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Notice

To bloggers who are posting photos of Paul Johnson's body: Do not ask me to link to them. Not only will I not link to you, but I am going to say something that will piss a lot of people off: You are whores. There is no reason to post these pictures or host them. Wasn't Nick Berg enough? I almost understood then, that people needed to see the capability of evil. Great, we saw it then. It's no different now. I cannot fathom any reason for hosting these pictures except for the rise in stats. It is ghoulish. What difference will a picture of another dead American do? What purpose does it serve? None that I can see. From Drudge on down, you all are all snuff vendors. Enough already. Go ahead and blast away. I honestly Do. Not. Care. I am going to my son's Little League playoff game where I will dispel this aura of disgust that surrounds me right now. See also: Commisar, Karol and Stephen Green who has the right idea: bq. Looking for the Paul Johnson video? You'll find this one more informative. It shows how our enemies treat each other. Doesn't take much imagination to figure out what they'd do to us, given the chance. And you know what else? I'd be willing to pay ten dollars a gallon or ride a bicycle to work if it means we get the hell out of Saudi Arabia for good.

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Comments

I respectfully disagree. The photos need to be shown. The world needs to be shown the barbarism that these terrorist gleefully commit. What has happened in Abu Ghraib is insignificant compared to this and the media should show it.

Its different now. Now that Abu Ghraib is gone there is no reasons to use another nick berg as a political tool to counter the prisoner torture.

" What has happened in Abu Ghraib is insignificant compared to this and the media should show it"

Actually I'm going to have to disagree with you there. The killing of Nick berg and Johnson are brutal but its almost expected of the terrorists. Abu Ghraib was aproaching the level of Saddam and what made it more newsworthy than the Nick Berg and Johnson killings is the fact that It was done by Americans in the same prison as what saddam did to his people. I expect terrorists to act like terrorists I expect more from American soldiers and their contractors (Mercenaries).

The mainstream media really did little reporting about the Nick Berg execution (well compared to other things).

I am reminded to the attack of the American contractors in Baghdad. The terrorists strung up the bodies (what was left of them)in the street. The mainstream media covered this extensively. As a result, in the subsequent days, the US launched major assualts against terrorist elements in the area, resulting in terrorist casualties.

It is my hope that with widespread publication of the photos, the same result will occur.

Michelle:
I have to say that I disagree. The pictures need to be seen. Too many people are soft-peddling what these monsters are and what they are capable of. Westerners who really have no idea need at least the opportunity to see the truth. I'm not saying make it into a billboard in Times Square. I'm saying, let people see if they're willing to see.

"Abu Ghraib was aproaching the level of Saddam " -PilotCman

I just do not see it that way. Posing (accused) terrorists for humilitaing pictures is not in the same ballpark as Saddam's habits feeding prisoners to tigers and putting them in plastic shredders.

I guess we can agree to disagree, eh?

Remember that there are those who still believe that Islam is a "religion of peace." BULL-F*****G-SHIT!
Think along the lines of the Bataan Death March or the Rape of Nanking. We MUST be fully cognizant of WHO WE ARE FIGHTING and not be doped up by the media or those timid bloggers who are afraid of hurting people's feelings.
I may not post the pix, but I WILL be sending them to my friends and family...and even to those Liberals with whom I have contact...to remind them that We are at WAR and THIS is THE ENEMY.

Blog slapfight! Michele's place! 5 p.m. sharp!

I agree with you about the bloggers but I don't agree with you about Drudge. You've written a lot lately about Americans needing to wake up to what we're facing here; Drudge can help do that, in one fell swoop, for millions of people. Yeah, he's sleazy, but his sleaze is serving a very valuable end in this case.

Michelle, I also have to respectfully disagree with you on this, although I can certainly understand and respect your decision not to show or link to the pictures yourself. After the first images of Buchenwald were released, did we think "well, everyone understands now what the Nazis did, so no need to dwell on it any longer"? Pound the message home - we are dealing with evil here. I don't even care if someone goes searching for the images because he gets off on it if he then leaves understanding that much.

At a minimum, don't you at least see the argument here, and understand that at least some of the linkers and hosters of these pictures have better motives than just trolling for visitors?

I agree with Michele. Describing what was done is enough. We don't need to show it again. Those who have already seen and do not believe in the nature of our enemies will not be convinced by anything.

Sorry to pile on, but I think the pictures need to be shown as well. I also believe we need to show the planes slamming into the WTC and the people jumping to their death from the WTC on 9/11. I'm sorry if that offends the family members of those who were lost (unless it is Kristin Breitweiser; she's lost any and all sympathy from me, the media whore that she has become), but this country has a very short attention span, and needs to CONSTANTLY be reminded of what we are facing as a civilization.

How much were Paul Johnson's murderers inspired by the feeding frenzy over the Nick Berg video?

If we run gory images, are we reporting it, waking our people up, or perpetuating our enemies' tactics? Maybe some of all three. For me, on balance, not worth it.

I'm not hosting them but I did link them.

Commisar, I do think waking people up, even if only a few, is worth it. Most Americans don't get scared, they get angry. The enemy's tactics will backfire. But only if they are known.

I think that we need to deal with this as responsible folk.

What they are trying to do is anger us into an inappropriate response.

So what we do is show pictures and video of Paul Johnson, alive, and preferably laughing. As we just did with President Reagan, we celebrate his life, not his horrible death.

We refer to his killers as "nameless" and "faceless", if we have to refer to them at all. We don't mention their names when we learn them, we don't show their faces, we don't cheapen either ourselves or such a death to give them the publicity they demand.

God Bless, Paul Johnson; my sympathies and prayers for you and your family.

Has the question been asked ... why do these sick terrorist freaks make these videos? Well, I think everyone who even thinks about showing these pictures should spend a lot of time thinking about it. I agree with Michele, we should not help spread this snuff-porn.

I think the idea of celebrating the life of Paul Johnson is a much, much better idea (with the permission of the family, of course). I wish I would have thought of it. It accomplishes our objective, but not theirs.

Drudge didn't put them on the front page, and the link warned they were graphic photos. All I would want changed about his display of the photos is to also post Abu Ghraib photos of the panty-heads and homoerotic prisoner pile. For those too dense to see, he could add the text "NOW do you see the difference?"

I was a whore long before this topic came up.

I have to say, I was highly annoyed with Drudge for putting a photo of Paul Johnson's severed head on his front page, with no warning. He has since moved it, but earlier today, I visited Drudge, and BANG, there it was.

Important? Sure, but we don't all have to post it. I think the more dignified approach is to link, with warnings.

"Yeah, he's sleazy, but his sleaze is serving a very valuable end in this case."

That kind of thinking got America doing buisness with Saddam.

IXLNXS:
Yeah, we did business with Saddam and it was quite possibly the right thing to do at the time. We deal with a lot of bad people because there are a lot of other bad people in the world. In a perfect world we wouldn't deal with the Saudi Arabia or China or Pakistan or any one of dozens of oppressive, horrible regimes. But the world's not perfect and we do. And if it becomes necessary, we'll deal with the worst of the worst. That's just the way the world is.

"To taste the ocean needs only a single drop." -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Do you understand, children?

This is about concepts. Anyone who cannot understand what's going on without passing decapitation images around is too fucking stupid to be of the least use in this thing. And that includes all the conservatives like Hannity and Michael Savage who're telling you that you need to see this.

I don't. I had the picture long before this fa struck the popular madness.

"fad"

That's what it is.

B. Beck: "children?"
You'd be more persuasive if you didn't start out by being a condescending prick.

Whether I'm a condescending prick has absolutely nothing to do with the truth of what I said. If you can't hang, then you can run away and not think about it. That'll be a brave, grown-up, move.

I agree Michele, and for several reasons. I grew up with little tv and no video games and have always had to use my imagination to picture the horrors that we inflict on each other and the small creatures in our care. I have never had to actually see the photos in order to feel the horror.
A friend of ours is ex special forces and now works as an EMT. He says that they have to work hard to de-sensitize themselves to the horrors that they encounter every day, just so that they can sleep at night. He says that it gets easier as time goes by. He still feels upset, but is less emotional about it.
If the fools at al-qaeda keep this up, there will be many more images that we can sit in front of, wringing our hands and shaking our heads and gradually becoming de-sensitized to the subject at hand, thus defeating the initial premise for viewing it to begin with.
I am fighting these sub-human scum too, and with every ounce of strength I have. I am filled with more hate than I ever thought possible and I will figure out a way use my hate to win. We will win this war, because there are people like me and you-who are worth hundreds of lefty trolls and wankers. Screw peace, just picture victory and you will sleep better at night.
We didn't pick this fight, but it's here now and we're going to win. There is not a picture that exists that could possibly piss me off any more than I am right now. So screw them, they are fools for judging us all by the fat sods like Michael Moore.

I have to disagree Michele, even though I certainly had my fill on the Berg affair. Your instinctive aversion to opportunistic ghoulism is understandable, but every new American that is exposed to such reality brings us closer to the galvanization of national will, as opposed to this constant relativistic ankle-biting that Bush has to deal with in the war on terror. the war needs to COME HOME.

I agree with Michelle, mostly. I am a little blogger, without much traffic. If I were to post the pics, I would get linked left, right and centre (pun intended). Wouldn't that be nice for me? I would be a whore. And there will be a lot of little guys like me out there, thinking that very same thought, and NOT refraining from acting on it.

There are going to be genuine people out there that will post the pictures because they need to be seen. We can't let the leftist press bury this like they did with Nick Berg. But if you're planning on posting them, you need to ask yourself WHY. Is it because you want people to see that these Ismlamist freaks need to be taken down wholesale, or is it because you're a whore?

RG

Someone upthread says that the photos should be shown, noting that after the footage of the attacks on the 4 contractors in Fallujah was show, it cause enough outrage that "the US launched major assualts against terrorist elements in the area, resulting in terrorist casualties."

Not exactly. Yes, the Marines launched major assaults against Fallujah. It may well have resulted in terrorist casualties.

But it also resulted in the deaths of some 600 civilians, including women and children.

Does anyone advocate that we recreate this feat on the soil of our ally, Saudi Arabia? Remember, the killing of Paul Johnson did not take place in Iraq, it took place in Saudi Arabia.

Rightgirl:

I'm a little blogger too (nice looking blog, btw) and I'm not posting the pics on my site or, for the time being, linking to them. I just don't want them there. I'm also in no mood to deal with many of the people who will come looking for them. I'm glad Drudge posted them, though. I just think that this is all way too esoteric and theoretical for most of America. An election issue, not a war. I think that people who are willing to see it should have the opportunity to do so. The opportunity that was controlled and quickly rescinded by the government and the media in the wake of 9-11.

"I'd be willing to pay ten dollars a gallon or ride a bicycle to work if it means we get the hell out of Saudi Arabia for good."

While I agree with your sentiment, our consumption of Middle East oil is only 20% of the total production there. The other 80% goes mostly to Japan, Korea and others. If Saudi falls, (and I believe they are in the middle of a civil war)
as a result of our leaving the worlds economy would suffer a blow that may be worse than the Depression in the States.

Its just not a VIABLE option.

aunt snow:
I remember that right after 9-11 I opened up a USA Today to find a full page ad from the Saudis talking about how they and the U.S. and its people are friends. Then I saw the TV ads. What did that tell me? That the Saudis, who are not our friends, are lying, opportunistic parasites and, much more importantly, that they are very, very afraid of the American people. Deathly afraid of an awakened and angry U.S. populace. Because they cannot kow-tow to the Wahabbi murderers and to us at the same time and, they don't want to choose. We need to be openly angry. We need to force them to choose.

'Whore' isn't a strong enough word. I believe these evil people want us to see this. It is part of their terror. I don't need to see it to know they are evil. Yea, I'd call them whores.

Michele

I mostly agree with you; IMHO I suspect bloggers who host the images will not being doing so with lofty motives. However, since the "mainstream" newsmedia saw fit to only flush the Nick Berg story within a 24 hr cycle with never showing the video it was up to the blogsphere to allow people to see what needed to be seen. With Paul Johnson, no pure blogger needs to host the pics or video, though maybe a news site should have at least a link available.

I, too, am a small presence on the web, but as a matter of honor I will not host the pics but will only link to the main story (and of course, comment on it.) Increase in the kind of traffic such hosting will bring is not worth it. At this point, it is pornographic (for those that saw the Berg video. If some haven't seen it, maybe Johnson's pics will wake them up).

I see Ixie attempting to do somesort of moral absolutism here. Feh.

BTW Billy, yes some people do need to see it. Please recall that the usual anti-American conspiracists have been lovingly engaging in the "Nick Berg was murdered by CIA/Mossad because he was wearing an orange jumpsuit, etc" meme, and here we have Paul Johnson also wearing an orange jumpsuit. Even if it doesn't convince the most dogmatic of the idiotarians, it will cause others to understand that Islamo-fascism is real and it is after all kafir. There are people today that still deny the Holocaust ever took place and we have loads of pictures, records and witnesses for that.

Darleen? You just very effectively imparted the implications of the orange jump-suit without telling me that I need to go look at the blood-splash in order to understand it.

Understand?

The people who insist that we need to see this sort of thing in order to understand it are simply responding from their emotions. In a fight like this, that's not good enough.

Billy

I take it YOU do not need to see it. Indeed, I'd say a lot of fully grounded pragmatic people with a realistic view of the world do not need to see it.

Unfortunately, the people who DO need to see it are the ones who think these things happen because it is "all America's fault." They start with Columbus and work their way to now... those cute cuddlely Religion of Peace (my a**) guys would be just like the Methodists down the street with covered-dish events in the basement if it weren't for Enron/Haliburton/Bushitler and really if they weren't driven to it, just bet the farm it was really our black ops or those Jewi...er..Zionist black ops that did it.

Some people really refuse to even consider evil until they get their noses rubbed in it.

Why do you think they show crime scene photos to the jury? For tittilation? No, because as the jury is sitting there looking at the defendant who has grown his hair out to hide the gang tatoos that covered his usually shaved head, shaved off his facial hair, gotten rid of the piercings, wearing the first suit he's ever owned with white shirt & tie with the sleeves long enough to cover his gang tattooed arms, the jury just cannot believe such a nice looking boy would take a 14 y/o girl out to ditch, pistol whip her, then empty his gun into her unless they actually see with their own eyes what he has done.

RightGirl -

there's no reason for a small blogger to post them unless it IS to score traffic. When Drudge does it, however, 5 million people get a good look at what we are up against and get angry, instead of merely getting upset at CNN's constant "failure in Iraq" death knell.

As for "that is what the terrorists want, for us to see, so let's not give it to them" - sorry, horseshit. The terrorists may beexpert political scientists when it comes to influencing things in Europe, but their constant attacks on fellow Muslims and attack on the US on sept 11 were blundering miscalculations. It kind of points out that thier violence has no effective end to their means. It doesn't matter what they say they want -they will kill.

What they do to frighten Americans typically actually converts more Americans to warlike causes. In Somalia, for example - an analysis after the mutilation in Mogadishu found that a majority of Americans wanted to pour in MORE resources.

On the whole, despite the growing flock of morally relativistic ankle biters and auto-peacenicks (thanks Mr. rogers), Americans remain a "warlike people." (as patton was fond of overstating)

darleen - I disagree. i think that there are many, many on the fence, pragmatic Americans that haven't quite been sufficiently motivated about the active, horrible nature of the threat we are up against. people who read blogs are in a well-informed, super-sensitive cocoon.

Cut off - ... the rest of America is relying on Judy "Abu ghraib, Abu-0Ghraib, defeat in Iraq" Woodruff (nd the like) for their news.

Bill from INDC

people who read blogs are in a well-informed, super-sensitive cocoon.

I agree, that is why I do not believe pure bloggers need host the images. I do thing news sites (and I think Drudge is actually more news site than blog) have a legit interest in posting the pics, especially since the "mainstream" media is hell bent for leather of carrying anything that might deflect from their 24/7 "America is a huge failure and it's all Dubya's fault" propaganda. What I worry about is that if too many bloggers, for less than honest reasons, post the pics, it will give a wedge to the "mainstream" media, (which is already jealous at the blogsphere for encroaching on their territory) to do sensational "look at these guys engaging in pornography!" stories and be dismissive of anything that comes of it. Media hates grassroots that don't dance to their tunes and will do their best to denigrate.

People need to see the photos because otherwise they can't understand . . . they're not aware enough . . . they're not educated enough . . . the news media is hiding the truth from them . . . they're insulated, isolated, perhaps even ignorant . . . they have not been, my God, "sufficiently motivated" . . . now let's see: From which group have I heard all these sentiments before?

Oh, that's right: From that mainstream media we all love to mock to death for its repellent habit of belittling the cognitive ability of its audience.

Mind you don't become what you despise, bloggers.

Um, there is a difference between spinning the truth, i.e. flooding the zone with women protesting a golf tournament, ala NYT, or endlessly flashing abu ghraib pics a la all the mainstream media ...

and showing pics of a man being beheaded ONCE in order to provide the public with MMORE information. As in most issues, there are shades of grey/room for judgemnt. What you refer to is the shameful manipulation of issues to fulfill an agenda. the issue here is whether the raw information shoulkd be published at all.

(1) There's nothing wrong with trying to score some cheap traffic.

(2) These pictures should be in the New York Times but they won't be. The pictures are part of the story.

(3) I was just watching the TV series Kindred the Embraced on DVD. It aired on Fox in 1996. There were several beheadings in the series. If we can watch a beheading for entertainment, why is it too shocking to see it when our enemies are doing it?

"there's no reason for a small blogger to post them unless it IS to score traffic. When Drudge does it, however, 5 million people get a good look at what we are up against and get angry, instead of merely getting upset at CNN's constant "failure in Iraq" death knell."

Exactly. SOMEone has to do it, and should be the big boys. Hell, it should be bloody CNN, but they most likely won't. It shouldn't be someone like me, or any of the other small sites. For Michele to say that Drudge was a whore (which she has now retracted) was not right, but she was right in theory.

RG

today, a (bush-hating)coworker came into my station in a foul mood, saying he didn't care about this story, it happens all over the world, the guy shouldn't have been there, etc. i told him if it's no big deal, get online and watch the video (knowing he wouldn't watch it, and assuming video wasn't easily found).

as he was saying he didn't need to see that kind of thing, an announcer on the radio says drudge has still photos online. he immediately went to his office to check them out. when i got there a few minites later, he was looking at the pictures, muttering about "savages and cowards". changed his whole f--king tune.

Michael -- there is a fundamental difference between a fictional depiction, which, if you watch closely, is never delivered so completely as the real thing, and the real thing. That's why it's called "fiction" and even children realize the difference, even while they're shivering over horror films late on a Friday night. People watching fiction can afford to not think about the real thing, precisely because it's not the real thing. And the real thing demands far more consideration than simply looking at a picture of it.

And I don't know about anyone else, but I have never made the argument that something like Berg or Johnsons is "too shocking". That is not the point at all. My point is categorically different, and I've stated it.

It goes to the example of utter morons like the one that "friendlydude2k" described.

Essentially, it's about The Endarkenment: the disapearing ability of people to think.

That is not going to serve us well in this fight.

Billy,

Essentially, it's about The Endarkenment: the disapearing ability of people to think.

You're right, but I don't really see this as anything new. I think it's more a natural condition of the human race. (I like the term, though; hadn't heard it before.)

There was a reason, even after all we knew in early 1945 to show the the bodies of those American GIs slaughtered in the snows of Malmedy.
We are engaged in a very ugly business, we need hard hearts and stiff spines. Mr. Beck is so concerned that Americans might stop thinking, unfortunately thinking is what we're doing too much of and not nearly enough killing.
We are engaged with an implacable enemy. They choose to hide among civilians and we worry about the civilian casualties. We think about what 'the world' thinks of us while Americans are being slaughtered.
The Nazis gave us Malmedy. We gave them Dresden. The Japanese gave us the Bataan Death March. We gave them Nagasaki. Not much later the war was over.
This war won't end by just dinking around the edges. It is going on because enough of Islam supports it. Exactly the same that enough Germans supported the Nazis. We need these images to harden our hearts enough for the new Dresdens that are all that will end this war.
Aunt Snow thinks about the 600 'civilians' killed in Faluljah, I'm sorry it wasn't 6,000 or 60,000, then the survivors might think twice about allowing the bad guys to operate in their midst.
Harden your hearts. It's them or us.

Our enemies (the liberals and the Islamists) have more guts than we do. They have no problem exploiting their enemies' sensibilities against them, to weaken their will to fight.

We keep talking "on the right" about staying the course, but then we get all squeamish when being reminded why we must stay the course.

Reactions like Michele's, understandable as they are, are just what exactly the Islamists hope for when they do this.

Now me, I'm angry about it. And I'm glad we learned about it. And I'm glad the horror is brought home to us. Because a number of our American brethren want to dump this battle and run.

This reminds them that they just can't do that. This is war, and a lot of unpleasant things happen in war.

But, dang it, the right response is righteous anger! Not at the people who would remind us WHY WE FIGHT, but at the people that do this stuff.

Don't link if you don't want to. No one asked you to. Last I checked, the VWRC is very loose knit.

But, those who post are reminding us that these people need killin'. We need that now and again, as soft and complacent as Americans are.

And this certainly helped.

Billy Beck

You've neatly sidestepped my example of showing crime scene photos to juries.

If "talking" about a horrendous act were "all" that was needed, why is such visual evidence so important in a court of law?

Ugh.
I have no desire to see dead body shots OR the video. I think it's a load of bullshit that we "need" to see either. I have enough of an imagination that I can figure it out for myself. Sick, sick, sick.

I have a photo on my blog of Johnson before he died, with his eyes covered. My husband looked at the still shots of him being beheaded and told me there was no good reason on this earth to look at them, and I trust his judgement.

BB -- if you think about the term, you'll realize that it is, actually, something new. Here's a hint: it refers to the overthrow of the absolutely vital precedent of the Enlightenment. We're talking about the worst disgrace in human history, in progress all around us.

Darleen -- I haven't sidestepped anything. I don't do that. And my answer to your question is nearly precisely as I've stated it before. Do you know the difference between a "percept" and a "concept"? (I wonder if it ever before occurred to you to compare the two words. Don't be shy: very few people ever have.) Anyone who wants to state a fact should just state it. Anyone who has been present with a fact in conceptual form and still requires a perceptual presentation of the same fact is a bloody moron.

Yes, Ma'am: I am an extremist. I know how to think, and I insist that human beings live up to that responsibility.

Billy Beck

Geez, it must be so nice in quiet in that mountaintop utopia in which you live.

Down here on earth, in the real world, where people actually live, love, hate, and sometimes need to deal with things a bit more horrible outside of accidentally burning the steaks on the grill or trying to find a way to apologize to one's spouse for forgetting one's anniversary, it is not easy actually "making real" evil that one has never dealt with except in an "intellectual" or "hypothetical" way. For many the concept of evil has little concrete reality. It's something that happens to someone else, it happens over there. And for the vast majority of ordinary people leading ordinary lives, trying to conceptualize that people just like them can engage in some of the most heinous acts imagined misses it emotional mark. Don't try and divorce emotions from the human experience as something "lesser", as something to be ashamed of. It is our psyche's signposts of what we need to pay attention to. And if someone has no experience in a particular realm, conception alone will not give a person the fullness of the reality of a situation. Concept PLUS perception comes as close as fully possible to actual experience.

If you've never been in snow or gone snow skiing, I can spend an afternoon explaining to you weather conditions of how snow is formed, how it covers a mountain, how a resort designs and grooms its runs, how snow skis are designed and fitted, what a person goes through in getting ready to ski, the particulars of the operation of a ski lift ... but you will not fully grasp what I'm discussing with you until I show you my video of Mammoth Mountain, the ride up the ski lift, skiers going down the mountain, and finally a shot of actually going down the mountain on skis.

Does this make you a "moron" because you could not fully conceptualize the act of skiing, something you had absolutely no experience or knowlege of until you were presented with both a conceptual and perceptual presentation? No. All it does is make you human.

For people like me, who works in the judicial system, or my eldest daughter who is a paramedic, we actually experience on a daily basis things that most other people have a hard time conceptualizing if they, themselves, have had no direct experience with. Both of us have stories of relating work experiences to others and receiving from our audience expressions of amazement and disbelief.

Jurors usually come to the courtroom with little or no prior experience with the crime they are set to be triers of fact about. They need not just the concepts as presented by both the prosecution and defense, they need the percepts... circumstantial evidence, photos of crime scene, direct evidence ... to fulfill the concepts they have been presented with.

The greater and more outrageous the evil .. be it Auschwitz or Nick Berg, the more people are going to have a hard time believing someone "just like them" could perpetrate such evil. The concept of such is alien to them, and only perceptual evidence can help make those concepts real.

Do try and join the human race.

Darleen is correct. I read about submarines for years before I went out on one. I was prepared for a lot of it and thought I knew what to expect but nothing prepared me for some of the experiences like venting fuel tanks and sanitary tanks inboard. You can know that the hull creaks when changing depth but experiencing the real thing is entirely different. Yes, the first ride was on a conventional/diesel boat.

I can conceptualize beheading but seeing it is a whole world of difference that words cannot convey. I heard the pictures in question described and I don't think I could describe them better but the description doesn't convey the impact of seeing them.

The world needs to be shown the barbarism that these terrorist gleefully commit.

What about the barbarism the U.S. Commits?

Ignorant 'Tard.

~K

I was highly annoyed with Drudge for putting a photo of Paul Johnson's severed head on his front page, with no warning. He has since moved it, but earlier today, I visited Drudge, and BANG, there it was.

OK, I would be peeved about that, too. I am of the mind that once you see something like that, you cannot un-see it. The fact that it happened at all, is more than enough for me. I don't need to poison my mind with THAT kind of imagery. I would rather poison it with pr0n. (Mis-spelled to keep google off her comments)

"Geez, it must be so nice in quiet in that mountaintop utopia in which you live."

You're so completely wrong,...

"Do try and join the human race.

...and so completely sure of what you're wrong about, that I think it's best to leave you alone.

Good post Michelle. I agree completely. I got a fair amount of unwanted voyeur traffic merely for titling a post Nicholas Berg.

Darleen -- Actually, they could show arrest photos of the defendant if that's what they wanted to show. What they're trying to do is to pour the blood of the victim into the scales of justice, hoping to tilt the balance by invoking a desire for vengence. Because the victim was horribly violated has nothing to do with whether or not the accused did the violating.

htom

You make a pretty bold assertion.

You do realize that, if we are talking about a murder case, the victim is only a concept to the jury. S/he is not there in the courtroom to offer direct evidence of their fate. What crime scene photos do is to make real the victim and the crime. It offers evidence that the crime "went down" as the state says it did.

Think of it as "sourcing", kind of what we do here, by linking to sources to back up our assertions.

How many jurors have you had the opportunity to interview after a case?

Billy Beck

I'm not surprised. You have failed to offer any substantial argument for your position, so you retreat by asserting your failure is my problem.

Hmmm....where have I heard that strategy before???

I would also remind people that we have a museum in Washington, DC, devoted to the Holocaust.

The politically correct enforcers want people to see pictures of the atrocities committed by Nazis, but they do not want people to not see the atrocities committed by our Islamic enemies.

The Islamic terrorists are every bit as evil as the Nazis. The comparison is especially apt because they would probably kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. We can only be thankful that they are a lot less powerful than the Nazis were.

I think you should read david limbaugh's latest about our sensitivity to true violence...

www.davidlimbaugh.com

I don't always agree with your views, Michele, but you are a class act.

I agree with your decision completely.

Darleen,

Why does the prosecution virtually always want to show explicit crime scene photos and the defense virtually always object? Obviously because it makes juries more likely to convict and/or more likely to support harsher penalties.

Let me use a concrete example. I think the majority of the US population disagree with the verdict in the case where the woman spilled McDonalds coffee on herself. I remember seeing a poll where about 80% thought it was stupid. How, then, did a jury of 12 hand down this verdict? Did the plaintiff have explicit pictures with the woman's clothing melted and seared into her flesh? I'm sure they just used them to "make the victim more real."

Now, here's my question for you. To continue your trial analogy, what conclusion might you draw if the prosecution did not have crime scene photos, and all of a sudden the defense produces photos and videos for the prosecution along with a big press release to the world? What might the defense be trying to do? What would you say about a prosecutor who, in this case, just took the evidence straight to the jury without thinking about this question?

Our enemies (the liberals and the Islamists)...

When you refer to fellow Americans (liberals) as enemies, you give up the capacity to work together as a country.

"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Soli

What experience do you have with trials? From your post, I have a feeling you have none.

It is said, with little argument, that trial are won and lost in the motions/hearings arena long before the jury hears word one.

The defense has ALL the evidence prior to trial... it's called "discovery". What is or is not admitted into evidence is ruled on PRIOR to court, so all arguments on anything that is prejudicial to the defense, and that includes photos admitted into evidence, are heard either prior to empaneling a jury or heard outside of the juries presence. This also includes the background of the defendant.

If the defense pulled a stunt like you hypothisize (and they cannot) an immediate mistrial would be declared and it would be back to square one.

Juries request and often visit crime scenes themselves.

Let me give you a brief outline of a felony case
*Possible crime committed
*On scene officer rights a report
*Report is evaluated by higher police official on whether or not it should be forwarded to District Atty
*The DA office receives agency report, sent to issuing DDA (deputy DA..in some jurisdictions the title is ADA, assistant DA), who evaluates the report and either decides to file (and also decides the appropriate statute) or rejects it
*Upon filing an arraignment letter sent to defendant with court date (or an ex parte bench warrant is generated)
*Arraignment (def in court hears charges ..enters initial plea, obtains initial discovery packet)
*pre-preliminary
*pre-liminary
*pre-trial
*trial

After arraignment and even during trial there will be many more motions and hearings.. Bail/OR, evidenciary hearings, Motions to dismiss (in CA PC995), Motions to suppress evidence (PC1538.5), Pitchess Motion, etc. Some of these hearings will take place in open court, some in camera.

Now you might begin to understand why in real life from crime to conviction takes a tad bit longer than Law & Order's sixty minutes.

eewww... ok, I didn't preview and I ask please do ignore the plethora of typos in the above post.

Darleen,

I have no experience with trials except being called for jury duty twice and not selected (aka nothing). This has no relevance to the issue at hand, which is not trial minutiae, it's an analogy you are trying to make between trial photos and the photos of this sick beheading:

Why do you think they show crime scene photos to the jury? For tittilation? No, because as the jury is sitting there looking at the defendant who has grown his hair out to hide the gang tatoos that covered his usually shaved head, shaved off his facial hair, gotten rid of the piercings, wearing the first suit he's ever owned with white shirt & tie with the sleeves long enough to cover his gang tattooed arms, the jury just cannot believe such a nice looking boy would take a 14 y/o girl out to ditch, pistol whip her, then empty his gun into her unless they actually see with their own eyes what he has done. - Darleen

After saying this, you complained:

You've neatly sidestepped my example of showing crime scene photos to juries. If "talking" about a horrendous act were "all" that was needed, why is such visual evidence so important in a court of law?

Now, both htom and I have responded to your question and you're saying that only people with subject specific knowledge can respond to your analogy and you're happy to quote some legalese like it proves your point. So, you can go right ahead and use your superior knowledge of the legal process to modify my question without changing the point to make it fit in your framework, then answer it. The heart of the matter is this: the evil murdering bastards who are (in your analogy) on trial, are the ones that created this evidence and provided it on a silver platter and a press release. Why? What do you think about a 'prosecutor' who, knowing this, does not take the time to even consider why?

Soli

I offered my analogy not as to the motives of the maker of such evidence, but as to the very human condition of how an individual internalizes the reality of situations outside of their immediate experience. BB contended for a "thinking" human being, mere statement of fact is sufficient, even going so far that a person who can't fully grasp the concept without an accompanying perceptual presentation is a "moron." Your contention is that when crime scene photos (which in my analogy was to assist the jury in the totality of the crime) are introduced into evidence, it is prejudicial to the defendant. Yes, I went off in a tangent of presenting background legal procedures only to testify both to MY personal experience and to illustrate that such pictures are not prejudicial but, as I assert, are there as part of all the evidence.

Indeed, you have to admit, if the evil murdering bastard of Danny Pearl, Nick Berg or Paul Johnson ever got to a courtroom the self-produced video would be introduced into evidence.

As I said before, for many people who have already seen the Berg video, or have had other experience in the totality of the evil of Islamism, then viewing any pics or video of Paul Johnson's slaughter is not necessary (and pure bloggers need not/should not carry them). However, for other people who still do not grasp that these people are truly evil then they do need to view it (or Saddam's torture videos).

At one time the vast majority of Americans understood "evil." That time passed during the 60's when the good/evil paradigm was rejected and morality was declared uphip. And it has only left our culture vulnerable to the evil we acknowlege.

...should be "And it has only left our culture vulnerable to the evil we refuse to acknowledge."

Darleen,

As I said before, for many people who have already seen the Berg video, or have had other experience in the totality of the evil of Islamism, then viewing any pics or video of Paul Johnson's slaughter is not necessary

I'm afraid it didn't work. I am still unconvinced of the "totality of the evil of Islamism." I may not be a legal expert, but I do know that the pictures and video can be introduced at the trials of the people who did the killing. I'm not exactly clear on this, but maybe they could be introduced in the trials of other people in the same terrorist group if there is additional evidence that establishes a link between them and the crime. I am extremely clear, however, on the fact that this video cannot possibly be introduced in a trial solely on the point that the defendant was a follower of Islam.

At one time the vast majority of Americans understood "evil." That time passed during the 60's when the good/evil paradigm was rejected and morality was declared uphip.

Are you kidding? Where did you come up with this?

I disagree as well. Every single time I get a letter, email, comment, phone call or IM from someone who doesn't understand why we are doing what we are doing, I think to myself how can I possibly get this across? How can I possibly help them understand? Why isn't it getting through? Why are we repeating ourselves over and over and over, post after post, debate after debate...because they aren't listening. They are not listening.

So. Fine. I'll try another tactic. If they want to close their ears, maybe they'll open their eyes when they click the link and have that gruesome image staring back at them.

I'm not doing it for hits Michele. I'm not a link whore, hit whore, whatever whore and I really wish you could have found a better way to say that. I have come to fully respect your writing but calling people whores for posting or linking to those images was unnecessary.

We all do what we think we have to do to get the point across. Right now, this is the only way I know how to get through to some of the people who incessently bang their anti everything drums.

Call me uncreative. Call me a terrible writer for not finding a way to get the point across...but don't call me a whore because that is the LAST thing I'm using the link to those images for.

There is something Michelle understands that they majority of you in the comments aren't getting. There was some really sick violence fetishism brought out by the Nick Berg thing. I have been really appalled by the search queries that have brought huge number of Nick Berg headhunters to my site. This has nothing to do with left-vs.-right politics, whether Islam is evil, or whether this evidence is comparable to photos from concentration camps. This is about voyeurism.

Blogs should not be here to titillate with severed heads. I have the awful suspicion that many of Google's head hunters are after these images because they think severed heads are cool. Pandering to this kind of appetite may get you lots of traffic, but this kind of pandering should be beneath all of us.

(Also, I can't help but think this poor guy lost his head because the Nick Berg thing provoked such a strong reaction.)

Kathryn, I cannot see how you could draw that conclusion. Would you extend that concept to Pearle for Berg?

It does not make sense.

Its common knowledge now that the Nick Berg video was filmed in Abu Graib by US contractors - no matter how often a lie is repeatet - it still stays a lie. Same goes for the whole Iraq quagmire - it started with a lie and it ends in nazi like concentration camps. Foreign supplied as well as home made and NEW: now also open for americans.
Get it who is the troublemaker?

Michele, allow me to provide a excerpt from someone you may know. It makes the case for looking evil in the eye.

The internet is a wonderful place. I almost wrote ďinvention,Ē but it is, in fact, a landscape, a space to explore. We have, at our fingertips, all of the combined wisdom (and idiocy) of our species throughout our long struggle up towards enlightenment.

The internet is also a horrible place, for there are dark rooms and hidden sewers where all of the festering evil we humans commit upon each other are exposed for those with the stomach to witness it.

I have spent much time in these disgusting realms in the days since September 11th, 2001. I have forced myself to endure many videotaped nightmares. I have seen Africans hacked to pieces with machetes, watched mere boys shot in the street and left there like dogs by other Kalashnikov-wielding children. Iíve seen a mass execution by firing squad, men tied to poles set against a gorgeous beach while picnickers cheered and danced. Iíve seen a manís hands cut off in front of his very eyes.

Iíve seen photos of blackened lumps in a morgue in Bali, the charred and twisted remains of happy young men and women in the prime of their lives. Iíve seen the unimaginable carnage in the few seconds after a suicide bombing in Israel, dead and dying old men and women looking down at their shattered bodies in disbelief, and yonder the head of the perpetrator smiling joyously on the sidewalk. Iíve seen the rage and joy of pre-teen children as they throw stones at their murdered neighbors accused of collaboration in Palestine.

(More examples cut)

Now let me explain why I have sought out such despair and horror, endured again and again the rising bile, the nausea, the sickening unclean sense that is cured only by a long, hot shower.

I do it because I want to see what is, not what has been fed to me. I have worked as a scientist and a television editor, and both of these professions have driven me to seek out the reality, the raw data, the source footage. I want my worldview and my opinions to reflect facts, not wishes Ė no matter how unpleasant the facts, or how comforting the wishes.

One of the reasons that September 11th remains so shocking and clear to us today was that it was all raw and unedited during those first few hours. Bland, chatty newsmen were rendered speechless, a tough-as-nails mayor broke down and wept, congressmen spontaneously broke into God Bless America because they didnít know what else to do, and people sent in video of jets flying into buildings, broadcast unedited as their friends screamed Jesus Fucking Christ!! on network television. It was raw. It was real. It stayed that way for perhaps 48 hours, until people like me (but not me) got a hold of it and turned it into America Mourns with slow-mo flags snapping and moving dissolves of weeping bystanders superimposed over somber musical chords. <\blockquote>

Michelle, why don't you email Bill Whittle and tell him how sick his beliefs are. I'm sure he'd appreciate your input.

<\blockquote>

Preview is my friend. This post is just me making sure the blockquote is closed properly.

Well, Boris, I'd say that's actually fairly uncommon knowledge. It is, however, pretty common conspiracy mongering. Come, now, can't you provide us with a fresh conspiracy theory?

Oh, and one other thing--to my knowledge, no Nazi camp guard was ever brought up on charges and court martialed for mistreating an inmate in one of the camps. Neither did the Hitler regime produce photographic evidence of what was occuring in the camps.

The above doesn't make Abu Ghraib forgivable, of course. It's just that the flies are swarming all over your wretched little analogy, and having themselves a fine feast.

Soli

Did you miss the 60's? One very great example of the fulfillment of that crazy era was the huge amount of ridicule dumped on President Reagan when he described the Soviet Union as "evil empire". Indeed, anytime any politician has used the word "evil", say GW, they get absolutely savaged as old-fashioned country bumpkins who don't get it..that "good/evil" doesn't really exist, that all cultures, all ideologies are really the same..yada yada yada...

This has made our country better...how?

BTW, what is it that you are not convinced of the totality of the evil of Islamism (ie fanatical/radical Islam)? Are you not convinced of the totality of the evil of Nazism? Both ideologies are strikingly similar in their advancement of group supremacy, genocide against 'lessors' or 'unbelievers' and they were/are dedicated to the erradication of Jews.

What's not to understand?

You explain rather well the mechanism whereby the prosecution hopes to invoke a revenge response, although you don't seem to notice that that is what happens. It's the same as the mechanism that the defense tries to use to invoke to produce at least one "no way I'll convict" juror.

Been a juror, been a defendant (unconvicted), been an amublance driver.

Convictions (and aquittals) are primarily about the stories that are told to the jury; the side whose story is more believed is usually the winner. It used to be that the horrible crime scene photos were not shown, because prosecutors feared that they'd turn juries against the prosecution story. Then this method of "framing" the pandering was invented, and now juries almost seem to anticipate them.

There are (at least as I was taught) to be three elements of convicting someone as a juror: did the accused do the deed, was the deed a crime when it occured, and was the doing of the deed a crime. Modern prosecution practice, with the aid of judges who seem more interested in clearing calanders than finding truth, have entirely forbidden mention of the third, the second is presumed, and the first ignored, in favor of photos of the blood of the victim.

I call it scale-tampering. May you not have the pleasures of experiencing it, in all of its expensive detail.

Sorry 'bout that; that post above is by me, I addressed it to Darleen, and must have put her name in the "Name" box.

htom

htom

I have no idea where you got your jury instruction, but it was pretty off-base. Jurors are not there to evaluate the law, only to determine if the case they are presented with is covered by the law and if the defendant did indeed commit said crime (though jury nullification does take place...see the OJ debacle)

Jurors are the triers of fact. This is why when appeals are done they do not ever focus on the jurors conclusion in and of itself but on the process by which the jury came to its conclusion. In evaluating the facts, each side presents evidence, direct and circumstantial. Each side will try and impeach the evidence of the other.

The jury is specifically instructed not to consider, ever, the possible sentences that may be levied if the defendant is found guilty. Juries do not have a say in the sentence with the exception of capital cases (and I'm speaking of CA which has the death penality). In a death penality case there is the guilt phase, then there is a separate phase in which the jury determines whether or not the defendant is subject to the death penalty.

Now I find it interesting you label such procedures as a search for "revenge." And I smile at your contention that "used to be that the horrible crime scene photos were not shown". Where? When? As I said before, what evidence is admitted is a matter that is decided before the jury is sworn in.

Is the system perfect? Of course not, one is dealing with human beings after all. But the process is built with a bunch of internal checks and balances. Even criminal defense attorneys will readily admit, by the time a case gets to actual trial stage, the vast majority of defendants are actually guilty of the crime they are accused of. Example here:
Statistically, most of my clients are guilty. Statistically, most people charged with crimes in America, are guilty. And thank God for that. Would we want to live in a country where most people charged are innocent? That might be true in Libya, or China, but not here.

This is why the majority of cases are settled by a plea bargain. Good lord, in my little corner of the country we process about 100 misdemeanor cases per DAY (mon-thur). It roughly breaksdown as 1/3 DUIs 1/3 Drug related 1/3 other.. ie domestic violence, assaults, petty theft, drunk in public. Only handful of that daily calendar ever get to trial stage because there is no question the person is guilty of the crime. IE..BAC of .2, video of perp stuffing small electronics down his pants and walking out of store, witness testimony of a neighbor who saw perp punch his wife in the face, etc. Plea bargains are not about "clearing a calendar" but just another way arriving at justice. Why shouldn't a drug addict, arrested after being found passed out on the sidewalk, plead guilty and enter rehab (in CA we have three separate court-approved rehab programs so addicts get help, not jail) rather than go through a whole jury trial?

Maybe you should volunteer some time with your local DA, or public defender's office or victim/witness advocate program and get some actual experience.

Hmmm... I think I'd better mention, too, that the DA usually takes flack from law agencies because they hold a rather strict standard on filing. Issuing DDA's process a lot of turndowns every day, bouncing the reports back to the agencies for several reasons, but number one is "not enough evidence to support filing or conviction."

One of those checks that may be letting the guilty go but helps weed out the innocent who could have been caught up in the process.

Taught that in school, in seventh grade civics class. Back in the 1950's, before the brave new world of not needing to show mens rea came along, and long before the Fully Informed Jury Association was thought of.

"Jury nullification" is old, older than the Constitution, and in the past was upheld by the USSC. That the prosecution doesn't want it considered, well, it makes it easier to get convictions, so it must be a good thing, right?

Plea bargining is mostly about showing that the prosecutor wants to build a good record to go to the voters with.

I'm happy for you that you have not been exposed to the other side of this coin, but don't pretend that it's not there.

Karma's a bitch.

Plea bargining is mostly about showing that the prosecutor wants to build a good record to go to the voters with

I call bovine excrement.

You're really good at ad hominems and totally ignoring the facts and ignoring everything I've posted that contradicts your unsubstantiated assertions.

Remember, when you become a victim of a crime, do NOT call the police and handle it all yourself.

meshugga

The "facts" you're so proud of are either revisionist history or the same delusion that I bought into for years about how the "justice system" in this country works.

I probably would have gone to my grave happy and contented, thinking that the complaints I'd heard from neighbors were merely exceptions to the rule, bizarre things that couldn't be compensated for, human error piled on human error. Then I got dragged into the "system" and discovered that all of those bizarre things were "due process".

For a sample (for the rest of you, I know that Darleen's mind is made up) watch for the episode of Frontline entitled "The Plea".

You're innocent. You didn't do it. The cops don't believe you. The prosecutor just reads the police report. Your turn:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/plea/etc/synopsis.html

First off "mens rea" is part of common law..so it actually predates even the United States of America..so much for your thought it is a post1950's phenom (and just exactly why you would want an end to mens rea is beyond me... all "killing" of another human being is exactly equal??)

As I said before, we are dealing with human beings, so the system will never be perfect.

However, the process we have has many checks and balances, including the appellate system and motions and hearings by which a person can withdraw their plea. Even mechanisms where a person found "not guilty" can actually have an additional finding of "innocence."

Statistically the majority of defendants are guilty of their charged crime. People take plea bargains because they are guilty, regardless of the anecdotal stories to the contrary. Yes, it would make such a great story for PBS to cover that wouldn't it? Yawn... "guilty people take plea bargains ... dog bites man" next...

DDAs or ADAs are caught between those that charge they are too zealous and those that say they are not zealous enough. Between advocates that say prosecuters are convicting innocent people to victims that say prosecuters let guilty people go free.

And no where in your rant do you offer any alternatives.

As Winston Churchill said
Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried

And that goes for our system of justice.

One could argue that mens rae goes back to Rome, I suppose, or the code of Hammarubi. "A deed done with guilty mind".

I said I'd been taught that in the 1950's, in seventh grade, not that it started there. Where the courts decided that mens rae was optional I haven't been able to find, but if you talk to a defense lawyer you'll find out what their opinion of it as a barrier to conviction.

There is no check or balance to the prosector's budget, compared to the individual accused. I spend $5k on a defense, he can spend $250k prosecuting me.

It's true that some people take pleas who are guilty. But lots of people take pleas because they can't afford the fight.

That you won't believe this is sad.

As an alternative I offer a court system wherein the defense is allowed to argue nullification and the prosection is forbidden to increase charges if a plea is rejected; the trial is on the charge in the plea that was rejected. (In other words, no "I'm going to charge you with 2nd degree felony but you can plead to 4th degree misdemeanor"; such an offer, rejected, would produce a trial of the 4th degree charge, rather than the coerced guilty plea to the 4th degree charge.)

Come the revolution, maybe. :(

You can't afford an attorney, get a court appointed one.. they get the exact same budget and are paid on the exact same scale as DDA's.

Jurors are legislators. They have no business deciding whether or not a law is correct, they have no business nullifying because they are out to "get the man" by letting a guilty guy go.

The system is already tipped (as it should be) towards the accused. BTW, the prosecution does not increase charges. At preliminary, the prosecution has to put on evidence to show the charges they are filing are appropriate. If they are not, the court will refuse to hold the defendant to answer. In other words, a charge of autotheft had better include a stolen car, not a stolen skateboard. Many many plea bargains are proposed by the DEFENSE, not the prosecution because THEY want their client off as easy as possible. "Coerced" my a**.

So, ok, take plea bargains off the table...ya think THAT is going to help the guilty OR innocent even more??? LOL.

.... should be "jurors are NOT legislators"

Darleen,

Did you miss the 60's? One very great example of the fulfillment of that crazy era was the huge amount of ridicule dumped on President Reagan when he described the Soviet Union as "evil empire". Indeed, anytime any politician has used the word "evil", say GW, they get absolutely savaged as old-fashioned country bumpkins who don't get it..that "good/evil" doesn't really exist, that all cultures, all ideologies are really the same..yada yada yada...

Yet the same exact people called Reagan and Bush evil. Basically you're talking about a horrendously small but vocal minority of hypocritical idiots who can't even talk for more than a minute without contradicting themselves. Good/Evil have been with us since the Garden of Eden and they will be with us until the End of Days.

There are many good reasons to decry the rhetoric of "good vs evil" as used in the specific instances you cite. For one thing, it's very ad hominem rhetoric. Mostly, however, it flies in the face of the common sense understanding of the President ... "walk softly and carry a big stick."

Your fingers almost had it right. Jurors should not make laws, and they can't. Nullification makes a given law not apply to a given case, not to all cases for all time. It's the way for a jury to curb too-zealous prosections, if the judge hasn't. Just like judges can set aside guilty verdicts that they think are inappropriate.

I had a court appointed attorney, for a couple of days. She wanted me to plead guilty to the orginal 3rd degree felony complaint.

Now it may be that such changes and charges are not supposed to be made; I'd heard it before and not believed it until it happened to me.

As far as I can tell, everyone involved is allowed to lie to me about what's happening and what the consequences will be, and you're just part of that "system". I'm just spreading the word.

Eventually, you'll have attacked enough of your supporters that you'll have none.

htom

When a person decides to take a plea agreement, for a felony, it is a three-page 8 1/2 by 14 inch document that spells everything out in finite detail. It is signed by the defendant and initialed in several places. Both attorneys sign it, and finally the judge. The judge can even reject a plea agreement just as a judge can set aside a guilty verdict (but not a not-guilty one). And when the court accepts a plea agreement, the judge goes through it in open court, asking several questions of the defendant and explaining exactly what the plea and its consequences mean. And still, it is the right of the defendant to come back, even years later, and petition the court to withdraw that plea. How is such a system wrong?

No one is "allowed to lie" to you. Did you report your attorney to the Bar Association? Did you know there are legal recourses to also report judges?

I'm sorry your personal experience is such you want to flush a system of justice that is, while far from perfect, still offers the best chance for the innocent and the victims of crime to both receive a measure of justice.

Soli

When Reagan described the Soviet Union, and when GW described radical Islam, as "evil", they were attacking an ideology, not all the people subjected to its totalitarianism. Stalin was an evil man, so too Hitler, so too Pol Pot, so too Saddam and his evil spawn. No amount of equivocation, moral equivalency or navel-gazing can escape that fact.

Human beings have the capacity to choose from knowledge. That is the basis of morality...to choose actions which are good or evil. The allegory of Adam and Eve perfectly illustrates that morality only came into play after they gained knowledge. Up until then, they were amoral creatures, children innocent of life.

Again, what is it you have missed that you are not convinced of the evil of the ideology of Islamism?

Darleen,

I must have missed the same thing as the man who said this:

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war. When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race -- out of every race. - President George W. Bush

Islamism is not the problem, it's the cult perversion of Islam represented by Osama and his ilk.

I call bovine excrement on this notion that jurors are supposed to robots who judge only the facts of the case and not the law. Cops have plenty of discretionary power to arrest or not to arrest; prosecutors have plenty of discretionary power to decide whether to prosecute someone at all, and on what charges (and to make those glorious plea agreements in the name of expediency); judges have plenty of discretionary power, too. But somehow if JURORS were to exercise the same kind of judgment about whether a given arrest or prosecution is a worthwhile endeavor civilization will collapse any minute. Why is that, exactly?

Actually, my lawyers talked me out of it, at least for the time being.

For the rest of it, "there are none so blind as those who will not see."