Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

There’s naïve, and then there’s this:

...last year, the 24-year-old German reached out to a convicted killer on Texas' death row. Her motives were altruistic, she said, not romantic. In time, after more than 50 letters posted back and forth across the Atlantic, Ms. Deeken said, mutual feelings grew.

"I have a connection with him," she explained recently, shaking slightly, tears running down her cheek. "Everyone in life has a vision, has dreams, has fears, is searching for something. He is the person I can talk deeply with about these things."
It seems that in the absence of a more grounded existence to help put things into context, let’s say, one where they try to legislate the trials and tribulations of human life out of existence, it should come as no surprise that loneliness and a need for irredeemable empathy would bubble up to the surface as a preoccupation. Perhaps it’s thought of as a sort of “giving back” or charity, but of a sort selected to give one ultimately the greatest degree of personal anguish in the end. Where some who have no family or close relationships fall into bad habits, others genuinely give of themselves. Some, it seems want to appear to be generous, but choose as vessel for those emotions something that could only result in ones’ own helplessness:
Each month, dozens of travel-weary, love-struck European women arrive in Livingston for visits with condemned inmates, a pair of four-hour chats through Plexiglas. There is no touching.
There are people out there who see something out there in the world that gives them pain. Some try to understand the phenomenon, while others foolishly believe that they can go make that painful thing go away, in spite of the reasons they have for exiting to begin with.

In other words, they are sick people who have been living in comfort so long that they are no longer able to interpret the value of their emotions, the hurt feelings of the convict, and the actions of the convict. It’s all equally incomprehensible it it’s purpose or reasons for being. It all seems intended when they all stem from the consequences of the actions of the convict. To the simpleton, retribution and justice are the same, they are riddled with things that are hurtful to think about, therefore the circumstances must be done away with.
In 1995, Mr. Martinez was convicted of stabbing to death a 68-year-old woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter. He sexually assaulted the older woman, defiled the corpse of the child, and reportedly threatened the victims' family as he was led from the courtroom, saying, "It's not over yet."
The reasons usually speak for themselves when you consider the alternatives are to let them walk, leave them to inflict yet more non-therapeutic violence on the prison population, or even creating a society where ones’ harmful actions don’t result in consequences of any sort.

- Vielen Dank, Corbusier

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