way, a small aside about ‘work gangs’ by any other name for minor criminals. In one UK town the ne’er-do-wells who had been caught and, unluckily for them didn’t get the sympathetic liberal judge who merely offered kind words before releasing them back into the community, were put on details to tidy up the town. One bright idea was to get the to help plant bulbs in the town’s open spaces, and who better than vandals to do it as it would teach them respect for their town and a sense of purpose.

        They planted the bulbs in a pattern to make useful phrases like ‘f*ck off’ which, of course, would only be seen several months later. At least the scum are willing to play the long game.

  14. Don’t forget that she originally got the death penalty. The state invalidated all death penalties prior to 1972, so it was converted to life imprisonment. The voters reinstated the death penalty, but it didn’t apply retroactively.

    I do support the death penalty, as there is a long period of appeals and many years pass before it is applied. Leslie Van Houten was supposed to be in jail for life, after they commuted the death penalty. Now she gets to walk. Remember that guy that chopped off the arms of his victim and she managed to survive? They let him out and he murdered someone within weeks. And my favorite, Ted Bundy. They had him in jail and he escaped. He went to Florida and murdered several more women. He hasn’t murdered anyone since the death penalty was applied and he hasn’t escaped either.

    • The Mary Vincent attack in California was what convinced me that some people, by their heinous crimes, forfeit any claim to humanity and thereby lose the rights & privileges of living, much as one would put down a rabid dog. I consider the death penalty the only appropriate sentence in such cases.
      See here for details. I did not know that she had married. What a triumph for her!,,20099682,00.html

      OTOH, it was reading of the innocent individuals who have been exonerated by the Innocence Project that also convinced me that our judicial PROCESS so imperfect that the death penalty should only be imposed where the evidence is so strong, so uncontradicted, so unimpeachable, that error is impossible. Unfortunately, the Innocence Project really only helps since the advent of DNA testing, and where DNA evidence has been preserved.

      • Yes that’s the one. I couldn’t remember her name. I think Rolling Stone covered it and that’s why I remembered it. It’s amazing how someone can survive a horrific crime and go on to have a decent life, yet we are supposed to excuse the criminals for their choices.

        • I have to Google it each time I want to refer to her. Back at the time, I thought that one of the most depraved violations of human decency imaginable. Well, as we know, humans can indulge in such horrors as astound the average person. (Just read The Rape of Nanking, or Bloodlands, or of ISIS’s barbarities.)

  15. I take a darker view of the cloud people in this regard. I keep going back to the Zek literature. By many accounts, Stalin seems to have told the camp administration to ally with the criminals against the 58s, the political prisoners. The idea was to intimidate them and to prevent the politicals from organizing against the guards since they would be forced to put all of their very limited energies in the defending themselves from being victimized by the criminals.

    Maybe there is only a very limited number of ways that leftism can unfold. Maybe they are not consciously aping Stalin. But some days it sure seems like in this case they are.

    • Norman Mailer lobbied to get Jack Abbot out of prison. Mailer was motivated by pure selfishness and a craven desire to be seen as edgy. Mailer is a good example of the danger that lurks in every Western culture.

        • Most liberals simply don’t have the guts to rob banks, they use the state to rob people instead – they need the psychopathic types to do the dirty work.

          The Aleutian Islands would make a great place for a prison colony. Administration could be provided by global warming scammers and other govt miscreants – they could write books about the difference in behavior of lowlifes in theiry /practice. The crony scammers could also have their savings and pensions used to buy windmills and solar panels to keep them warm – it’s just perfect.

          “The growing season lasts approximately 135 days, from early in May until late in September” I bet they could grow potatoes and cabbages, we wouldn’t even have to feed them.

  16. There is a perennial issue of whether those guilty of the most heinous crimes are likely to be ‘reformed’ while in jail. I accept that many crims are sorry, though often it seems to be more a sorrow that they got caught, but there are some who will never change their view or desire to once again the worst they can. Unless they are locked away for life (and here in Britain we do not have life meaning life, but more of a very long sentence) some may do what they did before as soon as they can. The cost of long term jail is high but to the family of someone murdered on a whim or a religious belief, the price of the bad guy’s incarceration would have been a price worth paying.

    I have gone on about this before, but the UK — as will the rest of Europe — shall soon find itself releasing people who planted bombs on trains and in airports. I would suggest these people are unlikely to be reformed, and what they got wrong last time they may well be determined to correct this time. Ten or twenty years ‘out of circulation’ (and in an environment of mixing with fellow believers and having the ‘right food’ provided free) would not deter someone who thinks that in heaven they will have a platoon of virgins waiting ready to amuse them.

    One way or another, the time may not be far off we may have to revise whether a death penalty — mistake or not — would be a better way to protect society.

    • In America, we have already released terrorists. Two of them went on to get Barak Obama into the White House. President Clinton pardoned some Puerto Rican separatists who set over 120 bombs in NYC and Chicago. Of course, Gerry Adams is now a respectable person.

    • More to the point, there’s no sense in sending a would-be Isis recruit trying to get to Syria to jail instead because two years later he’ll be roaming the street. I think if going to Syria to join Isis is a crime, the punishment should be to send him to Syria and strip him of his passport.
      The excuse that the West cannot allow people to join terrorist groups seems null and void given that the West bombs them and sends them to jihadi-heaven once they get there. The West kills far more Isis (and one would guess: civilians) in Syria and Iraq than it lets go there.
      In fact, the West should employ agents whose only job is to persuade Muslims to go to Syria. People who recruit these nutcases should be able to apply for government grants. The only downside to this would be they’d be less likely to leave if they realized everyone wants them to go.

  17. Hey man, it’s only fair, to let at least one whitey out for every 1000 criminal illegal aliens they release.

Comments are closed.