Discussion:
nbc Why we need the death penalty nbc
(too old to reply)
Joe
2006-09-02 03:16:40 UTC
Permalink
Why? To kill mother fuckers who do this sort of thing to kids.....and
parents....
Any moral qualms, let me know, I'll gladly swing the axe...

Mom gets photos of son missing for 24 years
CNN
September 1, 2006

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The mother of a boy abducted 24 years ago said
she's bewildered by two photographs left at her front door, apparently
showing her son and two other children bound and gagged.

The old photos appear to show 12-year-old Johnny Gosch with his mouth
gagged and his hands and feet tied. The boy is wearing the same sweat
pants Johnny was wearing when he disappeared while delivering
newspapers on the morning of September 5, 1982, his mother said.

"It's like reliving it," Noreen Gosch told The Associated Press on
Thursday night. "But the bigger picture is, 'Why are they doing this?'

"Whoever had these photos had them for 24 years. I don't understand why
they would do this now. It must be some kind of message."

Gosch said investigators confirmed the photos were authentic and likely
taken within "hours or days" of the abduction. She said they were
checking for fingerprints that could lead them to the source and
possibly a breakthrough in a case that has long baffled authorities.
The other boys in the photo were unidentified.

The photos were given to the state Division of Criminal Investigation's
computer crime task force, West Des Moines police Lt. Jeff Miller said.
He said police have not positively identified the boy in the photos as
Johnny Gosch.

Johnny's disappearance triggered nationwide fears of child abductions.
He was one of the first faces of missing or abducted children to appear
on milk cartons across the country.

Several theories have developed since he vanished before dawn while
delivering Sunday newspapers. His newspaper wagon was discovered near
his West Des Moines home, but few substantial clues have surfaced since
then.

Gosch believes her son was taken by child pornographers. She told
authorities he briefly contacted her in 1997 but feared for his life
and declined to give details about where he was. She believes his
abductors got him involved in crimes, which is why he is hiding his
identity.

The National Center for Missing Children is examining the other boys in
the photograph and trying to match it with its database of missing
children.

"These kids have parents someplace," Gosch said. "I'm sure they feel
the same way I did. ... Hopefully we can do some good and give these
parents some peace."

Johnny was Gosch's youngest of three children, and she has devoted her
life to finding him, from raising money for private detectives to
following her own leads and prodding police to try harder. She also
wrote a book called "Why Johnny Can't Come Home."
f***@aol.com
2006-09-02 03:29:04 UTC
Permalink
Not for nothing, it IS a trerrible tragedy, but IF

IF

IF

it turned out to be a stunt......how surprised would anyone be?
Me..not all that much.

Not saying it is.

Not saying I think it is or suspect it is.

Only saying that's one more tragedy, that the idea is even conceivable.
But it IS conceiveable.
Joe
2006-09-02 04:04:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by f***@aol.com
Not for nothing, it IS a trerrible tragedy, but IF
IF
IF
I wasn't so much talking about the photos found as I was about the
original act of kidnapping, abuse and probably murder. I don't see any
saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't think of any
compelling reason to keep them alive.
Calvin Jones & the 13th Apostle
2006-09-02 06:47:42 UTC
Permalink
Glad to see the "Culture of Life" is alive and well ! Joe, what is
wrong with life in prison? Or do you not care that some people might
wrongly be put to death? Would you have been in favor or the dealth
penalty for Yarris(I don't know him from Adam, but he is a name you are
probably aware of).
Post by Joe
Post by f***@aol.com
Not for nothing, it IS a trerrible tragedy, but IF
IF
IF
I wasn't so much talking about the photos found as I was about the
original act of kidnapping, abuse and probably murder. I don't see any
saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't think of any
compelling reason to keep them alive.
Joe
2006-09-02 18:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Calvin Jones & the 13th Apostle
Glad to see the "Culture of Life" is alive and well ! Joe, what is
wrong with life in prison? Or do you not care that some people might
wrongly be put to death?
Sure I care. I care about people wrongfully imprisoned too. That don't
mean I don't support jail terms. Yeah, death is final, but the bottom
line is that some folks who inhabit our world deserve nothing better.
Those who molest and kill young children belong in that group.

Would you have been in favor or the dealth
Post by Calvin Jones & the 13th Apostle
penalty for Yarris(I don't know him from Adam, but he is a name you are
probably aware of).
I don't know what I'm in favor of Jim. Thirty five years of watching
victims and thugs hasn't helped me in the least. Did Timothy McVeigh
deserve to die? Yeah, he deserved to die over three hundred times.
Could I have pulled the switch? Oh yeah, no problem, would have slept
like a baby too.

What's wrong with life in prison? Well, generally once a thug turns 60,
people think he's got sort of redeeming social value and should be set
free again. I have nothing against life in prison as long as that means
that only his rotting corpse is comin' out of that cell...
JimmyConway75
2006-09-02 07:37:40 UTC
Permalink
<<< I don't see any saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't
think of any compelling reason to keep them alive. >>>

How 'bout the thought of them being violated endlessly in prison for the
rest of their days? Why you want to give them the easy way out is beyond
me.
Greg Weber
2006-09-02 13:34:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimmyConway75
<<< I don't see any saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't
think of any compelling reason to keep them alive. >>>
How 'bout the thought of them being violated endlessly in prison for the
rest of their days? Why you want to give them the easy way out is beyond
me.
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate.

(And before the anti-death penalty chorus starts in--capital punishment isn't
"criminal victimization." You may not like it, you may prefer other
punishments. But in the states that have it, it's a legitimate, lawful
punishment).

--Fr. G.
Zeke
2006-09-02 15:41:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Weber
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate.
(And before the anti-death penalty chorus starts in--capital punishment isn't
"criminal victimization." You may not like it, you may prefer other
punishments. But in the states that have it, it's a legitimate, lawful
punishment).
In addition, the idea that child molesters, women murderes, etc., are often
violated in prison is mostly a pipe dream. A few high profile cases
(Jefferey Dahmer) have occured (he was murderd in prison) but in the great
majority of cases, women & children abusers & murderes are rarely, if ever,
victimized in prison.

The victimization of these types of prisoners is something we like to think
happens - it makes us feel good that justice is being served in some
fashion - but the truth is, there's little truth in the belief.

I saw a special show in this very subject a few months back. It was about
Cali prisons but the producers indicated that it's pretty much the same
situation in most states (there were a few exceptions). They used Scott
Peterson & Richard Allen Davis as examples. It turns out that neither man
has suffered any victimization in their Cali prison. Chances are it's the
same story in your home state.

I'm against the death penalty because I don't trust authority. I don't
trust authority not to mess it up, by finding innocent people guily
(something they've done far too many times). Nor do I trust authority to in
times of extreme political unrest. If it weren't for this lack of trust in
authority I'd be all for it.

***@dumbkunka.com
"Cropear? Nah, he's not available."
ruth
2006-09-02 16:07:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by Greg Weber
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate.
(And before the anti-death penalty chorus starts in--capital punishment isn't
"criminal victimization." You may not like it, you may prefer other
punishments. But in the states that have it, it's a legitimate, lawful
punishment).
In addition, the idea that child molesters, women murderes, etc., are often
violated in prison is mostly a pipe dream. A few high profile cases
(Jefferey Dahmer) have occured (he was murderd in prison)
He was? I didn't know that. Interesting. Was he then eaten ( I am sorry-
I am a terrible person but seriously)?
--
Greg Weber
2006-09-02 22:54:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by Greg Weber
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate.
(And before the anti-death penalty chorus starts in--capital punishment isn't
"criminal victimization." You may not like it, you may prefer other
punishments. But in the states that have it, it's a legitimate, lawful
punishment).
In addition, the idea that child molesters, women murderes, etc., are often
violated in prison is mostly a pipe dream. A few high profile cases
(Jefferey Dahmer) have occured (he was murderd in prison) but in the great
majority of cases, women & children abusers & murderes are rarely, if ever,
victimized in prison.
For many offenders, the quality of their time inside depends on their
affiliations. Members of prison gangs generally do better time than solos,
members of powerful prison gangs do better time than other gang members, etc.

--Fr. G.
david
2006-09-02 21:48:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Weber
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate.
But life sentences happen, so sometimes asking for a life sentence is
not regarded as a sentence as the receiving end of forced sodomy and
battery, and sometimes apparently it is? Why sometimes but not others?

Surely no proscecutor would say "Judge, we want this dirtbag to rot in
prison as someone's girlfriend (please excuse my political
incorrectness) for the rest of his (hopefully many) years instead of
avoiding that unpleasentness instead of being anesthetized and then
given a lethal injection whilst asleep."

So is it the case that the judge (and jury) would instead say of their
own volition "this was a heinous crime, so he gets captial punishment"
and what they *mean* is "I'll be merciful by sparing the dirtbag twenty
years of suffering in this world and let him take his chances re the
hereafter?"
Zeke
2006-09-02 22:54:39 UTC
Permalink
"Judge, we want this dirtbag to rot in prison as someone's girlfriend
Not to be redundant, but this is a fallacy. It's a comfort that makes
honest people feel better - more in control - but in the majority of cases
it does not reflect the jailhouse reality of most prisoners - and especially
most "at risk" prisoners - who are sometimes even sheltered from the
possibility of violence against them.

Shut Up & Fish!
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gully
2006-09-02 23:12:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Not to be redundant, but this is a fallacy.
Shut Up & Fish!
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Zeke and actually everybody who's posted on this discussion:

I retired from teaching on May 30, 2004, and started teaching in a
medium to maximum security men's prison on June 11, 2004. I have daily
contact with inmates whose sentences go from months to life. (there are
no death row inmates at my prison) The inmates I have met, taught, and
come to know are an extremely diverse group.
Having said all that, I want to tell you that more sex than you can
ever imagine goes on at that prison. I must admit that my state's penal
policies have created a young man's prison, the one where I teach. Many
of my students are less than 22 years old, with the median age being 23
or 24. The inmates even verbalize this, saying, "it ain't gay, it's
getting by."
Before I worked in prison, I would have described myself as fairly
knowledgeable about these matters, but I really gotta tell you that
LOTS more sex goes on than you would estimate, even if you thought you
were being cynical.
gully
ruth
2006-09-02 23:15:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by gully
Before I worked in prison, I would have described myself as fairly
knowledgeable about these matters, but I really gotta tell you that
LOTS more sex goes on than you would estimate, even if you thought you
were being cynical.
gully
Sounds kinda like college.
--
gully
2006-09-03 00:25:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by ruth
Sounds kinda like college.
--
Ha, ha. but this "college" only has men.
gully
Bluetele
2006-09-03 04:12:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by gully
Before I worked in prison, I would have described myself as fairly
knowledgeable about these matters, but I really gotta tell you that
LOTS more sex goes on than you would estimate, even if you thought you
were being cynical.
gully
Well, Zeke wasn't talking about sex exactly. He was talking about the
public's perception that oither prisoners constantly rape child molesters
as a form of rough justice.

If we've got to talk about sex in prisons, can we please talk about Catholic
school girl prisons? Pretty please?
Zeke
2006-09-03 06:55:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by gully
Post by Zeke
Not to be redundant, but this is a fallacy.
I retired from teaching on May 30, 2004, and started teaching in a
medium to maximum security men's prison on June 11, 2004. I have daily
contact with inmates whose sentences go from months to life. (there are
no death row inmates at my prison) The inmates I have met, taught, and
come to know are an extremely diverse group.
Having said all that, I want to tell you that more sex than you can
ever imagine goes on at that prison. I must admit that my state's penal
policies have created a young man's prison, the one where I teach. Many
of my students are less than 22 years old, with the median age being 23
or 24. The inmates even verbalize this, saying, "it ain't gay, it's
getting by."
Before I worked in prison, I would have described myself as fairly
knowledgeable about these matters, but I really gotta tell you that
LOTS more sex goes on than you would estimate, even if you thought you
were being cynical.
gully
Well, Zeke wasn't talking about sex exactly. He was talking about the
public's perception that oither prisoners constantly rape child molesters
as a form of rough justice.
If we've got to talk about sex in prisons, can we please talk about
Catholic school girl prisons? Pretty please?
Thanks BT... and exactly right. I wasn't talking about sex in prison. I
was talking about the idea that men who murder women (and/or abuse children)
are singled out & hunted down by the rest of the prison population. As
mentioned, I saw a TV show about this and - at least in California - it's
simply not true. There are some states where it is true, but less than one
might imagine.

On another subject (something I know from life, not TV) I'd like to comment
Post by gully
For many offenders, the quality of their time inside depends on their
affiliations. Members of prison gangs generally do better time than solos,
members of powerful prison gangs do better time than other gang members,
etc.
That's why gang members don't fear prison in the ways that law abiding
citizens expect they would or should. They enter the system already
affiliated, thus already protected from random violence.

This affiliation thing started in Chicago, in the 1980's. The Chicago gangs
(of all races) were looking for ways to make their time easier and more
lucrative, so they divided into two camps (like MLB, where you have the
American & National Leagues). It didn't matter what race you were, if your
gang was a Folk gang you "rode Folk" in prison, and were automatically
protected by all the other Folk gangs. If your gang was a People gang you
"rode People" in prison, and were automatically protected by all the other
People gangs.

While providing safety for bangers in the joint, these new alliances made
for some pretty strange "friends" back in the neighborhoods. In many cases
there were specific white & Puerto Rican gangs who had fought vicious wars
on & off for almost 30 years (all throughout the 1960's, 70's & 80's).
Suddenly they found themselves "allies." Both camps resented being allied
with the very clubs that had killed their "brothers" (both figuratively, and
in many cases literally). Old rivalries died pretty hard in the
neighborhoods, and things didn't always go smoothly for these new allies.

Still, in prison, the white gangs did benefit from the Folk & People thing.
Back in the '60's & '70's, before these affiliations were in place, white
bangers had a tough row to hoe in prison. They were severely outnumbered,
sometimes 20 to 1, and were sometimes the only whites in their entire tier.
They had no protection, so all they could do is stand & fight. Those were
some badass white boys who survived prison back then.

I grew up with a number of guys who survived prison back in the '60's &
'70's. Some were bangers, but most were just independents who were thrill
seekers more than anything else. One of my closest childhood friends first
went to an "adult" prison at age 17. (I think he was 17? Maybe he was 18,
but I clearly remember when this happened, and according to my calculation
he would have been 17). Anyway, he drew this sentence after several smaller
bits at Chicago's well known kiddie prisons (Charleytown, Audy Home & Monte
Fiore).

This kid was really smart, as were most of the guys I knew who ended up
doing time. I could never understand why my friends made the decisions that
they made, knowing full well where it was going to land them. They were
definitely cut from a different material than me, yet I always enjoyed their
company and still consider them among my very best friends because we shared
childhood together.

That ain't to say I want them crashing on my sofa...


Shut Up & Fish!
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ruth
2006-09-03 13:06:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
This kid was really smart, as were most of the guys I knew who ended up
doing time. I could never understand why my friends made the decisions that
they made, knowing full well where it was going to land them. They were
definitely cut from a different material than me, yet I always enjoyed their
company and still consider them among my very best friends because we shared
childhood together.
That ain't to say I want them crashing on my sofa...
Just make sure the count all the silverware before they leave.
--
susan
2006-09-03 17:31:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by ruth
Post by Zeke
This kid was really smart, as were most of the guys I knew who ended up
doing time. I could never understand why my friends made the decisions that
they made, knowing full well where it was going to land them. They were
definitely cut from a different material than me, yet I always enjoyed their
company and still consider them among my very best friends because we shared
childhood together.
That ain't to say I want them crashing on my sofa...
Just make sure the count all the silverware before they leave.
unless his name is Jean Valjean-then let him take as much as he wants.
Zeke
2006-09-03 18:19:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by ruth
Just make sure the count all the silverware before they leave.
Silverware? You East Coasters with your long family traditions crack me up!
No silverware in this house, babee, it's all stainless steel and none of it
matches. Still, a fork in the chest by any other name is stilla fork in the
chest.

Say Ruthie, you're an old hippie. I have no doubt you've received one or
tow of these "out of the blue" letters from some old hippie whom you knew
back in the day.... and now he wants to come visit "for a while."

This after 30 years of non-contact.

Well, it's kinda like that, only with guns and stuff....


Shut Up & Fish!
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ruth
2006-09-03 20:24:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by ruth
Just make sure the count all the silverware before they leave.
Silverware? You East Coasters with your long family traditions crack me up!
No silverware in this house, babee, it's all stainless steel and none of it
matches. Still, a fork in the chest by any other name is stilla fork in the
chest.
We don't have any silverware either. Or good china. And hey, my husband
was born and raised in Daly City and I met him at the Cliff House.
Geesh.
Post by Zeke
Say Ruthie, you're an old hippie. I have no doubt you've received one or
tow of these "out of the blue" letters from some old hippie whom you knew
back in the day.... and now he wants to come visit "for a while."
My husband got a call the other day from an ex -student ( who he can
barely remember) who was "down on his luck " and looking for a loan.
Weird. I got a lot of calls from people I hadn't heard from in ages when
we all turned 50. It's actually been a lot of fun reconnecting with
...well...about half of them.
--
Zeke
2006-09-03 22:57:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by ruth
We don't have any silverware either. Or good china. And hey, my husband
was born and raised in Daly City and I met him at the Cliff House.
Geesh.
Hey, I'm not the one who mentioned silverware... And ya gotta admit, the
East is much more into family heirlooms than the West.
Post by ruth
My husband got a call the other day from an ex -student ( who he can
barely remember) who was "down on his luck " and looking for a loan.
Weird. I got a lot of calls from people I hadn't heard from in ages when
we all turned 50. It's actually been a lot of fun reconnecting with
...well...about half of them.
Yea, about 10 years ago I got a letter from a guy I used to nuts around with
in my decadent years. We hadn't seen each other for more than a decade. He
was always a nice guy, but a drifter who lived inside his own head (big
schemes while living in poverty, never able to "stick" with anything).

Our kids were still kinda young and my wife and I decided that - as much as
we liked the guy - we weren't ready to absorb a never-ending visit from an
old friend who didn't have a pot to piss in. With sadness I ignored his
letter. I probably should have written to say "thanks but now's not a good
time," but instincts were telling me to leave it alone, and I think you
gotta listen to those instincts when you get them.


Shut Up & Fish!
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Joe
2006-09-04 03:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
That's why gang members don't fear prison in the ways that law abiding
citizens expect they would or should. They enter the system already
affiliated, thus already protected from random violence.
It's amazing, but many of the gangs don't hold much sway outside of
prison, but they serve their purposes inside. I recently had some
dealings with an Aryan Brotherhood Member in a Jersey prison, and later
in Illinois with the same guy. On the street he's just a weirdo with
Nazi tattoos and no real "brotherhood" to hang out with. In prison,
he's the man.....and nobody'll mess with him, cause there's plenty of
AB types surrounding him. The same goes with the Black Muslims. On the
outside they're pretty much a non-factor. Inside they do serve a
purpose. I guess one will do what has to be done to survive.
Zeke
2006-09-04 17:00:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe
It's amazing, but many of the gangs don't hold much sway outside of
prison, but they serve their purposes inside. I recently had some
dealings with an Aryan Brotherhood Member in a Jersey prison, and later
in Illinois with the same guy. On the street he's just a weirdo with
Nazi tattoos and no real "brotherhood" to hang out with. In prison,
he's the man.....and nobody'll mess with him, cause there's plenty of
AB types surrounding him. The same goes with the Black Muslims. On the
outside they're pretty much a non-factor. Inside they do serve a
purpose. I guess one will do what has to be done to survive.
Well, I think we're describing two different types of gangs here.

I could be wrong, but I believe the AB was formed in prison. Thus, they
are, first & foremost, a prison gang. Outside those prison walls they are
disorganized & ineffective. Black Muslims are different, yet suffer a
similar fate. Chicago & Oakland have the largest per capita numbers of
Black Muslims. Their ranks swell in prison, but on the outside not that
many have the committment & self-discipline required to stick with such a
strict and demanding program. (Nothing against that, I know I could never
stick with it either).

But the gangs I'm talking about are your traditional Chicago street gangs.
Many of the white street gangs (like the one the 1st Mayor Daley belonged to
as a kid) were formed at the turn of the century. Others were formed right
after WW II. These street gangs thrived throughout the 1950's, '60's &
'70's. By the '80's their numbers were in decline (as whites continued
fleeing the city). By the mid-'90's all of the older legacy white street
gangs were gone.

The black and Puerto Rican gangs were formed in the 1940's & 50's,
respectively. As Chicago's racial makeup changed these gangs didn't just
thrive, they grew exponentially. On the inside, these gangs control the
Illinois prison system. On the outside, they control entire sections of the
city (that tourists never see).

Philly may be different, but Chicago has always been a gang city. Every
neighborhood had its local gang (or gangs). The average tourist (and the
average Chicagoan living in a gentrified neighborhood) never sees this,
because they rarely venture into the neighborhoods where gangs are
prevalent. But the average citizen - especially public high school
students - has to take gangs into account in pretty much all of their daily
activities. They've always been there and will always be there. Well, at
least until the 2nd Mayor Daley decides he wants their land for a higher
purpose (something he's done quite effectively since taking office).

In fact, if kid Daley has his way... over the next 20-30 years Chicago will
become - by far - the safest large city on the planet. Non-industrial
businesses will pop-up everywhere, the school system will be fixed, and the
inner city will become a place where singles & law abiding families thrive.
This transition will happen because the entire criminal element is slowly
(but surely) being systematically moved to the suburbs.

And ya know, while a large part of me feels unease with this plan, another
large part of me looks forward to the day. What the heck, I've always hated
the suburbs anyway.

I think I'll buy my condo now. No joke, so no emoticon...


Shut Up & Fish!
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Joe
2006-09-04 17:16:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
And ya know, while a large part of me feels unease with this plan, another
large part of me looks forward to the day. What the heck, I've always hated
the suburbs anyway.
I think I'll buy my condo now. No joke, so no emoticon...
The demographics are interesting. Philly hasn't had an adult gang
problem (17 to 30) since the late 60's. The 70's and early 80's saw a
bad teenage gang problem, but that largely is a thing of the past.
There are no real actual gangs today in Philly. All the talk about the
Crips and Bloods aside. The biggest gang-breeding areas of the ghettos
have largely been taken over by development, Temple University and the
U of P being the main developers. Large tracts of former ghetto housing
have disappeared and along with them the gangs. Philly's a much more
integrated city than it ever was. Crime, including juvenile crime, is
not gang driven. Nor is it drug driven, though drugs are always a
factor.

I suspect you're right about the prison gangs. The AB guy had a huge
swastika tattooed on his forehead. He had it filled in each time he got
out of jail, telling me he didn't want to freak out everyone he met. He
then had it renewed each time he went back to jail.
susan
2006-09-04 17:38:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe
The demographics are interesting. Philly hasn't had an adult gang
problem (17 to 30) since the late 60's. The 70's and early 80's saw a
bad teenage gang problem, but that largely is a thing of the past.
There are no real actual gangs today in Philly. All the talk about the
Crips and Bloods aside.
That's pretty much the same thing that my sister (who has worked in the
juvenile corrections business in Cuyahoga Cty., for over 20 years) says
about Cleveland, which surprised me. Drugs, poverty, and severely
dysfunctional family life seem to be the things that land kids in her
oversite, most often.

susan
(it's hard to be a saint)
Joe
2006-09-04 17:41:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by susan
That's pretty much the same thing that my sister (who has worked in the
juvenile corrections business in Cuyahoga Cty., for over 20 years) says
about Cleveland, which surprised me. Drugs, poverty, and severely
dysfunctional family life seem to be the things that land kids in her
oversite, most often.
susan
(it's hard to be a saint)
Yeah, I agree with that. With special emphasis on the family...
Zeke
2006-09-04 17:40:54 UTC
Permalink
All the talk about the Crips and Bloods aside.
Crips, Bloods & MS-13 all tried starting up sets in Chicago. All 3 left
town with their tails between their legs. The Chi gangs don't allow no
interlopers.
The biggest gang-breeding areas of the ghettos
have largely been taken over by development, Temple University and the
U of P being the main developers. Large tracts of former ghetto housing
have disappeared and along with them the gangs.
But these familes have to be moving somewhere....

An while it's great for the city, there are facts that go along with it.
First: a lot of people are making a LOT of money on all this. Second: a lot
of families are being uprooted. Third: the city is losing its architectural
history (listed 3rd because it's the least important of the 3 - I guess?
Yet I know a lot of people who are very tired of seeing all the places they
knew as kids getting wiped out).
Philly's a much more integrated city than it ever was.
Crime, including juvenile crime, is not gang driven.
Nor is it drug driven, though drugs are always a factor.
Drugs should be legal. All drugs. Drugs are a public health issue. When
they are made into a criminal issue everyone suffers. It's sheer stupidity
to have drugs illegal. Then again, like development, there's a lot of money
being made.
I suspect you're right about the prison gangs. The AB guy had a huge
swastika tattooed on his forehead. He had it filled in each time he got
out of jail, telling me he didn't want to freak out everyone he met. He
then had it renewed each time he went back to jail.
Hah! What an idiot!

Shut Up & Fish!
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William Innes
2006-09-05 03:40:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
All the talk about the Crips and Bloods aside.
Crips, Bloods & MS-13 all tried starting up sets in Chicago. All 3 left
town with their tails between their legs. The Chi gangs don't allow no
interlopers.
Yet, the inverse doesn't seem to hold...a pretty good site (in fact, that
site also uses the MLB American/National League analogy to describe/define
People Nation/Folk Nation)
about gangs/prison gangs reports that the Latin Kings
have managed to spread out to states such as Arizona, California, Texas,
Puerto Rico, New York, Minnesota,
Massechussets, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Connecticut.
So, it doesn't sound as though they're exactly married to their city of
origin.

It also sounds as though the Crips and Bloods exactly left with their tails
between their legs.
Instead, it sounds as though an alliance of sorts was established by the
Crips with the Folk Nation, while the Bloods
enjoy an alliance with the People Nation. So, it sounds as though you're
pretty much talking the same gang...just going about
their business under something of a different flag (or bandanna) from what
they're used to wearing in Southern California.
Post by Zeke
Philly's a much more integrated city than it ever was.
Crime, including juvenile crime, is not gang driven.
Nor is it drug driven, though drugs are always a factor.
Drugs should be legal. All drugs. Drugs are a public health issue. When
they are made into a criminal issue everyone suffers. It's sheer
stupidity to have drugs illegal. Then again, like development, there's a
lot of money being made.
Damn, I'm glad to read this. Mercy, I remember when I posted these
sentiments, the ever astute Rev made it out as though I was about to sell
Black Tar Heroin to school children.
This country would be such a different place if such contraband was
legalized.
For starters, you'd probably eliminate a good chunk of crime...as well as
lethal drugs that are being hawked on the street. A very twisted and tragic
story appeared not to long ago
about a very potent...and highly dangerous...form of heroin that had made it
onto the street. The mortality rate of those who were using this form of
heroin was way higher than those
who used other forms. One would think that this would have scared folks
from it. Instead, it had the complete opposite effect...as soon as this
story hit the news, users were flocking
to the neighborhoods where this more potent (and lethal) form of H was being
sold...guess they were willing to take their chances for that ever-elusive
ultimate high.

And it kills me alive to think of what could be built...as well as the
actual education and meaningful/lasting reform/substance abuse
rehabilitation... resulting from the tax-revenue that
legally selling this stuff would bring about. It also seems as though it
would make life a lot safer for the potential victim of those who'd be
robbed/killed for drug money...as well as making
life safer for the user (who seems to be playing a game of Russian Roulette
each and every time he/she buys on the street).

If a vice is going to exist and isn't about to go away (and I think it's
safe to say that the drugs that are now illegal aren't about to disappear
anytime soon), then
it seems to be common sense to make it legal...something that's
regulated...and something that will serve as a great source of revenue to
bring about education, reform, rehabilitation...as well
as building a few new schools and hospitals.

Then again, as one very astute person pointed out to me...if such drugs were
made legal, then society would be without it's enemy and scapegoat on which
it can blame all of its ills...
The Left Rev. New Guy
2006-09-04 18:51:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by Joe
It's amazing, but many of the gangs don't hold much sway outside of
prison, but they serve their purposes inside. I recently had some
dealings with an Aryan Brotherhood Member in a Jersey prison, and later
in Illinois with the same guy. On the street he's just a weirdo with
Nazi tattoos and no real "brotherhood" to hang out with. In prison,
he's the man.....and nobody'll mess with him, cause there's plenty of
AB types surrounding him. The same goes with the Black Muslims. On the
outside they're pretty much a non-factor. Inside they do serve a
purpose. I guess one will do what has to be done to survive.
Well, I think we're describing two different types of gangs here.
I could be wrong, but I believe the AB was formed in prison. Thus, they
are, first & foremost, a prison gang. Outside those prison walls they are
disorganized & ineffective. Black Muslims are different, yet suffer a
similar fate. Chicago & Oakland have the largest per capita numbers of
Black Muslims. Their ranks swell in prison, but on the outside not that
many have the committment & self-discipline required to stick with such a
strict and demanding program. (Nothing against that, I know I could never
stick with it either).
But the gangs I'm talking about are your traditional Chicago street gangs.
Many of the white street gangs (like the one the 1st Mayor Daley belonged to
as a kid) were formed at the turn of the century. Others were formed right
after WW II. These street gangs thrived throughout the 1950's, '60's &
'70's. By the '80's their numbers were in decline (as whites continued
fleeing the city). By the mid-'90's all of the older legacy white street
gangs were gone.
The black and Puerto Rican gangs were formed in the 1940's & 50's,
respectively. As Chicago's racial makeup changed these gangs didn't just
thrive, they grew exponentially. On the inside, these gangs control the
Illinois prison system. On the outside, they control entire sections of the
city (that tourists never see).
Philly may be different, but Chicago has always been a gang city. Every
neighborhood had its local gang (or gangs). The average tourist (and the
average Chicagoan living in a gentrified neighborhood) never sees this,
because they rarely venture into the neighborhoods where gangs are
prevalent. But the average citizen - especially public high school
students - has to take gangs into account in pretty much all of their daily
activities. They've always been there and will always be there. Well, at
least until the 2nd Mayor Daley decides he wants their land for a higher
purpose (something he's done quite effectively since taking office).
In fact, if kid Daley has his way... over the next 20-30 years Chicago will
become - by far - the safest large city on the planet. Non-industrial
businesses will pop-up everywhere, the school system will be fixed, and the
inner city will become a place where singles & law abiding families thrive.
This transition will happen because the entire criminal element is slowly
(but surely) being systematically moved to the suburbs.
And ya know, while a large part of me feels unease with this plan, another
large part of me looks forward to the day. What the heck, I've always hated
the suburbs anyway.
I think I'll buy my condo now. No joke, so no emoticon...
What's that I read? The Baltimore cop in real life who first
tried Hamsterdam out became the mayor after a while? I think
you might be living "The Wire" in your head, Zeke ,old
buddy!
Zeke
2006-09-04 19:03:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Left Rev. New Guy
What's that I read? The Baltimore cop in real life who first
tried Hamsterdam out became the mayor after a while? I think
you might be living "The Wire" in your head, Zeke ,old
buddy!
Hey Los Altos Boi, let's see you say that after I take you on the tour.
Nonetheless, I do suspect that none of these patterns/trends are unique.
What happens in one place eventually happens in another. Ain't my problem
that the Chi was early to the party and all these other cities are just now
catching on.

Shut Up & Fish!
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The Left Rev. New Guy
2006-09-04 18:46:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
This kid was really smart, as were most of the guys I knew who ended up
doing time. I could never understand why my friends made the decisions that
they made, knowing full well where it was going to land them. They were
definitely cut from a different material than me, yet I always enjoyed their
company and still consider them among my very best friends because we shared
childhood together.
"Johnny Boy" comes to mind for some reason here...
Zeke
2006-09-04 18:58:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Left Rev. New Guy
"Johnny Boy" comes to mind for some reason here...
Yea, only not as cool or as stylish. And just like the John Lennon song
"Watching the Wheels Go 'Round," I just had to let him go...

Shut Up & Fish!
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The Left Rev. New Guy
2006-09-04 19:13:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by The Left Rev. New Guy
"Johnny Boy" comes to mind for some reason here...
Yea, only not as cool or as stylish. And just like the John Lennon song
"Watching the Wheels Go 'Round," I just had to let him go...
Just don't let me go, ya big lug, ya.
William Innes
2006-09-05 03:15:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
On another subject (something I know from life, not TV) I'd like to
Post by Greg Weber
For many offenders, the quality of their time inside depends on their
affiliations. Members of prison gangs generally do better time than
solos, members of powerful prison gangs do better time than other gang
members, etc.
That's why gang members don't fear prison in the ways that law abiding
citizens expect they would or should. They enter the system already
affiliated, thus already protected from random violence.
This affiliation thing started in Chicago, in the 1980's. The Chicago
gangs (of all races) were looking for ways to make their time easier and
more lucrative, so they divided into two camps (like MLB, where you have
the American & National Leagues). It didn't matter what race you were, if
your gang was a Folk gang you "rode Folk" in prison, and were
automatically protected by all the other Folk gangs. If your gang was a
People gang you "rode People" in prison, and were automatically protected
by all the other People gangs.
I presume that you're talking exclusively about prisons in Illinois when you
write about gang affiliation starting in the 1980s.
Because, as far back as 1966 the Black Guerilla Family had a pretty
prominent presence in San Quentin...the Aryan Brotherhood took root in that
same prison in 1967...the La Nuestra Family (or NF) originated in Soledad in
the mid sixties....the Mexican Mafia started up in correctional facilities
in the late
1950s...and the Texas Syndicate (apparently inmates from Texas felt as
though they were easy prey for many inmates) started up in the early 1970s
(as a response to a
lot of the other prison gangs that they felt were singling them out).

Now, I have heard that prison gangs particularly took off in the 1980s
(round about the time of the "War On Drugs"...which greatly increased the
numbers that made up the prison population, as well as the number of those
who were associated with prison gangs, as well as outside gangs whose
lifestyles/codes infiltrated their way into prisons)...but that seemed to be
a nationwide phenomena...and not exclusive just to one area's penal system.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've long had the impression that a lot of
gangs...and their related prison gangs...have more roots in California's
prison system than in Chicago's.
Zeke
2006-09-06 04:27:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Innes
I presume that you're talking exclusively about prisons in Illinois when
you write about gang affiliation starting in the 1980s.
Because, as far back as 1966 the Black Guerilla Family had a pretty
prominent presence in San Quentin...the Aryan Brotherhood took root in that
same prison in 1967...the La Nuestra Family (or NF) originated in Soledad
in the mid sixties....the Mexican Mafia started up in correctional
facilities in the late
1950s...and the Texas Syndicate (apparently inmates from Texas felt as
though they were easy prey for many inmates) started up in the early 1970s
(as a response to a
lot of the other prison gangs that they felt were singling them out).
Now, I have heard that prison gangs particularly took off in the 1980s
(round about the time of the "War On Drugs"...which greatly increased the
numbers that made up the prison population, as well as the number of those
who were associated with prison gangs, as well as outside gangs whose
lifestyles/codes infiltrated their way into prisons)...but that seemed to
be a nationwide phenomena...and not exclusive just to one area's penal
system.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've long had the impression that a lot of
gangs...and their related prison gangs...have more roots in California's
prison system than in Chicago's.
Billy, I think we're getting off-track here. Of course there have been
gangs in the prison systems of all 50 states since, well... since at least
the James Gang.

But I wasn't talking about gangs in prison. Nor was I talking about "prison
gangs" (those with a lesser presence in the real world, like Aryan
Brotherhood, for example). I was only responding to Fr. Greg's statement
that gang members entering prison nowadays are "protected." I mentioned
that's why they have no fear of prison.

I then took Greg's post a step further and explained the Folk & People
thing. I did that because that's where it all started. That was the
starting point when going to prison in Illinois became more predictable for
the average gang banger. And yes, I am strictly writing about Illinois
here. (Although from the information in your other post it appears the
concept of dividing 50-100 gangs into two major camps is catching on
elsewhere). Greg may know if the Folk & People thing has made it up to
Wisconsin?

In general, I tend to write about what I know. I know a lot about the
older, white, legacy gangs that dominated the Near NW side when I was a kid,
because I grew up with them. These gangs were a fact of life for any kid
who ran the streets at night, and I was certainly one of those.

If you wanted to stay safe in bad neighborhoods, you had to know something
about who claimed which corners, schoolyards & parks. It also helped to
know who their leaders were - or at least a few main members - so you could
drop names, if needed. And if you were friends with active members, well...
now you had something for talking them out of a beating, if they happened to
corner you (something that happens to everyone, eventually). Not that this
always worked. One of my best friends was feriously attacked & beaten by a
gang that his own cousin (same last name) was a senior member of. To
paraphrase Backstreets, he was hurt bad but not really dying. Thank God
this was 1967 and they used only their fists and combat boots.

The rules of engagement started changing in the 1960's; changed faster in
the 70's; and by the '80's had changed forever, not for better. The #1 rule
had always been: "no guns." White gangs fought with fists, feet, and crude
weapons, only rarely with firearms. But once race became the predominant
factor, then firearms became commonplace.

It doesn't matter who started the whole gun thing. These gangs are still
arguing about that today, some 40 years later! The only thing that mattered
was that the old rules were dead, and there were no new rules. By the
1980's there was a new generation of banger on the streets. These kids
didn't play sports very well, they couldn't fight very well, but they styled
cool clothes real good and they owned automatic weapons.

Fire bombings increased over time, too. I knew a kid in HS who's
girlfriend's home was firebombed, just because she was his GF (and because
she was white living in a black neighborhood). Half the house was destroyed
and the family chose to move, due to death threats. This was 1969. By 1978
it seemed like every white banger on the Near NW Side had had his house (or
GF's house) firebombed at least once.

Last night I started answering your other post - the longer one - but my
writing got away from me. Next thing I knew, I was bass fishing with a
friend in Chicago Forest Preserve ponds, a few days after having caught our
bait (crawdads) at the Humboldt Park lagoon. I'll try and resurrect that
sucker and make something useful out of it over the next few days.

In the meantime, as mentioned, I was not talking about gangs per se, nor
prison gangs, nor making any claims for Illinois having invented anything
above & beyond Folk & People. Hopefully, my explanation of Folk & People
made sense. I was hoping to show why today's gang banger hardly fears
prison at all. So if you mention jail to one of them, and they act like
jail is just another 4 letter word, well, they have good reason.

As far as Cali goes, I really don't know anything about the prison system
here, other than what I see on TV, and judging from what I see on TV I don't
want to know any more than I already know. I do know a guy who did some
time (Lompac) but I have never asked him about it and doubt that I ever
will.

Shut Up & Fish!
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William Innes
2006-09-07 03:40:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
I presume that you're talking exclusively about prisons in Illinois when
you write about gang affiliation starting in the 1980s.
Because, as far back as 1966 the Black Guerilla Family had a pretty
prominent presence in San Quentin...the Aryan Brotherhood took root in that
same prison in 1967...the La Nuestra Family (or NF) originated in Soledad
in the mid sixties....the Mexican Mafia started up in correctional
facilities in the late
1950s...and the Texas Syndicate (apparently inmates from Texas felt as
though they were easy prey for many inmates) started up in the early 1970s
(as a response to a
lot of the other prison gangs that they felt were singling them out).
Now, I have heard that prison gangs particularly took off in the 1980s
(round about the time of the "War On Drugs"...which greatly increased the
numbers that made up the prison population, as well as the number of those
who were associated with prison gangs, as well as outside gangs whose
lifestyles/codes infiltrated their way into prisons)...but that seemed to
be a nationwide phenomena...and not exclusive just to one area's penal
system.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've long had the impression that a lot of
gangs...and their related prison gangs...have more roots in California's
prison system than in Chicago's.
Billy, I think we're getting off-track here. Of course there have been
gangs in the prison systems of all 50 states since, well... since at least
the James Gang.
But I wasn't talking about gangs in prison. Nor was I talking about
"prison gangs" (those with a lesser presence in the real world, like Aryan
Brotherhood, for example). I was only responding to Fr. Greg's statement
that gang members entering prison nowadays are "protected." I mentioned
that's why they have no fear of prison.
I then took Greg's post a step further and explained the Folk & People
thing. I did that because that's where it all started. That was the
starting point when going to prison in Illinois became more predictable
for the average gang banger. And yes, I am strictly writing about
Illinois here. (Although from the information in your other post it
appears the concept of dividing 50-100 gangs into two major camps is
catching on elsewhere). Greg may know if the Folk & People thing has made
it up to Wisconsin?
Okay, I understand better now.
Truth be told, I actually did wonder if some of what you wrote may have
originated in Illinois.
It seems that damn near every other thing that I find enigmatic these days
seems to have roots in
Chicago, St. Louis or New Orleans (whether it's sublime or profane)...so, it
wouldn't have surprised me either way.
Post by Zeke
In general, I tend to write about what I know. I know a lot about the
older, white, legacy gangs that dominated the Near NW side when I was a
kid, because I grew up with them. These gangs were a fact of life for any
kid who ran the streets at night, and I was certainly one of those.
If you wanted to stay safe in bad neighborhoods, you had to know something
about who claimed which corners, schoolyards & parks. It also helped to
know who their leaders were - or at least a few main members - so you
could drop names, if needed. And if you were friends with active members,
well... now you had something for talking them out of a beating, if they
happened to corner you (something that happens to everyone, eventually).
Not that this always worked. One of my best friends was feriously
attacked & beaten by a gang that his own cousin (same last name) was a
senior member of. To paraphrase Backstreets, he was hurt bad but not
really dying. Thank God this was 1967 and they used only their fists and
combat boots.
The rules of engagement started changing in the 1960's; changed faster in
the 70's; and by the '80's had changed forever, not for better. The #1
rule had always been: "no guns." White gangs fought with fists, feet, and
crude weapons, only rarely with firearms. But once race became the
predominant factor, then firearms became commonplace.
It doesn't matter who started the whole gun thing. These gangs are still
arguing about that today, some 40 years later! The only thing that
mattered was that the old rules were dead, and there were no new rules.
By the 1980's there was a new generation of banger on the streets. These
kids didn't play sports very well, they couldn't fight very well, but they
styled cool clothes real good and they owned automatic weapons.
Fire bombings increased over time, too. I knew a kid in HS who's
girlfriend's home was firebombed, just because she was his GF (and because
she was white living in a black neighborhood). Half the house was
destroyed and the family chose to move, due to death threats. This was
1969. By 1978 it seemed like every white banger on the Near NW Side had
had his house (or GF's house) firebombed at least once.
That's a pretty interesting overview/history.
And, for sure, I can see how the rules of engagement changed by bringing
firearms into the picture.
Do you think that necessarily changed the core of gangland's mentality...or
do you think it just made its core
a bit more transparent?
While I can understand the need in some to enter into this life as a way of
survival, along with filling in other gaps in their lives,
the one thing that I've often resented about some of Springsteen's early
songs (as much as I may love 'em) is the way that
he romanticizes gangs.
Okay, so now you substitute "switchblade knives" with "gun"...but dead-end
still strikes me as dead-end.
That's one reason why I appreciated his writing "American Skin" (not that it
really had much to do with a gang-banger's life),
but at least the deadlier/cruder elements of the streets weren't made to
sound like a rougher version of ROMEO AND JULIET or WEST SIDE STORY.
Post by Zeke
Last night I started answering your other post - the longer one - but my
writing got away from me. Next thing I knew, I was bass fishing with a
friend in Chicago Forest Preserve ponds, a few days after having caught
our bait (crawdads) at the Humboldt Park lagoon. I'll try and resurrect
that sucker and make something useful out of it over the next few days.
Will look forward to it.
Post by Zeke
In the meantime, as mentioned, I was not talking about gangs per se, nor
prison gangs, nor making any claims for Illinois having invented anything
above & beyond Folk & People. Hopefully, my explanation of Folk & People
made sense. I was hoping to show why today's gang banger hardly fears
prison at all. So if you mention jail to one of them, and they act like
jail is just another 4 letter word, well, they have good reason.
As far as Cali goes, I really don't know anything about the prison system
here, other than what I see on TV, and judging from what I see on TV I
don't want to know any more than I already know. I do know a guy who did
some time (Lompac) but I have never asked him about it and doubt that I
ever will.
Wise call. Since Vallejo is often referred to as Parolee City, particularly
its downtown area, I've known a lot of guys and gals
who've done time. Some talk of it, most don't. I'm a bit suspect of those
who talk too openly about it....much in the same way as I am about
guys who talk loosely about their years in combat (it seems to me that those
who were in the roughest/most vile of arenas are usually have the tightest
lips when it
comes to telling what they went through).

Oddly enough, it's often the women who seem to be more open about it...and,
more often than not, I come across them
come the time of year when we hold our annual Parent-Teacher Conferences.
That they're grinding their teeth and smacking their lips (in other words,
wired for sound), might have something to do with their being loose-lipped
about the time they've served.
It also falls in line with the tendency of such parents to somehow try to
turn the conference into them telling their life stories (rather than focus
on their children, which is pretty much the reason such
conferences are pretty much intended). The prisons for women don't sound as
though they're any picnic in the park by any means (even they don't seem to
get nearly as much attention/press/coverage as
the male prisons manage to get). How true or fabricated are the tales these
women tell?? I wouldn't begin to guess....it's a tough call when dealing
with someone who already has a somewhat distorted
view of reality (on the other hand, folks on Speed often will tell their
deepest, darkest secrets when "in the moment"...and then cringe over what
they may have said come the next day when they come crashing down).

As is, though, where I grew up I lived a stone's throw from San Quentin and
the facility in Vacaville (which is where Manson was...and might still
be...contained).
I've known a lot of folks who work as correctional officers over the years,
since that seems to be a great source of employment for a lot of folks who
live where I live.
Sometimes when they talk of their jobs, it damn near sounds as though
they're every bit as much in jail as a lot of the inmates....the overall
sentiment that I get from them
is that they count the days until their retirements, with the hope that they
make it through the day/years they have left on the job unscathed and in one
piece.
If that's their take on prison...and, after their shift (even if their
shifts are often doubled due to demand/necessity) they're able to walk away
at the end of their working day...I'd be inclined
to think that there's a bit of bravado behind those who view jail as just
another four-letter word.
I know that there are those who are so accustomed to that system/lifestyle
that the thought of being out in the "free world" is often a scarier thought
to them than the thought
of routine/regime/consistency of prison-life. Myself, I think I'd pretty
much lose my will to live if I knew that the next 20 years (or, worse, all
the years of my life) were going to
be spent in small cell, surrounded by large towers and fences of barbed-wire
and a bunch of male brutes every which way I turn.
It amazes me that folks in those type of surroundings can hold onto any sort
of straw of hope or find any joy of life.
Then again, maybe it's all relative...and, when compared to where they were
before they got to prison, the difference isn't all that profound.
I dunno...
Zeke
2006-09-07 18:45:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Innes
It seems that damn near every other thing that I find enigmatic these days
seems to have roots in
Chicago, St. Louis or New Orleans (whether it's sublime or profane)...so,
it wouldn't have surprised me either way.
Sublime, profane or delicious. Ya know ice cream was invented in St. Louis
and nobody yet has figured out how something so simple could have such a
"hold" over so many people (especially me!).
Post by William Innes
That's a pretty interesting overview/history.
I'm not sure I was going for a history, I just start writing and the words
flow. Truth is, I could easily fill a 1,000 page book of what I remember
from growing up, all these details come bouncing back. And the saddest part
is, I've forgotten more than I remember.
Post by William Innes
Do you think that necessarily changed the core of gangland's
mentality...or do you think it just made its core a bit more transparent?
Definitely the first. A lot of these kids were in the wrong place at the
wrong time. They did what they had taken an oath to do. In other words, if
it's your night to hold the club gun and you end up in a situation where it
needs to be used, well, you started the night as a kid going to a party and
ended it as a murderer. Given a different neighborhood and different set of
circumstances, that same kid would have ended up a productive citizen. It
just wasn't in his cards.

That does not discount the horse sense of those, self included, who knew the
gangs but didn't join them. However, those kids, self included, came from
homes where the parents cared. My parents allowed me to run the streets.
That may be considered bad parenting in and of itself, but in fairness to
them, they were old & tired by the time I hit the floor (a late life
surprise). And they really had no clue what was going on out there. Yet
even while running I was always running with the knowledge of a loving,
caring home to go back to. Many of the kids in gangs felt safer out on the
streets then in their own homes.

The other thing: after I came of age the next generation had it a way worse.
Kids were attacked - and viciously - just for being white. How many times
can a kid take that before he chooses to join the only thing in place that
is there to protect him from such hatred? I sometimes wonder, had I been
running the same streets just a few years later, would I may have needed to
join a club just to have the kind of fun I wanted (and got) in my time?

Anyway... with the drug war and the dumbing down & coarsing up of our
culture, things have now spiraled so out of control that entire families
have lost their basic humanity over multiple generations. And there's
little anyone cares to DO about it. We keep turning our backs on the neon
wilderness, and in many cases tearing it down, but eventually (as Carl
Sandburg said): "the slums take their revenge."
Post by William Innes
While I can understand the need in some to enter into this life as a way
of survival, along with filling in other gaps in their lives,
the one thing that I've often resented about some of Springsteen's early
songs (as much as I may love 'em) is the way that
he romanticizes gangs.
Okay, so now you substitute "switchblade knives" with "gun"...but dead-end
still strikes me as dead-end.
That's one reason why I appreciated his writing "American Skin" (not that
it really had much to do with a gang-banger's life),
but at least the deadlier/cruder elements of the streets weren't made to
sound like a rougher version of ROMEO AND JULIET or WEST SIDE STORY.
Yea, well... I probably romanticize them in my own writings too. But ya
gotta go with the flow of whatever comes out. Writing & music provide a
romanticization of subjects that under different lights might not look so
pretty. Heck, if it weren't for writing & music love itself, striped of
pretense, might look more like stupidity.
Post by William Innes
Will look forward to it.
Don't know if I have the energy to attack it again. I'd like to, because
there were some interesting avenues taken, but other stuff is in the way.
I'm sure you know how it is when a post gets away from you. It starts
taking out line and soon you're not sure if you're playing it or it's
playing you? Anyway, I'll try to cut it down from "colossal" and get it to
actually make some sense.
Post by William Innes
Wise call. Since Vallejo is often referred to as Parolee City,
particularly its downtown area, I've known a lot of guys and gals
who've done time. Some talk of it, most don't. I'm a bit suspect of
those who talk too openly about it....much in the same way as I am about
guys who talk loosely about their years in combat (it seems to me that
those who were in the roughest/most vile of arenas are usually have the
tightest lips when it
comes to telling what they went through).
I would never ask about it, just out of respect. I figure if he wants to
talk about it he will, and if he doesn't he won't. The guy has made a life
for himself (and it wasn't a bit, it was serious
years) and is a solid person, so as far as I'm concerned that was then and
this is now.
Post by William Innes
Oddly enough, it's often the women who seem to be more open about
it...and, more often than not, I come across them
come the time of year when we hold our annual Parent-Teacher Conferences.
That they're grinding their teeth and smacking their lips (in other words,
wired for sound), might have something to do with their being loose-lipped
about the time they've served.
And it would be so much better if they had the freedom to take care of
themselves in the privacy of their own homes, without stigma. Simple human
dignity. Not being put in situations that jeopardize themselves & their
families. Would be nice too, if they were judged only on how well they
handled all the other stuff in their lives, yet could request and get help
(from people who are not overworked & underpaid) once THEY decided THEY were
ready.

This goes to a point: in your other post you mentioned the Latin Kings.
When we were kids bombing down Kedzie Avenue to Humboldt Park the Latin
Kings were two dozen scary looking guys on the corner of Spaulding & Beach.
By the time I was in 8th grade they were a couple hundred hanging at various
places in that same neighborhood. By the time I was in high school they
were maybe 500 guys and by the time I graduated high school they were maybe
2,000 at most. But over the decades they've used Spaulding & Beach as a
springboard to jump from state to state, and now they have what... 20,000
members?

THANK YOU WAR ON DRUGS!!!
Post by William Innes
to think that there's a bit of bravado behind those who view jail as just
another four-letter word.
I think that's a given.
Post by William Innes
I know that there are those who are so accustomed to that system/lifestyle
that the thought of being out in the "free world" is often a scarier
thought to them than the thought
of routine/regime/consistency of prison-life. Myself, I think I'd pretty
much lose my will to live if I knew that the next 20 years (or, worse, all
the years of my life) were going to
be spent in small cell, surrounded by large towers and fences of
barbed-wire and a bunch of male brutes every which way I turn.
It amazes me that folks in those type of surroundings can hold onto any
sort of straw of hope or find any joy of life.
Then again, maybe it's all relative...and, when compared to where they
were before they got to prison, the difference isn't all that profound.
I dunno...
Maybe the subject of this NG summed it up best:

Eight years in
Feels like you're gonna die
But you get used to anything
Sooner or later it just becomes your life.


Shut Up & Fish!
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
Kevin Schneider
2006-09-07 23:27:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
It seems that damn near every other thing that I find enigmatic these days
seems to have roots in
Chicago, St. Louis or New Orleans (whether it's sublime or profane)...so,
it wouldn't have surprised me either way.
Sublime, profane or delicious. Ya know ice cream was invented in St.
Louis and nobody yet has figured out how something so simple could have
such a "hold" over so many people (especially me!).
Plus Chicago-style pizza - abomination though it may be. I'll never buy
into your argument, Zeke.

St. Clarence
Never-say-die-when-it-comes-to-pizza, IL
William Innes
2006-09-08 00:44:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
Do you think that necessarily changed the core of gangland's
mentality...or do you think it just made its core a bit more transparent?
Definitely the first. A lot of these kids were in the wrong place at the
wrong time. They did what they had taken an oath to do. In other words,
if it's your night to hold the club gun and you end up in a situation
where it needs to be used, well, you started the night as a kid going to a
party and ended it as a murderer. Given a different neighborhood and
different set of circumstances, that same kid would have ended up a
productive citizen. It just wasn't in his cards.
That does not discount the horse sense of those, self included, who knew
the gangs but didn't join them. However, those kids, self included, came
from homes where the parents cared. My parents allowed me to run the
streets. That may be considered bad parenting in and of itself, but in
fairness to them, they were old & tired by the time I hit the floor (a
late life surprise). And they really had no clue what was going on out
there. Yet even while running I was always running with the knowledge of
a loving, caring home to go back to. Many of the kids in gangs felt safer
out on the streets then in their own homes.
Oh, I do know what you mean. I was the youngest of five boys...and the next
oldest was five years older than I was.
So, by the time I got to my teens, I pretty much could go where I wanted and
do what I wished.
And, when looking back, I'm glad to report that I made it through those
years alive (not every choice was a wise one).
But I never ever felt as though I was alienated from my home or my
family...and I think you hit on one of the key elements/tragedies of that
sort of lifestyle. Jiminy, I've got students these days who go into
conniptions at the thought of a two-week Winter Break or even a two month
Summer Break...that's
how much they hate the thought of going "home."
Post by Zeke
The other thing: after I came of age the next generation had it a way
worse. Kids were attacked - and viciously - just for being white. How
many times can a kid take that before he chooses to join the only thing in
place that is there to protect him from such hatred? I sometimes wonder,
had I been running the same streets just a few years later, would I may
have needed to join a club just to have the kind of fun I wanted (and got)
in my time?
We've had that going on time out of mind in Vallejo (well, at least since
the mid-sixties).
It used to be that keeping out of harm's way and melting in with a crowd
(along with keeping a clean nose) was
usually enough to ensure one's safety while in school (out on the streets
was/is a different story...so a lot of kids just opt to stay locked in their
rooms or
their house's dens when they get home). It's taken a strange turn during
this past decade, though.
The most harmless and keep-to-him/her self kid now can be a victim of some
pretty brutal violence...and their being chosen for such
acts seems to be as random as getting hit by a foul-ball at a baseball
game....no rhyme, no reason, no sense whatsoever for it.
In Vallejo, though, you have both extremes....groups melt together and look
like a miniature version of the United Nations, or else they
become so polarized that just about anyone from any ethnic background is
going to wind up getting beaten.
Post by Zeke
Anyway... with the drug war and the dumbing down & coarsing up of our
culture, things have now spiraled so out of control that entire families
have lost their basic humanity over multiple generations. And there's
little anyone cares to DO about it. We keep turning our backs on the neon
wilderness, and in many cases tearing it down, but eventually (as Carl
Sandburg said): "the slums take their revenge."
The war on drugs has got to be the biggest farce that's ever been sold to
Amercica.
And it very well might be the most glaring of hypocrisies to taint this
country.
Yeah, the slums do take their revenge...
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
While I can understand the need in some to enter into this life as a way
of survival, along with filling in other gaps in their lives,
the one thing that I've often resented about some of Springsteen's early
songs (as much as I may love 'em) is the way that
he romanticizes gangs.
Okay, so now you substitute "switchblade knives" with "gun"...but dead-end
still strikes me as dead-end.
That's one reason why I appreciated his writing "American Skin" (not that
it really had much to do with a gang-banger's life),
but at least the deadlier/cruder elements of the streets weren't made to
sound like a rougher version of ROMEO AND JULIET or WEST SIDE STORY.
Yea, well... I probably romanticize them in my own writings too. But ya
gotta go with the flow of whatever comes out. Writing & music provide a
romanticization of subjects that under different lights might not look so
pretty. Heck, if it weren't for writing & music love itself, striped of
pretense, might look more like stupidity.
Oh, hell, I think love often looks more like stupidity when the writing and
music get thrown into the mix (doesn't mean
I'm about to purge my music collection of Sinatra, Mathis or STATION TO
STATION).
With Springsteen, I never felt as though he really got a true feel for
it....fine of songs as they are, they seem to come from
someone on the outside looking in (and then filling in the blanks with
romantic imagery).
Tu-Pac, Easy E and Ice Cube he ain't....and the difference is pretty
profound.
If Springsteen still feels a sense of being a sage observer...never quite a
part of something (and I don't know if that feeling every completely goes
away)...then I think
he put those skills to much better (not to mention more realistic) use with
a song such as "American Skin"...where it paid off (from a songwriter's
point of view) to know
how it feels to never really belong or fit into any particular group or
society.
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
Will look forward to it.
Don't know if I have the energy to attack it again. I'd like to, because
there were some interesting avenues taken, but other stuff is in the way.
I'm sure you know how it is when a post gets away from you. It starts
taking out line and soon you're not sure if you're playing it or it's
playing you? Anyway, I'll try to cut it down from "colossal" and get it
to actually make some sense.
Well, if you get to it, then I'll look forward to reading it.
But, yeah, I know how those things can get away from a cat.
Hell, I don't ever mean to steer a thread off into another category...but
I'm bad when it comes to meandering off on tangents (and whoa is me once
my students discover this about me....suddenly the boring lesson on direct
objects becomes a half hour filled with what life was like growing up in
their hometown).
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
Wise call. Since Vallejo is often referred to as Parolee City,
particularly its downtown area, I've known a lot of guys and gals
who've done time. Some talk of it, most don't. I'm a bit suspect of
those who talk too openly about it....much in the same way as I am about
guys who talk loosely about their years in combat (it seems to me that
those who were in the roughest/most vile of arenas are usually have the
tightest lips when it
comes to telling what they went through).
I would never ask about it, just out of respect. I figure if he wants to
talk about it he will, and if he doesn't he won't. The guy has made a
life for himself (and it wasn't a bit, it was serious
years) and is a solid person, so as far as I'm concerned that was then and
this is now.
You know that. I know that. But, damn...you'd be surprised (then again,
maybe you wouldn't be)...at how many
people don't seem to know that. I've been out and about and have had to
keep my mouth from falling to the floor when I hear
someone ask what they were in for. It's often asked by well-meaning Mike
Stivic ("Meathead" from ALL IN THE FAMILY) types.
But, yeah, avoiding a person's yearly earnings, war experiences, employment
status, past marriages and whatever debt they paid to society aren't things
that I inquire about with people deserving of respect (which is just about
all people).
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
Oddly enough, it's often the women who seem to be more open about
it...and, more often than not, I come across them
come the time of year when we hold our annual Parent-Teacher Conferences.
That they're grinding their teeth and smacking their lips (in other words,
wired for sound), might have something to do with their being
loose-lipped
about the time they've served.
And it would be so much better if they had the freedom to take care of
themselves in the privacy of their own homes, without stigma. Simple
human dignity. Not being put in situations that jeopardize themselves &
their families. Would be nice too, if they were judged only on how well
they handled all the other stuff in their lives, yet could request and get
help (from people who are not overworked & underpaid) once THEY decided
THEY were ready.
Oh, yeah. Hey, every day at my work's door I see such women (as well as
men).
And I don't mean to belittle or trivialize the importance of what I strive
to do (essentially teach some academic and social skills that
can get children better ready to live in the big world)...but I can't buy
into the tsking that goes on by some of my colleagues from Marin County if
a parent doesn't make it to a Back to School Night or didn't see to it that
their child did their homework.
Hell, a lot of these folks are working two or more jobs...and feel as though
it's no small victory to keep a roof over their children's heads and food
in their children's bellies. And I wouldn't trivialize that for a
second...and can understand why the basic things needed to survive are going
to trump making
a friggin' California Mission out of sugar-cubes.
It goes without saying that the folks with whom I teach who come from Napa
or Marin County often have a more difficult time....both with students and
their parents...than
those who grew up in the city where I teach. And it was that way back when
my dad taught in that very same city nearly 50 years ago...
Post by Zeke
This goes to a point: in your other post you mentioned the Latin Kings.
When we were kids bombing down Kedzie Avenue to Humboldt Park the Latin
Kings were two dozen scary looking guys on the corner of Spaulding &
Beach. By the time I was in 8th grade they were a couple hundred hanging
at various places in that same neighborhood. By the time I was in high
school they were maybe 500 guys and by the time I graduated high school
they were maybe 2,000 at most. But over the decades they've used
Spaulding & Beach as a springboard to jump from state to state, and now
they have what... 20,000 members?
THANK YOU WAR ON DRUGS!!!
Any sane American should weep at the lost revenue, lost taxable income, lost
jobs that could pay into the Social Security System and the
wasted opportunities to expand health, reform, rehab and educational
facilities with the billions of dollars that are now lost in the abyss of a
black-market.
Post by Zeke
Post by William Innes
I know that there are those who are so accustomed to that
system/lifestyle
that the thought of being out in the "free world" is often a scarier
thought to them than the thought
of routine/regime/consistency of prison-life. Myself, I think I'd pretty
much lose my will to live if I knew that the next 20 years (or, worse, all
the years of my life) were going to
be spent in small cell, surrounded by large towers and fences of
barbed-wire and a bunch of male brutes every which way I turn.
It amazes me that folks in those type of surroundings can hold onto any
sort of straw of hope or find any joy of life.
Then again, maybe it's all relative...and, when compared to where they
were before they got to prison, the difference isn't all that profound.
I dunno...
Eight years in
Feels like you're gonna die
But you get used to anything
Sooner or later it just becomes your life.
I dunno....eight months would seem like an eternity to me.
Hell, eight days would.
Having spent weeks at a time in a hospital (where I really could tear out
the IVs, get dressed and pull a baseball cap over my head if I really
wanted)
were enough to have me crawling the walls, longing for the sight of an acre
of trees and to be in a place where there weren't the beeps of machinery or
the screams
that echo down the corridors all through the night. But then the body is so
low on energy, that you pretty much resign yourself to it.
Given that experience, my mind just kind of goes into a freeze when I think
of what life in prison might be like.
Not that I'd want to relive every moment of my years when I was in my teens
or my twenties or my thirties...but to spend those days of youth behind
bars...I'm pretty damn
sure I'd feel as though I was walking dead.

Greg Weber
2006-09-03 11:39:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bluetele
Post by gully
Before I worked in prison, I would have described myself as fairly
knowledgeable about these matters, but I really gotta tell you that
LOTS more sex goes on than you would estimate, even if you thought you
were being cynical.
gully
Well, Zeke wasn't talking about sex exactly. He was talking about the
public's perception that oither prisoners constantly rape child molesters
as a form of rough justice.
If we've got to talk about sex in prisons, can we please talk about Catholic
school girl prisons? Pretty please?
I'm working on uniform design. Will report alternatives.

--Fr. G.
Prefect of Discipline
St. Roger Moore Prison For Wayward Catholic Schoolgirls
Freehole, NJ (or closer to where Bluetele lives)
Kevin Schneider
2006-09-03 05:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
"Judge, we want this dirtbag to rot in prison as someone's girlfriend
Not to be redundant, but this is a fallacy. It's a comfort that makes
honest people feel better - more in control - but in the majority of cases
it does not reflect the jailhouse reality of most prisoners - and
especially most "at risk" prisoners - who are sometimes even sheltered
from the possibility of violence against them.
Good. That's what *should* happen. I try not to be a vengeful person. I
certainly believe that we, as a society, should try not to be vengeful as
well...
JimmyConway75
2006-09-04 03:03:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Weber
Post by JimmyConway75
<<< I don't see any saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't
think of any compelling reason to keep them alive. >>>
How 'bout the thought of them being violated endlessly in prison for the
rest of their days? Why you want to give them the easy way out is beyond
me.
Courts generally balk when you ask them to sentence offenders to a life on
the receiving end of forced sodomy and battery. And that's as it should be.
You can't use criminal victimization as a punishment and keep the system
legitimate. >>>
Apologies for having been so flippant about the violation remark.
Essentially, my position in re: to Joe's original remarks is that life in
prison without possibility of parole seems to me to be more punishment and
more of an ongoing hardship for the recipient of a sentence than a clinical
termination of life. Given that the original post seemed fixated on the
punishment side of things.
Joe
2006-09-04 03:14:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimmyConway75
Apologies for having been so flippant about the violation remark.
Essentially, my position in re: to Joe's original remarks is that life in
prison without possibility of parole seems to me to be more punishment and
more of an ongoing hardship for the recipient of a sentence than a clinical
termination of life. Given that the original post seemed fixated on the
punishment side of things.
For some offenses, only punishment is appropriate. Rehab is out of the
question. You cannot cure one who is sexually fixated on children and
ends up as a child killer. That's a given.
JimmyConway75
2006-09-04 15:24:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe
Post by JimmyConway75
Apologies for having been so flippant about the violation remark.
Essentially, my position in re: to Joe's original remarks is that life in
prison without possibility of parole seems to me to be more punishment and
more of an ongoing hardship for the recipient of a sentence than a clinical
termination of life. Given that the original post seemed fixated on the
punishment side of things.
For some offenses, only punishment is appropriate. Rehab is out of the
question. You cannot cure one who is sexually fixated on children and
ends up as a child killer. That's a given. >>>
Nice strawman, but I never suggested rehabilitation. I'm arguing for
incarceration, forever.
Zeke
2006-09-04 19:31:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimmyConway75
Essentially, my position in re: to Joe's original remarks is that life in
prison without possibility of parole seems to me to be more punishment and
more of an ongoing hardship for the recipient of a sentence than a
clinical termination of life.
As stated I'm against the death penalty.

But I also think this idea that "life in prison is more of a punishment than
death" is yet another comforting thing that law abiding citizens tell
themselves.

I could be wrong, but I think the truth is that most prisoners sentenced to
"life without parole" create a life for themselves. It's not a good life,
but it is a life. It is complete with a routine, some work, some reading
time, some TV time, some exercise time, and some camaraderie with their
fellow inmates. Like Bruce said in one of his best lyrics from the last 20
years: "8 years in, you get used to anything."

I'm not saying any of this is good or bad, I'm just saying it is.

If life in prison were a "punishment worse than death" we wouldn't see so
many death row inmates fighting their executions all the way up until the
very last day.


Shut Up & Fish!
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
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gully
2006-09-04 20:06:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
As stated I'm against the death penalty.
But I also think this idea that "life in prison is more of a punishment than
death" is yet another comforting thing that law abiding citizens tell
themselves.
I could be wrong, but I think the truth is that most prisoners sentenced to
"life without parole" create a life for themselves. It's not a good life,
but it is a life. It is complete with a routine, some work, some reading
time, some TV time, some exercise time, and some camaraderie with their
fellow inmates. Like Bruce said in one of his best lyrics from the last 20
years: "8 years in, you get used to anything."
I'm not saying any of this is good or bad, I'm just saying it is.
If life in prison were a "punishment worse than death" we wouldn't see so
many death row inmates fighting their executions all the way up until the
very last day.
Shut Up & Fish!
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
I don't disagree with a word of that; my experience dealing with
several people serving life sentences is pretty much in line with that.
One guy told me he basically taught himself to read, and became a
serious reader, during a multi-year stint in solitary confinement.
But I just want to emphasize, even if life without parole isn't really
as bad as being executed, that being 20 years old, knowing you'll never
ever get out, is pretty damn bad. They do seem to get into a pattern,
try to find things to occupy time, even improve themselves.
Before I started working in prison, I was opposed to the death penalty.
Now that I know lifers, I am almost opposed to life without parole.(
almost because I have no satisfactory response for victim's
families/friends) I just know that life wop is necessary or we would
execute a lot more people.
Hey, I don't want to act like my experience in prison makes me more
knowledgeable, or in any way superior to those who have posted on this
thread. My experiences will never compare to street cops, prosecutors,
etc. I just want to say that I have learned a lot that I never thought
I would in this "retirement" job.
gully
ruth
2006-09-04 23:15:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by gully
Post by Zeke
As stated I'm against the death penalty.
But I also think this idea that "life in prison is more of a punishment than
death" is yet another comforting thing that law abiding citizens tell
themselves.
I could be wrong, but I think the truth is that most prisoners sentenced to
"life without parole" create a life for themselves. It's not a good life,
but it is a life. It is complete with a routine, some work, some reading
time, some TV time, some exercise time, and some camaraderie with their
fellow inmates. Like Bruce said in one of his best lyrics from the last 20
years: "8 years in, you get used to anything."
I'm not saying any of this is good or bad, I'm just saying it is.
If life in prison were a "punishment worse than death" we wouldn't see so
many death row inmates fighting their executions all the way up until the
very last day.
Shut Up & Fish!
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
<*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>>< <*))))>><
I don't disagree with a word of that; my experience dealing with
several people serving life sentences is pretty much in line with that.
One guy told me he basically taught himself to read, and became a
serious reader, during a multi-year stint in solitary confinement.
But I just want to emphasize, even if life without parole isn't really
as bad as being executed, that being 20 years old, knowing you'll never
ever get out, is pretty damn bad.
In light of new information about brain development there is a good case
to be made for 20 year old people not being adult yet, as well.

Our policies will never catch up to science though. They never have.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=27&did=1000
--
William Innes
2006-09-05 03:57:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zeke
Post by JimmyConway75
Essentially, my position in re: to Joe's original remarks is that life in
prison without possibility of parole seems to me to be more punishment
and more of an ongoing hardship for the recipient of a sentence than a
clinical termination of life.
As stated I'm against the death penalty.
But I also think this idea that "life in prison is more of a punishment
than death" is yet another comforting thing that law abiding citizens tell
themselves.
I could be wrong, but I think the truth is that most prisoners sentenced
to "life without parole" create a life for themselves. It's not a good
life, but it is a life. It is complete with a routine, some work, some
reading time, some TV time, some exercise time, and some camaraderie with
their fellow inmates. Like Bruce said in one of his best lyrics from the
last 20 years: "8 years in, you get used to anything."
I'm not saying any of this is good or bad, I'm just saying it is.
If life in prison were a "punishment worse than death" we wouldn't see so
many death row inmates fighting their executions all the way up until the
very last day.
I wonder what the suicide rate is amongst prisoners...
I seem to recall reading once that the number of suicides is actually higher
for those in jails than for those in state/federal prisons.
That always struck me as a bit odd, if that is indeed correct.

Although I'm not about to join the well-meaning Catholic nuns who keep their
vigils before an execution...nor am I about to
join the likes of a crowd that stood outside of San Quentin holding "Save
Tookie" placards,one of the most compelling reason for the abolishment of
the Death Penalty in the USA comes from when I look at the listing of
countries who currently continue to practice it...as well as looking at
those countries who no longer practice it:
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777460.html

I dunno, knowing that we're in the same boat as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq,
Korea, Pakistan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Singapore, India, China,
Palestinian Authority, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Rwanda, Cuba and
Vietnam....well, that isn't exactly the sort of company with which I'd like
to share all that much common ground, particularly when it comes to a matter
as important as this.

Every country that was mentioned as being a part of the "Axis of Evil"
shares this very same practice with the USA....
f***@aol.com
2006-09-02 19:05:50 UTC
Permalink
<<< I wasn't so much talking about the photos found as I was about the
original act of kidnapping, abuse and probably murder. I don't see any
saving grace for anyone who would hurt a child. I can't think of any
compelling reason to keep them alive. >>>

I'm with you 100 percent on this, I misconstrued the post. Sorry.

To paraphrase Dennis Miller

"Pedophiles, child beaters, molesters, abusers are morally obligated,
for the betterment of humanity, to off themselves. Because anyone who
would hurt a child physically or psychologically, intentionally or
uncontrollably, for ANY reason, no longer has the potential to be an
asset to the human race and needs to just lean into the strike zone and
take one for the team."
Denise
2006-09-04 03:09:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by f***@aol.com
To paraphrase Dennis Miller
"Pedophiles, child beaters, molesters, abusers are morally obligated,
for the betterment of humanity, to off themselves. Because anyone who
would hurt a child physically or psychologically, intentionally or
uncontrollably, for ANY reason, no longer has the potential to be an
asset to the human race and needs to just lean into the strike zone and
take one for the team."
Can that include religious whackos who sell brainwashed children into
sexual slavery in the name of glorifying and enriching their nutcase
leader? ;-)
ruth
2006-09-04 12:13:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Denise
Post by f***@aol.com
To paraphrase Dennis Miller
"Pedophiles, child beaters, molesters, abusers are morally obligated,
for the betterment of humanity, to off themselves. Because anyone who
would hurt a child physically or psychologically, intentionally or
uncontrollably, for ANY reason, no longer has the potential to be an
asset to the human race and needs to just lean into the strike zone and
take one for the team."
Can that include religious whackos who sell brainwashed children into
sexual slavery in the name of glorifying and enriching their nutcase
leader? ;-)
I am amazed at this whole Warren whats his name thing out of UTah. I
guess the writers of BIG LOVE have the latest chapter of their story
being written for them. Can't wait till the fictionalized version
returns. What a weird country we have here. All these strange folks
everywhere.
--
Denise
2006-09-05 23:56:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by ruth
Post by Denise
Can that include religious whackos who sell brainwashed children into
sexual slavery in the name of glorifying and enriching their nutcase
leader? ;-)
I am amazed at this whole Warren whats his name thing out of UTah. I
guess the writers of BIG LOVE have the latest chapter of their story
being written for them. Can't wait till the fictionalized version
returns. What a weird country we have here. All these strange folks
everywhere.
--
Oh, he isn't the only one. I wonder if these folks got private school
vouchers ;-)
Updated:2006-09-05 14:55:59
Religious Leaders Charged With Molestation
By MARCUS KABEL
AP
WASHBURN, Mo. (Sept. 5) - Turning their backs on the isolated religious
commune in the rugged Ozarks where many had grown up, a group of
members fled with only the clothes on their back, trudging several
miles down a gravel road to the nearest phone to call friends or family
for help. A woman in the group soon told a sheriff's deputy horrific
stories of how the compound's leaders had molested girls as part of
religious ceremonies during which they were told their bodies were
being prepared for "service to God.''

That was the beginning of a child sex scandal that has ensnared five
leaders from two affiliated churches and cast a spotlight on a remote
corner of the Ozarks that has long been home to spiritual communes,
sheltered by deep oak woods, steep hills and a culture in which people
keep to themselves.

"It's a shock, a sickening kind of shock. It's not the kind of thing
you want to wake up in the morning and hear about,'' said Linda
Hopping, who lives a few miles from one of the backwoods churches but
said she had never heard of it before now.

The five defendants are accused of molesting five girls in all. More
alleged victims have come forward since charges were filed in
mid-August, and prosecutors said more people will probably be charged.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty. Their lawyers refused to
comment. One of those arrested, pastor George Otis Johnston, 63,
called it "angel kisses'' when he touched one girl sexually before and
after church services, the girl told investigators. Johnston also
allegedly told the girl that "he was ordained by God to fulfill her
needs as a woman.'' The abuse against that girl, prosecutors say,
started when she was 8 and lasted until she was 16.

The youngest of the alleged victims was 4 when the abuse started,
according to court papers. The molestation occurred as far back as the
late 1970s and as recently as last April, authorities said. Johnston
is charged with sodomy and child molestation. Also charged are
Johnson's nephew, the Rev. Raymond Lambert, 51; Lambert's wife, Patty
Lambert, 49; and her brothers Paul Epling, 53, and Tom Epling, 51.

Johnston's Grandview Valley Baptist Church North, whose members live on
a 10-acre leased property in Granby, is an offshoot of the older and
larger community led by Lambert, the Grand Valley Independent Baptist
Church. Much remains unknown about the two church communities, about
40 miles apart in Missouri's far southwestern corner.

"They keep up there to themselves,'' said farmer Hubert Maring, 80, who
lives in a small white house across from Grand Valley Independent.

Sheriff's investigators say the members pooled their paychecks and
property. Some worked on the farm, raising livestock or breeding
puppies for sale, while others worked outside the communes. The Grand
Valley compound is behind a gate on a 100-acre farm, where it was
founded in the 1970s. As many as 100 people lived there as recently as
May, investigators say. The number is now about 25.
Post by ruth
From the road, a rambling yellow house is visible on the hilltop, but
the rest of the acreage is hidden behind a ridge and trees. Ten
mailboxes stand at the gate, most of them with the last names Epling or
Lambert. One was labeled "Grand Valley Christian Academy,'' which
investigators said was where children from the group were homeschooled.
The smaller community in Granby houses about 35 to 45 people in around
10 trailer homes. Experts said communal-style religious groups are not
uncommon in the Ozarks, with at least half a dozen now in the area,
some of them fundamentalist Christian, Hindu or New Age.

"You don't find this in New York City, but you do find it in rural
areas - tight communities, very close communities. You do not tell
outsiders what's going on,'' said Gary Brock, professor of sociology at
Missouri State University in Springfield.

"When you are given a message by a religious leader, that sacred
component makes the message that much more severe. You should not go
against that wish because it's God's wish.''

The Grand Valley case broke in May when eight people walked away from
the compound and trudged to the nearest hamlet. One of them, a man in
his 30s, got a court order of protection a few days later to go back
with a sheriff's deputy and retrieve his paralyzed wife. It was on the
drive back out to the compound that a 27-year-old woman who had also
fled rode with sheriff's Deputy Mike LeSueur and described abuses at
compound. Members of the commune say they left after some kind of
dispute within the church, possibly over child abuse, LeSueur said.

"They decided to do the only thing they could. Since they had no money
of their own and no physical property of their own, because it all
belongs to the commune, they left,'' the deputy said. "They just walked
out on foot.''

Copyright 2006

And just when I think the tide is turning in the South, I learn today
that a Charlotte-Mecklenburg judge ordered a defendent to Christian
counseling as part of the disposition of a domestic violence case.
Running Jack Flash
2006-09-03 12:27:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe
Why? To kill mother fuckers who do this sort of thing to kids.....and
parents....
Any moral qualms, let me know, I'll gladly swing the axe...
Justice should be punitive, and where possible, rehabilitative. It should
never be vengeful. The death penalty is barbaric, and we should be
embarrassed by the company that we keep as far as other nations that use it.
f***@aol.com
2006-09-03 17:21:37 UTC
Permalink
<< Justice should be punitive, and where possible, rehabilitative. It
should
never be vengeful >>

I agree, largely, and yet, in case where a child ir hurt malisciously
or intentionally, and it's a no-doubt case of guilt, I believe the
right to live is forfeit.
Joe
2006-09-03 18:25:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Running Jack Flash
Justice should be punitive, and where possible, rehabilitative. It should
never be vengeful. The death penalty is barbaric, and we should be
embarrassed by the company that we keep as far as other nations that use it.
Well, the city of Paris recently named a street after a thug that
murdered a Philly cop in 1981. That's also pretty embarassing
company...

Then again, The Eric Rudolph Women's Health Clinic does have sort of a
nice ring to it....huh?
f***@aol.com
2006-09-04 03:50:50 UTC
Permalink
<< Well, the city of Paris recently named a street after a thug that
murdered a Philly cop in 1981. That's also pretty embarassing
company... >>

Yeah but odds are something wil eventually be named after our curretn
president, too. Same irony, different specifics.
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