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.