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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Jerry Remy On His Son’s “Unforgivable” Crime

The trial date was set for the fall of 2014, but in May of that year, Jared decided to plead guilty to the charges against him. He told Phoebe that a trial would be a circus and that he didn’t want to put his family through that. He said, “I did this, this is my fault, this is my responsibility.”

He made his decision knowing that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He wasn’t looking for an out. No one was looking to get him out of anything. There was no out for anyone involved. We were just going through the legal process and dealing with everything that came with it. We were trying to deal with our grief as well as protect and do what was best for our grandchildren. What I do know is that it was a tragedy and, for our grandchildren, a terrible, life-altering event.

So, now, Jared spends his life in prison. We talk to him when he calls, we visit, write letters. His life has changed in the worst possible way. It’s just so hard, and it’s something our family has to deal with daily.

For Jen’s family, their daughter is gone. What do you say to them? There are no words. Jen was the sweetest, most loving person you could ever meet. She was a gem.

And our son is responsible for taking her life. That’s not an easy thing to accept. It’s the guilt that’s consuming. We will live with this tragedy for the rest of our lives. You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy. It’s absolutely horrible.

The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:58 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sadness

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5860979)
No one was looking to get him out of anything.


Weren't there rumors that Jerry Remy had used his money and clout to get Jared out of trouble in the past? Can any Boston people confirm or deny?

This does seem like a situation where the younger Remy might have benefited from some consequences earlier in life...
   2. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5860997)
i'd heard them, yeah
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5860999)
This does seem like a situation where the younger Remy might have benefited from some consequences earlier in life...

Definitely agree with this.

No crime is unforgivable, from a moral perspective, if the criminal is truly repentant, but being forgiven doesn't mean he shouldn't spend the rest of his life in jail.
   4. . . . . . . Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5861006)
He was awful and obviously dangerous for years beforehand and Remy covered up for him over and over. Blood is on his hands too. Gross.
   5. Davo Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5861009)
We should demand an apology from Jerry, and then refuse to accept it!
   6. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5861011)
Who knows, but just perusing the wiki page (man... when you get a wikipedia page that simply identifies you as an "American criminal"?) -- and then clicking through some of the citations.... it seems a bit more murky.

At least, a lot less "just write the lawyer a fat check". I.e., it appears that on three occasions, it was actually his parents who alerted the police - including once in HS when they feared he was stalking an ex-GF. They placed him in a special needs school. During one of his many bouts with violence and the court system - the conditions of his parole was that he live with his parents (looks like he was 22 at the time). He appears to have spent most of his pre-murder life in counseling - there is a reference to his refusal to take anti-psychotic medication. His dad obviously got him a job with his employer.

What do I know - reading a bit about it doesn't give anyone near a full picture, but it just doesn't sound like a case of absentee parents who basically bought his way out and just hoped the problem would go away. It sounds like the case of a man with extreme mental problems, parents who at least sound like they very much did try (and sure, probably must have engaged in at least some wishful thinking - I doubt that is unusual for any parent).

In short, this really doesn't sound like a case of "they should have spanked him more" to me... and reading the litany of incidents and the repercussions, I'm not even sure different consequences would have helped him. Of course - different consequences (i.e., prison) might have saved some people some physical trauma and kept the young lady alive, so I might concur that different consequences might have benefited other people (and one person in particular immensely).

But the short read to me just doesn't sound like it was quite so simple... readily admit/reiterate - I could be way off base.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5861013)

This does seem like a situation where the younger Remy might have benefited from some consequences earlier in life...

Seriously. Just read Jared Remy's Wikipedia entry.
   8. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5861016)
I was somehow unaware of this whole thing and thought the headline was just some tongue-in-cheek allusion to the son being a Yankees fan or something.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5861026)
Seriously. Just read Jared Remy's Wikipedia entry.

This guy should have been given 10 years in prison about 15 years before he killed the woman (2013).

In 1999 he hit a guy over the head with a beer bottle while still on probation for domestic violence assault. He got zero jail time.
   10. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5861027)
No crime is unforgivable, from a moral perspective,
Jeffrey Maier says hi.
   11. Blastin Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5861041)
Reminds me of that Princeton guy who murdered his hedge fund dad over money (one of two eventual murderers I met in college...). If you have that much money, and you have influence over him, you have to send him to treatment the first time he acts out, and cut them off if they refuse.

I imagine it's terribly challenging. As I've mentioned before, my uncle spent most of my life in prison for a serious crime, and we try to help him now that he's out. But of course, he served his time.
   12. . . . . . . Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5861045)
Jerry Remy has three children. All three are convicted felons for violent crimes.

Maybe he’s just unlucky.

For what it’s worth I lived in Waltham at the time this happened and I had been told by a bartender at a local spot that Remy’s kid was going to end up doing something awful. This was truly common knowledge.
   13. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5861048)
8--Agreed on not knowing. This story is awful.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5861072)
(one of two eventual murderers I met in college...)


Who was the other one?
   15. . . . . . . Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5861074)
I imagine it's terribly challenging. As I've mentioned before, my uncle spent most of my life in prison for a serious crime, and we try to help him now that he's out. But of course, he served his time.


I have family that have committed crimes. We help them. But it is very different to stand by a family member who has done bad things compared to helping them stay enabled to do more bad things.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5861086)
This Boston Globe story about the entire Remy saga is crazy damning. I'm not sure what it says about the parents — maybe nothing — but it says nothing good about our criminal justice system.
   17. The Duke Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5861088)
This is a tough crowd. He was a basket case from Day 1. Born with a defective set of genes. All you can do at some point is hope they don’t kill or maim someone which unfortunately happened here (twice or more ).

These are the types that do all our mass shootings as well and no one has figured out how to stop it before it happens. My parents say that these folks were all in institutions in their childhood but that at some point we decided to stop doing that and here we are.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:57 PM (#5861131)
#17, I think you have to look at some of the specifics and not just make generalizations:

According to the docket at Waltham District Court, Martel obtained an emergency restraining order against Remy at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, which remained in effect until Wednesday when the courthouse opened.

But she did not appear in court Wednesday, and the restraining order expired.

“Because Ms. Martel elected not to extend the restraining order and did not come to court on Wednesday morning’’ Remy was released, McGovern said.

Patty Martel said her daughter did not press to renew the restraining order at the request of the Remy family. Jennifer had spoken to Remy’s mother, who begged her not to file any kind of complaint because it would ruin Remy’s life; she also told Jennifer they would protect her, Patty Martel said.

Jared Remy killed her the next day.

Now, (1) Jerry Remy disputes the account that his family discouraged Martel from extending the restraining order, (2) It's not like Jared cared about court orders anyway, and (3) the state still could have kept him locked up without Martel appearing in court. But it does raise the question of whether the Remy family did "all [they] could do" to protect her and others.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5861133)
This is a tough crowd. He was a basket case from Day 1. Born with a defective set of genes. All you can do at some point is hope they don’t kill or maim someone which unfortunately happened here (twice or more ).

These are the types that do all our mass shootings as well and no one has figured out how to stop it before it happens. My parents say that these folks were all in institutions in their childhood but that at some point we decided to stop doing that and here we are.


Well, what you can do when he commits a serious crime, and you know he's guilty, is not spring for a fancy lawyer for him, not give testimony on his behalf, etc.
   20. Lassus Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5861140)
It's hard to know what you'd do in such a situation. I'm reasonably sure I would do everything in my power to stop my brother, father, sister, etc., if they were a danger to others. Of course, it's never come up, so I have no REAL idea.

At the same time, I don't think everyone has that ability with family and crime. I mean, I KNOW almost no one does.
   21. . . . . . . Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5861142)
This is a tough crowd. He was a basket case from Day 1. Born with a defective set of genes. All you can do at some point is hope they don’t kill or maim someone which unfortunately happened here (twice or more ).


What about his two siblings who are also violent felons?
   22. Blastin Posted: July 11, 2019 at 08:03 PM (#5861149)
Who was the other one?


Matthew Priset, a good friend freshman year (though not after) who, sadly, just had a slow mental breakdown and stabbed a guy in a delusion. In jail forever now.
   23. Blastin Posted: July 11, 2019 at 08:04 PM (#5861150)
not give testimony on his behalf, etc.


I think you testify to say your relative is sick and needs help in an institution rather than trying to spring him. But it's hard.


I guess that's more for sentencing though.
   24. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: July 11, 2019 at 08:36 PM (#5861155)
What about his two siblings who are also violent felons?


Life is much more difficult for most than you've ever seemed able to grasp.

My father is the only of 5 children in his family to not end up a drug-addled mess or worse. His parents weren't terrible people. They loved their children, doted on them and provided them with a safe, upper-class existence. But his mother was constantly depressed, and his father had plenty of issues of his own, and they passed down their damaged genes and behaviors to the kids.

I have no idea how good a father Remy was. My guess is that "not great" is probably the safer bet, but neither of us knows what went on in their home.

And regardless of how good or bad a parent Remy was or how his attempts to help his son may have actually made things worse, what's your point? That the feelings of sadness he's sharing are insincere? Or that because he handled the situation poorly, he's not allowed to express these thoughts?

Try just a shred of empathy.
   25. sinicalypse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5861159)
Having read the Globe article (only one free one left!) I'm not gonna blame Jerry Remy but I am gonna say that Jared Remy got way more chances than most because he was Jared Remy. At one point it even got in a police report that he was shrugging off consequences as "just another year of probation" so when you combine that mentality with two times where he basically got arrested again after leaving court (once for threatening a gf with a restraining order and once for tipping off a cop who observed him screaming in his cellphone on the way out of court) --- yeah, the system failed both this dude and us.

Jerry probably legit feels like sh*t over this and, uhhhh, rightfully so? I can't fault the guy for using his $$$RESOURCES$$$ for getting his kid out of trouble time and time again, but it ultimately helped lead to this outcome so yeah he should feel like sh*t!
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5861171)
I've never taken the time to read Jared's wiki page; holy cow. You hear psychologists and people in law enforcement talk about how criminals graduate from minor to major crimes and possible homicide and this looks like a classic case of that. This guy was horrible to pretty much ever partner and roommate he ever had with an increasing level of violence.
I would have to suggest after the many incidents in 2003 through 2005 that your average Joe criminal(most likely poor, uneducated, no rich/well known parents) would have seen some serious time by then(maybe 5-7 years) and Martell would still be with us today.

As a parent of 5 of my own kids and 3 stepkids I can't even imagine what it's like to have a kid that horrible or has done such awful things. As noted above, maybe some people are just born messed up. But man, it is hard to imagine that no amount of early intervention could have helped with this, just unreal stuff.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5861185)
I think you testify to say your relative is sick and needs help in an institution rather than trying to spring him. But it's hard.

I guess that's more for sentencing though.


If that's actually true, sure. But not every criminal has mental issues. Some are just evil SOBs.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5861187)
As a parent of 5 of my own kids and 3 stepkids I can't even imagine what it's like to have a kid that horrible or has done such awful things. As noted above, maybe some people are just born messed up. But man, it is hard to imagine that no amount of early intervention could have helped with this, just unreal stuff.

It may be hard to imagine, but I think it's true. Some people are just bad; innate sociopaths who do what they want and don't care about anyone, or anything.

On the other hand, there are some "super people" who thrive and become wonderful, productive people, no matter how shitty their upbringing. So, different sides of the same coin. Sometimes genes are destiny.
   29. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 11:10 PM (#5861198)
I know of at least a dozen convicted felons from my HS class of about 300 kids ('94). Ten of these 12 were not surprises at all. A couple in particular were just absolutely nasty dudes. Heck I was in the DAs office to see 3 of them come through our courts on their way to prison. Meth dealing, armed robbery, financial fraud scams, Substantial battery, car thefts, stealing firearms, one dude had a shootout with the police before offing himself, another had a zillion game and fishing violations which culminated in reckless use of a firearm (he was drunk). He was that 'guy' who was most likely to shoot up something during a hunting trip since 8th grade. This is a pretty ordinary semi-rural, mostly suburban high school, wide swatch of lower-middle, to upper middle class white kids. There are a lot of bad dudes everywhere.
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: July 11, 2019 at 11:16 PM (#5861201)
reminds me of Bruce Springsteen's brutal masterpiece "Nebraska"

I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska with a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done
At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor head back
You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world.

   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:00 AM (#5861214)
I’ve been reading Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated”, the past few days and it’s amazing how similar Jared Remy sounds to her brother Shawn, who at various times is her pal, tormentor, and protector. The jealous, controlling, abusive behavior towards girlfriends (and towards his sister), the bullying behavior towards other men, etc. But in the book, her brother is also capable of acts of true decency and generosity, and you can see how she rationalized or made excuses for his abuse until she got older and saw it for what it really was. Ultimately, few people are uniformly terrible, and I can understand the human instinct to try to see the good especially when it’s a family member.

Now, Westover was only a teenager when this was happening, and she and her brother were being raised in rural Idaho by a mentally ill father who refused to send them to school, and her brother had sustained serious head injuries working on construction sites. The Remys didn’t have those “excuses”. But I can still feel some empathy for them.
   32. Perry Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:04 AM (#5861215)
reminds me of Bruce Springsteen's brutal masterpiece "Nebraska"


Which is based on the true story of a guy named Charlie Starkweather. Also the basis for Terrence Malick's movie "Badlands", with Martin Sheen as the killer.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:11 AM (#5861216)
On the other hand, there are some "super people" who thrive and become wonderful, productive people, no matter how shitty their upbringing. So, different sides of the same coin. Sometimes genes are destiny.

There are also people who commit terrible acts but are able to reform/redeem themselves. Shon Hopwood’s case is an example.
   34. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:22 AM (#5861218)
   35. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5861229)

I know of at least a dozen convicted felons from my HS class of about 300 kids ('94).
Where the hell did you go to high school, Riker's Island?
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5861231)
There are also people who commit terrible acts but are able to reform/redeem themselves. Shon Hopwood’s case is an example.

Sure, but redeeming yourself after you've served your time is a lot different than skating without punishment b/c people make excuses for you, or you have a rich family/great lawyer.

People don't tend to reform themselves until they 1) face consequences for their actions, and 2) admit they did wrong, and want to change.

As a society, we can't do anything about 2), but we can make sure of 1), when they get caught.

I also think there's a huge difference between economically motivated crimes, and repeat violent and sexual offenders. You can logically get through to someone that's there's a better way to live than stealing cars or dealing drugs. I don't know how you get through to people who get off on beating people up, raping, abusing children, etc. That's a much deeper change of heart needed.
   37. Blastin Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5861251)
innate sociopaths who do what they want and don't care about anyone, or anything.


I also have been thinking about the difference between a psychopath who lacks empathy and a sadist. Obviously one can be both.

But there are people who lack empathy - born without it - who don't really get off on causing pain and just go about their lives without making many connections and not caring much about it, or other people. I do wonder if the sadism, the desire to cause repeated pain, is always born or always learned/environmental/reaction to trauma. This is aside from a mental breakdown.

I tend to think that anyone who is lashing out as a reaction to mistreatment should be treated (even if locked up as punishment) and has the chance to be rehabilitated. I think the vanishingly small group of people who both lack empathy and get off on hurting others with no identifiable cause - and there are just not that many of these people - yeah, no hope there.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5861259)
I think the vanishingly small group of people who both lack empathy and get off on hurting others with no identifiable cause - and there are just not that many of these people - yeah, no hope there.

They're small in number, but make up a decent percentage of really serious crimes. You're pretty much talking all serial killers, rapists, and child molesters.
   39. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5861264)
These are the types that do all our mass shootings as well and no one has figured out how to stop it before it happens. My parents say that these folks were all in institutions in their childhood but that at some point we decided to stop doing that and here we are.

I think this is an over generalization. Especially the "no one has figured out" part. We don't know the denominator. We don't know how to stop every shooting, certainly. But how many people are out there who would be 95% sure to shoot up a school without any intervention? How many of those get into programs, get counseling, get on medication, etc. and never shoot up a school? Maybe we're preventing hundreds of school shootings every year and only not preventing 5.
   40. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5861269)
As a society, we can't do anything about 2), but we can make sure of 1), when they get caught.

I see a parallel to drunk driving. I don't know if more jail time is the answer or something else, but we need to do something. Earlier this year in Chicago there was a State Trooper who was killed by a driver who was going the wrong way on the interstate. According to the linked article the driver

did receive more than 70 tickets and "suspensions," and he was stopped by police dozens of times, repeatedly cited for driving without a license, according to the news report.

Davies was also arrested twice for drunk driving, which in addition to the suspensions would have made it even harder for him to obtain a driver's license. Since his first citation for driving without a license in 1996, records NBC Chicago obtained show Davies' had received 71 tickets during 25 traffic stops, and that he was also charged in 22 other criminal cases, including domestic battery, battery on a police officer, assault, drug possession, and drug dealing. Davies was found guilty in seven of those cases, but served only 53 days in jail.


The state seems to have said basically, "We took away his license, what else can we do?" But just taking the driving and setting aside the other criminal convictions, this is a guy who has been stopped 25 times and ticketed 71 times for driving without a license. And two DUI arrests. He clearly didn't care about the penalties and was going to keep driving anyway. And then he killed a state trooper.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5861273)
I'm more bothered by the people that will scam or abuse others without compunction. For every true psychopath there must be a thousand people that will lie and steal and otherwise take advantage of strangers, not because they truly lack the capacity for empathy but just because they don't give a ####. These people are the real scourge on our society, whether it's a shady smalltime lawyer, a kid stealing from an empty house, a guy selling bogus goods on Canal Street, a programmer designing malware advertising, or pharma CEOs agreeing to raise the price on insulin. There are thousands and thousands of people in our country, this very day, dedicating their working hours to scamming the elderly. What the ####? Just imagine how idyllic society might be if there wasn't all this bullshit.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5861275)
I see a parallel to drunk driving. I don't know if more jail time is the answer or something else, but we need to do something. Earlier this year in Chicago there was a State Trooper who was killed by a driver who was going the wrong way on the interstate. According to the linked article the driver

The state seems to have said basically, "We took away his license, what else can we do?" But just taking the driving and setting aside the other criminal convictions, this is a guy who has been stopped 25 times and ticketed 71 times for driving without a license. And two DUI arrests. He clearly didn't care about the penalties and was going to keep driving anyway. And then he killed a state trooper.


The other parallel with drunk driving is that it's the most egregious offenders that cause 90% of the serious harm. The large majority of fatal DWIs are caused by hard core recidivists, with BACs hugely above the legal limit. It's not the guy or gal who had the third drink when they shouldn't have, with a .1 BAC that's killing people. It's guys like you describe who have multiple arrests and have BACs in the .2+ range.
   43. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5861295)
Ultimately, society probably needs to pick a lane...

Or at least, stop pretending that "consequences" means "rehabilitation" when it really means "punishment" if not "vengeance".

I wish that at least we'd be honest and adopt a less corrosive (and less likely to ultimately lead to rehabilitation) stance on 'crime and punishment' - and just purely view it as a matter of isolating people who cause harm to other people until/if they can cease causing such harm.

It's not that I don't get the emotion - "this person did something terrible to someone so now he should suffer the 'consequences'".... but I think (hope?) everyone would agree that if cost weren't a factor and if this idea of vengeance as justice would be set aside, we probably could significantly reduce recidivism and even crime itself.

Sure, you still have the psychopaths who lack empathy, etc... but if you turned prisons less into "adult timeouts and it's supposed to be bad/punishment!" and more into say, educational/addiction treatment/psychological institutions with locked doors... does anyone really disagree we'd see a lot more actual rehabilitation?
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5861304)
Or at least, stop pretending that "consequences" means "rehabilitation" when it really means "punishment" if not "vengeance".

It's always meant punishment. It's the justice system, which means giving justice to victims, so they or their relatives/friends forego private vengeance. Rehabilitation, and deterrence are both secondary effects of the primary function.

I'd go so far as to say any motive for incarceration beyond punishment for the actual crime done, is immoral. Giving life sentences to first time drug offenders, or DWIs, "pour encourager les autres" would be completely wrong.
   45. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5861315)
Ultimately, society probably needs to pick a lane...


Dammit man, do you know who shows up when you look in a mirror and say that three times?!?!?!?!?
   46. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5861319)
It's always meant punishment. It's the justice system, which means giving justice to victims, so they or their relatives/friends forego private vengeance. Rehabilitation, and deterrence are both secondary effects of the primary function.


That makes the argument worse not better - to prevent vigilantism, we "fix" the problem by making the government the proxy?

I cannot state how strongly I disagree with that.

   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5861324)
That makes the argument worse not better - to prevent vigilantism, we "fix" the problem by making the government the proxy?

I cannot state how strongly I disagree with that.


Like it or not, that's the origin of the criminal justice system. The state punishes the wrongdoer on behalf of the people. It's also true that if the state fails in meting out what the people consider to be justice, vigilantism will return.

What's your argument against punishment that fits the severity of the crime? It is basic justice. You do a severe harm, you suffer a severe punishment. You do a minor harm, you suffer a minor punishment.

What other system could possibly withstand moral scrutiny?

   48. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5861328)
talking all serial killers, rapists, and child molesters.

leave Steve Garvey out of this
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5861330)
It's also true that if the state fails in meting out what the people consider to be justice, vigilantism will return.
You mean like how when Wall Street's misbehavior plunges the economy into a downward spiral and wipes out people's jobs and savings, and the state fails to act, we drag bankers from their houses and beat them in the streets?
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5861333)
You mean like how when Wall Street's misbehavior plunges the economy into a downward spiral and wipes out people's jobs and savings, and the state fails to act, we drag bankers from their houses and beat them in the streets?

People take the murder or rape of their loved ones a lot more seriously than a downturn in their 401(k).

But, I wouldn't oppose the beating of some bankers, as long as you get the right ones. That's the fundamental problem with vigilantism, and mob justice, they pretty regularly get the wrong people.
   51. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5861335)
Like it or not, that's the origin of the criminal justice system. The state punishes the wrongdoer on behalf of the people. It's also true that if the state fails in meting out what the people consider to be justice, vigilantism will return.


And the origins of polygamy were crude attempts to speed up the population growth of the tribe... the origins of monarchical governance was divine right silliness about bloodlines....

Everything had an origin. Many of those things that had a "logical" origin, we recognize as stupid and/or immoral.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5861337)
Everything had an origin. Many of those things that had a "logical" origin, we recognize as stupid and/or immoral.
"Well, somebody's gotta pick this here cotton."
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5861340)
And the origins of polygamy were crude attempts to speed up the population growth of the tribe... the origins of monarchical governance was divine right silliness about bloodlines....

Everything had an origin. Many of those things that had a "logical" origin, we recognize as stupid and/or immoral.


But this one is neither stupid, nor immoral. Punishment = justice for the victims is logical, sensible, and highly moral. No other system works.

Rehabilitation only makes sense if the person deserves punishment for their act. We don't "rehabilitate" people from good or neutral behavior.

Incarceration for the safety of society, or deterrence turns the prisoner into an object being used to atone for the crimes of others. You could justify life imprisonment for habitual car thieves, or execution for first time drug offenders based on deterrence and safety, but that would be deeply immoral.

Rehabilitation, deterrence, and crime prevention are all perfectly fine secondary effects of punishment, but if the person doesn't deserve the punishment in the first place for his specific crime, they can't be used to justify the punishment.
   54. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5861343)
Ugh. These are the worst kind of hijacks.

What's your argument against punishment that fits the severity of the crime? It is basic justice. You do a severe harm, you suffer a severe punishment. You do a minor harm, you suffer a minor punishment.

What other system could possibly withstand moral scrutiny?


There's no real moral basis for making the punishment severe enough to "fit" the crime. What is the point of it, other than to make the victims feel better (which, tbh, I'm not sure that it does).

The goals of the justice system should be deterrence, protection of the public, and rehabilitation. Those are all very moral aims and a criminal justice system that achieved those things would be better than one which also mindlessly tried to satisfy the bloodlust of the aggrieved.
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5861347)
Hah, I wrote #54 before seeing #53. Anyway, we clearly disagree about as fundamentally as is possible here. I know I'm not going to convince you and vice versa so might as well leave it at that.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5861351)

There's no real moral basis for making the punishment severe enough to "fit" the crime. What is the point of it, other than to make the victims feel better (which, tbh, I'm not sure that it does).

The goals of the justice system should be deterrence, protection of the public, and rehabilitation. Those are all very moral aims and a criminal justice system that achieved those things would be better than one which also mindlessly tried to satisfy the bloodlust of the aggrieved.


Again, deterrence and protection of the public can be used to justify laws like Malaysia's that execute first time drug offenders. We'd have a lot less drug use and crime in this country if we did that. But it would still be wrong, because it is disproportionate.

I'll stop now, but no just system can be found that severs the severity of the crime from the severity of the punishment.
   57. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5861366)
Except we have data that shows that isn't true.

If anything - the data shows the inverse. States (in general, sure - we have outliers in both directions, but the data is clear) without the death penalty actually have lower rates of capital crimes than states WITH the death penalty.

I would certainly not argue that the lack of the death penalty lowers capital crime rates - but the threat of the death penalty shows no data correlation that it lowers the rate. Indeed - you can even look at the data for states that had/ceased and states that didn't/adopted.
   58. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5861368)
Well, last thing I will say is that the criminal is part of the public and doesn't forfeit that simply by committing a crime. As are their loved ones. You have to consider proportionality in part because punishing the criminal (via imprisonment, death or whatever) is an act that can have negative consequences for him/her as well as those around them. So just saying that if we execute all the drug offenders (there are 400,000+ of them in prison right now, about 1/4 of whom are still awaiting trial) we'll eliminate all the drug use and ODs (there are ~70,000 of them per year), QED isn't that thoughtful a response.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5861374)
If anything - the data shows the inverse. States (in general, sure - we have outliers in both directions, but the data is clear) without the death penalty actually have lower rates of capital crimes than states WITH the death penalty.

But the causation could run either way.
   60. Blastin Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5861379)
If anything - the data shows the inverse. States (in general, sure - we have outliers in both directions, but the data is clear) without the death penalty actually have lower rates of capital crimes than states WITH the death penalty.


And hoo boy do we execute a lot of innocent, railroaded people.
   61. Traderdave Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5861408)
This is one of those rare debates where each side has valid points.
   62. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5861458)
As a society, we can't do anything about 2)


I don't really agree with that. You can't force someone to want to better themselves, but you can certainly create prison environments that are more or less conducive to that sort of personal growth and development.
   63. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 12, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5861500)
you can certainly create prison environments that are more or less conducive to that sort of personal growth and development.

You could, but a substantial portion of the electorate sees any steps toward helping prisoners become potentially useful citizens as "coddling criminals," even when they are shown that education and treatment for drug and mental health issues leads to less recidivism and lower overall costs to society. The response of "the bastards SHOULD suffer" is deeply human, and I really can't fault anyone for feeling it. I do wish they could look at the bigger picture and recognize that making life as hard as possible for felons won't in any way improve their own lot.
   64. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:50 AM (#5861589)
I don't really agree with that. You can't force someone to want to better themselves, but you can certainly create prison environments that are more or less conducive to that sort of personal growth and development.


You'd also need to change the labor environment. Even if someone does better himself in prison, even non-public-trust jobs will run a background check and refuse to hire him. We've created an environment in which recidivism can be seen as a rational response.
   65. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:32 AM (#5861725)

You'd also need to change the labor environment. Even if someone does better himself in prison, even non-public-trust jobs will run a background check and refuse to hire him.
Well, you need to change the legal environment to accomplish that. If I hire someone and he does recidivate while on the job and a third party is harmed, that person is going to sue me — the relative deep pocket — for negligent hiring. So it's rational of me, no matter how willing I am to give a second chance to ex-cons, to refuse to hire such people.

(And then, of course, many jobs are foreclosed to ex-cons as a matter of law, because their criminal records prevent them from securing a government license to do the job.)
   66. . Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5861755)
Deterrence is a moral aim, but using humans to achieve it is immoral. Which is to say punishing humans disproportionately to the the crime they committed is immoral.
   67. Tin Angel Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5861824)
If I hire someone and he does recidivate while on the job and a third party is harmed, that person is going to sue me — the relative deep pocket — for negligent hiring. So it's rational of me, no matter how willing I am to give a second chance to ex-cons, to refuse to hire such people.


Not being sarcastic, but is that an actual thing? If someone does his time, you hire him and three months later he commits another crime the employer can be liable? That makes no sense to me.
   68. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 14, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5861833)
I think David is saying “while on the job”, but then - you’re probably going to be sued as the deep pocket if someone with a perfectly clean record commits a crime while on the job, too.
   69. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2019 at 07:11 PM (#5861837)
I think David is saying “while on the job”, but then - you’re probably going to be sued as the deep pocket if someone with a perfectly clean record commits a crime while on the job, too.
Perhaps, but those other claims would be decided under the laws of agency, not your purported negligence in merely hiring someone with a criminal record who commits a crime while on the job.
   70. Eddo Posted: July 14, 2019 at 08:25 PM (#5861855)
Wouldn't it completely depend on the job? If someone with a history of child abuse gets hired into an organization that works with children, then yes, the organization will certainly be sued. But if they get hired to work the stockroom of a warehouse where no children are ever present, and then they abuse another child in their off hours? I can't imagine a lawsuit would go anywhere.

And post 68 seems correct - if someone with absolutely zero criminal record working for a child-focused company abuses a child on the job, the company's getting sued for everything they're worth.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:22 PM (#5861864)
You could, but a substantial portion of the electorate sees any steps toward helping prisoners become potentially useful citizens as "coddling criminals," even when they are shown that education and treatment for drug and mental health issues leads to less recidivism and lower overall costs to society. The response of "the bastards SHOULD suffer" is deeply human, and I really can't fault anyone for feeling it. I do wish they could look at the bigger picture and recognize that making life as hard as possible for felons won't in any way improve their own lot.

The problem is we're dealing with two totally separate populations that are really hard to tell apart. You have two big groups: 1) the people who made mistakes, suffered from disadvantages, and can straighten their lives out with help, and 2) psychopaths, sociopaths, and just plain evil people.

In an ideal world we'd want to take totally different approaches to those two groups, but they're really hard to sort.
   72. Zonk Is Not Part of Any Drug Deal Cooked Up Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5861867)
We should at least be able to use math and figure out that the latter group appears to be much smaller than the former....
   73. tshipman Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:57 PM (#5861871)
Again, deterrence and protection of the public can be used to justify laws like Malaysia's that execute first time drug offenders. We'd have a lot less drug use and crime in this country if we did that. But it would still be wrong, because it is disproportionate.


This is dumb and wrong.

The research clearly shows that it's not the penalties but likelihood to be caught that influences behavior. The death penalty for littering wouldn't reduce littering anywhere near as effectively as 95% ticket rate.

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