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[P]
The West Memphis Three

By dasunt in Op-Ed
Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:08:22 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

On May 5th, 1993, the Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Arkansas was the site of the brutal sexual assault and murder of three 8 year old boys. A juvenile probation officer who was present during the investigation decided that it was an Satanic murder, and led police to Damien Echols, a local teen interested in Wiccanism and Metallica. No evidence pointed to him, but police leaked his name and rumors soon unfolded. With a substantial financial reward out for information, Jesse MissKelley was brought to the attention of the police, a 17 year old who has been described as "learning disabled". After a long period of questioning, he confessed that he, Damien, and Damien's friend, Jason Baldwin, committed the crime. The trio was charged, and Damien received the death penalty, while Jason and Jessie are serving prison terms. Damien is scheduled to die in less then 70 days.


There is a short, slightly biased summary and a longer, more informative case synopsis. The largest collection of information about the case seems to be at http://www.wm3.org.

In a nutshell, the police investigation fed on a rumor mill and suspicion created by the police. When Damien was first questioned, he repeated the local rumors about the murders to the police, and the police believed that the only source of this information had to be from someone with first hand knowledge of the murders. With this belief, the police then concentrated on Damien and Jason, ignoring other possible suspects. When a young boy, prompted by his mother, confessed to the police that he witnessed the murders, his bizarre, unsubstantiated story didn't stop police from asking him to identify Damien and Jason in a line up (he failed). Because his story changed several times and other witnesses could place him away from the crime scene at the time of the murders, his testimony was never used, but word spread of a witness. (The boy's mother would later claim that she attended a Satanic meeting with Damien and Jason, and after the trial recanted the story.) Another person, William Winfred Jones, told police that he heard Damien confess to killing the boys, but recanted before the trial.

The young boy's baby sitter, Jessie MissKelley, was questioned by police a month after the murders, without a written waiver of his Miranda rights by his father (Jessie was 17 at the time, a minor). After being questioned (including 3 hours that were not recorded), Jessie confessed that he, Jason, and Damien committed the murders, although he needed to be prompted by police to correctly identify the mutilated boy, and that he had several notable errors in his confession, including, but not limited to, the time of the murders, how the victims were bound, the time of the murders, how the boys were tortured, and where the murders took place. (Due to the lack of blood, it is unlikely that the boys were killed where they were found.)

With Damien's occult interest and Jessie's confession, the police arrested the boys and searched their homes, seizing some items. The police would later claim that fibers from the crime scene were similar to fibers from the trio's homes, including a match to Jason's mother's red robe, and a match to the green shirt of a child relative to Damien. Defense disputed this in court, claiming that the fibers found at the crime scene could match any number of common household items. In addition, a serrated knife was found in a lake behind Jason's home, but could not be linked to Jason. A necklace that Damien was wearing at the time (and that was also worn by Jason) had two drops of blood - the first was the same as Damien's blood type, the second was the same as Jason's and one of the victims. There was not enough blood present for DNA samples. Due to legal reasons, the state never presented this evidence at the trial.

The emphasis on Damien might have seemed more justifiable if there were no other plausible suspects. Yet in a bizarre twist, on the night of the murders, a black man covered in blood and mud was seen at a local fast food restaurant, and spent an hour in the bath room, cleaning himself. Although police were called, nobody went into the restaurant to investigate. Blood samples later taken from the bathroom were lost. There was a negroid hair found on one of the corpses, but none of the boys or the accused were black.

One of the boy's stepfather also had some bits of circumstantial evidence pointing towards him - a knife of his had some blood which was the same type as him and his son's, and a hair at the crime scene was similar to his hair (the hair was also similar to Damien's hair). Non-therapeutic amounts of a drug that the stepfather and the boy used were in the boy's bloodstream at the time of the boy's death - the drug, Carbamazepine, depresses the central nervous system and can cause drowsiness in large doses. The stepfather was on friendly terms with the cops and was a drug informant at the time - fueling speculation that the cops might have overlooked evidence pointing towards him as a suspect. (The stepchild had signs of healed past physical abuse.)

Obviously the above are limited highlights of the case, and I encourage all of you to read the links and decide for yourself. My impression of the case is that it shows serious flaws, and that the trial is bizarre, especially the focus on the occult and Satanism. Perhaps the boys are not innocent of the crime, but I do not see how, in an unbiased courtroom with proper legal defense, they could have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, I consider the case of the West Memphis Three a perfect example of the flaws in the justice system.

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Poll
Should the WM3 be found guilty in a court of law?
o Yes 6%
o No 50%
o Undecided 43%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o short, slightly biased summary
o longer, more informative case synopsis
o http://www .wm3.org
o Also by dasunt


Display: Sort:
The West Memphis Three | 156 comments (115 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
Well, shit. (2.60 / 20) (#5)
by zipper on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:10:57 PM EST

I guess that excuse never dies.

"It wasn't me, it was that suspicious looking black male over there, he's the guilty one your honor!"

---
This account has been neutered by rusty and can no longer rate or post comments. Way to go fearless leader!
Except (none / 0) (#96)
by locke baron on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 08:05:51 AM EST

that the suspects aren't saying this, evidence (albeit very sketchy) actually points toward this mysterious black man.

Never mind the fact that the evidence against the WM3 is very wonky anyway, which makes evidence against almost anyone else look that much more solid.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]

Here's how I see it. (2.45 / 37) (#11)
by qpt on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 08:44:24 PM EST

If a goth was put on death row, justice was served.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

'Cause death is so &$%#! goth!! (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by losthalo on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:26:22 AM EST

GAF, in fact. :-)

(Losthalo)

[ Parent ]
pricks (none / 0) (#156)
by zombie riot 13 on Thu Sep 18, 2003 at 12:48:39 PM EST

man come on dont be a cunt, yeah goths are pricks a lot of the time, they do think they are better than everyone, how is rodney king differant? everyone needs to stop using looks as grounds for guilty or not guilty this is exactly like the deneke case

[ Parent ]
now that is a fine piece of mayhem. (1.87 / 16) (#16)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:04:58 AM EST

but not newsworthy.

why should we care?

disclaimer: the preceeding should not be construed, interpreted, or construed as a moral justification for what seems to be a fine piece of mayhem. we at The RMG Group hold the highest standards of moral conduct and do not condone the rape and murder of young boys or otherwise.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Maybe because someone's about to die? (4.75 / 8) (#18)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:48:33 AM EST

This is real life, not trolling on Kuro5hin you know, mate. If this is true then it's definitely worthwhile having this on the front page.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Every guilty murderer claims they are innocent (1.40 / 5) (#19)
by Fredrick Doulton on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:13:27 AM EST

How is this any different?

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"
[ Parent ]

Reread the story. (nt) (none / 0) (#20)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:17:42 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
No (1.80 / 10) (#21)
by Fredrick Doulton on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:21:52 AM EST

I didn't read it the first time. What makes you think I would read it through a second time?

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"
[ Parent ]

now that's what i'm talking about ! (4.62 / 8) (#27)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:05:44 AM EST

don't let that little weenie push you around.

it is our god-given right not to read the articles !!!

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

So what? (2.60 / 10) (#22)
by qpt on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:33:55 AM EST

He'll die either way, and so will you. Over one hundred people died while I poured myself this glass of water.

Unless the fellow's life was of some importance to any of us (and it wasn't), his death is irrelevant and uninteresting.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

a point well taken. well taken, indeed. /nt (3.66 / 3) (#28)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:07:55 AM EST



_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

I suppose (4.75 / 4) (#46)
by losthalo on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:07:24 AM EST

the fact that the justice system(s) don't work particularly well (especially at protecting people from being framed and railroaded) has no bearing on your life. If nothing else, spreading the word about this sort of thing may cause people to take precautions against being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ending up on death row or in prison for decades.

(Losthalo)

(And you're only paranoid if you know there are more governmental abuses than the people judging your case as a jury!)

[ Parent ]
Indded. Until it's your turn... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by vnsnes on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 08:03:14 AM EST

His life should be of some importance to you. He will die regardless of heavy evidence that he did not commit the murders. Now imagine that you just happened to be close to a murder scene and shoddy detective work and police bullying fingered you as a prime suspect and led to your conviction. So, now you're on death row and about to be executed because nobody gave a shit.

[ Parent ]
Guess what. (none / 0) (#117)
by qpt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 10:59:16 PM EST

You'll die regardless of heavy evidence that you did not commit the murders.

Quick! Call someone!

Anyway, millions of people today had something happen to them that I would prefer not happen to me. I'm not going to care about all of them, and I don't see what makes this fellow special.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

That's a big glass (5.00 / 2) (#102)
by MalcolmCleaton on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:55:29 AM EST

The global death rate is running at under 2 per second.

Just how big is your glass?

Thanks,
Malcolm.

[ Parent ]

I gave myself a minute. (none / 0) (#116)
by qpt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 10:55:34 PM EST

I included the time to walk to the kitchen, find a glass, get some ice, and fill it with water.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

One Less Killer (1.00 / 4) (#58)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:51:15 AM EST

So, if we are to believe some poorly annotated story at K5, the boy is innocent. But then, if we are to research the issue, we find out that the little shit is as guilty as sin.

Burn baby burn.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
happy to see you post your research (nt) (4.00 / 6) (#61)
by phred on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:40:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Court Records (n/t) (none / 0) (#120)
by The Central Committee on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 02:55:13 AM EST


You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc
[ Parent ]

Cite, please. (nt) (none / 0) (#125)
by RobotSlave on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 05:52:14 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The "so what" troll: a brief refresher (4.33 / 3) (#59)
by localroger on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:52:04 AM EST

I see you've also smoked out qpt and Frederick Doulton. Since none of you give a shit about anything, why don't you all just go back to jerking off to Ayn Rand and stop trolling here?

Ed is also a bloodless creep but at least he puts some work into his trolls.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

blah blah blah... (1.60 / 5) (#65)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:05:25 PM EST

i read a bit of your post... don't remember much... so i'm going to have to fill in some places...

so i remember you said something about a talking spaceship with a raygun-wielding, artificially intelligent robot. frankly, i don't see what this has to do with my post...

then you make another one of your sexually confused metaphors about some other robot, ayn rand, i think... and you say something about how the ultimate-big intellect would troll better or something...

it didn't make a lot of sense to me, but i'll try to respond anyway. you see, your input is important to me. we're both writers, though perhaps of a different sort. i've always admired your ability to write about robots and artificial intelligence. and fine cyborg ladies... i strive for the best, most powerful text in my trolling...

perhaps you can advise me. how did you feel about the symbolism in that post? personally, i felt that the use of rhythmic devices served as an interesting counterpoint to the surrealism of the underlying metaphor... but of course that's just me.

i really need the opinion of a master of the trade. like you. please help me. i feel that if you could teach me to write better robots and cyber-whores, i could really get my trolling career off the ground.

your opinion is important to me, localroger. i desperately need your guidance.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Unfair. (2.50 / 4) (#70)
by qpt on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:50:06 PM EST

Why is lack of interest in the death of some person I never even heard of a day ago evidence that I don't "give a shit about anything." I care deeply about a number of things, but damn it, localroger, everyone dies. I have trouble getting myself worked up over something that is a biological necessity.

I'm not trolling, and I'm not an adherent to some silly pseudo-philosophy. However, since the fellow's life didn't impact me in the least, I am sincerely uninterested in his death. I can't change the Arkansas legal system, and you, with all your self-righteous indignation, aren't going to change it either. Do we need to wring our hands and weep every time anyone dies under circumstances they might not prefer? We'll certainly be busy.

Frankly, your disapprobation makes you look foolish. Everyone who lives will die, and to the dead, life's circumstances make not one whit of difference. Everyone ends exactly the same. Lighten up, then, and let go of the misguided moral outrage. It does no one any long-term good.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Well, we can die now, or we can die later. (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by localroger on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:58:58 PM EST

I'd like to die later.

Since you don't seem to see any difference, why not do it now?

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Since I don't seem to see (none / 0) (#78)
by qpt on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:06:02 PM EST

Any difference, why not do it later?

I like living. The fact that once I cease to live nothing I did while alive will have any significance isn't a motivation to seek death.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

nice shooting !!! (1.00 / 1) (#76)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:51:02 PM EST

wow, that's not bad...

maybe if i tried, someday i could be like you.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

You wouldn't like to be like him. (3.50 / 4) (#81)
by localroger on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:26:51 PM EST

And he wouldn't like to be like you.

In fact, no sane person would want to be like either of you.

Which is probably why you are both all alone, trolling instead of living.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

blah blah blah (1.00 / 1) (#86)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:14:59 PM EST

why do you bother?

i would have expected better from you...

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

By way of explanation... (3.28 / 7) (#92)
by Bloodless Creep on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 06:28:17 AM EST

...localroger has a deep-seated psychological need to place himself in the role of the teen-ager living under the iron thumb of the Oppressive American Parent.

There is, in short, a very interesting story that localroger is not telling us, but the evidence for this will take a few paragraphs to present.

The origins of his demonizing, reactionary response, to any and all descriptions of American parents or authorities punishing or even disciplining teen-agers, are unclear.

His reaction, however, is alarmingly consistent; he will immediately and invariably attack, fantasizing about the violent death of the perceived "oppressor," without any thought at all as to whether the actions of the "oppressed" teens might actually have been harmful, or as to what sort of punishment might be just, given the nature of the teen-aged misbehavior in question.

He has given us a few hints from his personal life that might point toward an explanation of this aspect of his psyche; his parents, he has told us, strongly opposed his relationship with his girlfriend, whom he apparently met while he was embroiled in an organized gambling ring; and though he is almost forty years old, and has been living with that same girlfriend for over a decade, the happy couple is, to date, unmarried and without child.

It seems quite clear that localroger places himself in the role of the grown-up child (that is, of the teen-ager) rather than in the role of the true grown-up, and that his day-to-day relationship with his girlfriend, whatever it might be like, reinforces his "alphakinder" self-perception.

As a consequence, he can have no children of his own, as real children would of course quickly demolish his uber-child self-identity.

In lieu of the usual process of self-realization (and eventual child-rearing) localroger participates aggressively in online debates about teen-agers, taking the side of the adolescent regardless of circumstance, living a ghoulish, vicarious emotional existence through the tragic but inevitably distant and unquestionably impersonal stories of Oppressed American Teens conveyed to him via the reassuringly formalized and comfortably limited medium of the printed word.

He bothers, in short, because he is bothered. By what, we do not yet know.

 

This thoughtful explanation of localroger's problems is in no way meant as an endorsement of the views of "rmg," who we believe would benefit handsomely from a year or two of finishing school.

[ Parent ]

(Score: 5, Informative.) (none / 0) (#106)
by rmg on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:59:40 PM EST

thanks for the tip. i am glad you have brought this to my attention.

i believe it is time to do some fictionalizing...

yes... fictionalizing...

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

You're here too, (1.00 / 1) (#88)
by qpt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 12:16:49 AM EST

Buddy. Since when has a polite lack of interest in strangers' natural biological processes been trolling? Some people genuinely aren't self-righteous blowhards and busybodies; we don't have to fake anything.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Bit of advice, localoger: (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by Bloodless Creep on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:56:11 PM EST

If you find yourself surrounded by bloodless creeps, then you have most likely stumbled into a den of ghouls.

Think about it a bit, while you're sucking the marrow from the ten-year-old corpse of this teen-oppression story, gorging yourself on gulp after ravening gulp of thick, salty, vicarious outrage.

[ Parent ]

Nice to see you, Ed. (none / 0) (#80)
by localroger on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:24:39 PM EST

See you've made yet another dupe account to troll me. Not that it takes much effort, but I do appreciate the effort. Be careful, you can lose yourself in all that ennui, if you even have a self left to lose.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
How cute. (1.14 / 7) (#85)
by Bloodless Creep on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:04:25 PM EST

You know, my favorite stalker keeps intoning my One True Name, too, presumably in hopes that it will exorcise the demons, or give him some sort of magical Wizard Power over me, or something.

Why don't you spend a while sifting through his comment history, so as to get a better idea of how well this tactic might work for you? It's always good to have reasonable expectations, after all.

"...to troll me. Not that it takes much effort"

For your homework, I would like you to write three pages explaining exactly what you think that means; what it means about me, and more importantly, what it means about you.

"if you even have a self left to lose."

It would appear that I in fact have several selves to lose now, wouldn't it?

And I don't think "ennui" was a particularly incisive choice of word, there, Mr. Big Shot K5 Fiction Author. I'm far from bored, you know.

[ Parent ]

But you are boring :( (n/t) (3.00 / 5) (#103)
by cavalier on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 01:46:01 PM EST



[ Parent ]
They forgot the first rule (1.47 / 23) (#23)
by x10 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:54:31 AM EST

of murdering young children - make sure your scapegoat nigger doesn't get away!

---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---

+1FP (2.28 / 14) (#26)
by DJ Glock on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:56:13 AM EST

i've always preferred "negroid" to "black" and "african-american".

*** ANONYMIZED ***

shut up (1.21 / 33) (#30)
by x10 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:13:09 AM EST

nigger

---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---
[ Parent ]

*deliverance music* (1.71 / 14) (#29)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:12:10 AM EST

sweet home alabama !!!

only in America, my friends, only in America.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

Actually, (3.66 / 9) (#31)
by x10 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:27:02 AM EST

America's tough but fair stance against satanism is the reason for the low crime rates here.

---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---
[ Parent ]

You know the guy... (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by Vesperto on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:39:25 AM EST

...who's post you're replying to? He's a much better troll than you, ask him for private lessons.

If you disagree post, don't moderate. Alimaniere forf
[
Parent ]
ah, shucks.... /nt (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by rmg on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:51:29 PM EST



_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

Can anyone tell me... (4.34 / 26) (#34)
by Kasreyn on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 05:19:02 AM EST

Why we assume the worst of "Satanists", who 99% of the time are 15 year old nerds acting out their feelings of rejection because the cheerleaders won't lay them...

...but we let the Scientologists, who are hard at work annihilating people's minds and ruining their lives, get away without paying any taxes, and give them full protection as an established "religion"?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Because (2.61 / 13) (#36)
by x10 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 05:39:08 AM EST

Scientologists are productive citizens like John Travolta, whereas Satanists rape and murder small children.

---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---
[ Parent ]

Ad hominem == bad (4.70 / 10) (#39)
by BadDoggie on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:45:30 AM EST

Please cite just a single instance of an actual rape or murder of an actual "small children" by "Satanists", whether as part of a ritual or for the same sick reasons all the good Christians and their spiritual leaders rape and kill children?

There are so many Christian priests out there molesting young children that it rarely makes national news anymore.

$cientology, OTOH, destroys people's productivity, takes all their money and kills them.


woof.

"Non videri sed esse." — Tycho Brahe "Not to be seen but to be."
[ Parent ]

Sarcasm (3.50 / 4) (#43)
by randyk on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:58:52 AM EST

Sarcasm \Sar"casm\, n. [F. sarcasme, L. sarcasmus, Gr.sarkasmo`s, from sarka`zein to tear flesh like dogs, to bite the lips in rage, to speak bitterly, to sneer, fr. sa`rx, sa`rkos, flesh.] A keen, reproachful expression; a satirical remark uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt; a taunt; a gibe; a cutting jest.



[ Parent ]
Maybe it's just that IHBT (4.75 / 4) (#62)
by BadDoggie on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:01:23 PM EST

Of course, it never hurts to add a few extra links to show what the Co$ really is, in case someone stubles across and doesn't know what everyone's writing about.

woof.

"Non videri sed esse." — Tycho Brahe "Not to be seen but to be."
[ Parent ]

Would you want to incur the wrath of Xenu? (4.00 / 3) (#40)
by debacle on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:37:10 AM EST

I don't think so buster!

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
Xenu (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by edo on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:01:28 AM EST

I thought Xenu was supposed to be the Scientologists' intergalactic enemy?

It's the wrath of Tom Cruise I fear... (Even though he is kind of cute.)
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

Three words. (3.25 / 4) (#45)
by Zerotime on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:03:14 AM EST

Massive. Government. Payoffs.

[ Parent ]
So it's a competition! (3.80 / 5) (#47)
by losthalo on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:23:19 AM EST

which religions can bring in enough moola fast enough to pay off onough judges and cops to continue their activities unmolested?

(yeah, that's about the size of it all right: religions are just untaxed corporations with strange ethical declarations)

Want to deal with tax revenue shortfalls? Tax the %$&&# religious organizations! If you're going to give them federal money as charities and it isn't a violation of the separation of church and state, then we can bloody well tax them, too!

(Losthalo)


People buy holes, not drill bits.
(Peter Deutsch)

[ Parent ]
Not Scientology (4.00 / 3) (#121)
by wilson on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 03:07:15 AM EST

The US Federal Govt. has a 30+ year history of going after Scientology. Like the rest of us, the IRS and FBI can see through the sham of it's protection as a religion, but it's still got constitutional protection unless they can find evidence of criminal (and not merely scumbag) behavior on the part of the "church"

I don't believe that Scientology has every effectively cultivated much political clout. If someone knows otherwise, please correct me.

[ Parent ]

Excellent (1.33 / 30) (#38)
by ComradeFork on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:38:06 AM EST

Now buy an ad.

note: (2.89 / 29) (#66)
by reklaw on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:28:47 PM EST

I will make sure to mention this next time one of you American idiots try to defend still having the death penalty. Thanks.
-
eh? (none / 0) (#107)
by el_guapo on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:03:39 PM EST

so you don't think it's possible for a person to commit such a heinous act that they forfeit the right to their own life? i'm not trolling, just curious, being the american idiot that i am :-P (remember, some of us are pretty fed up with what this country's become)
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
nope (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by reklaw on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:46:21 PM EST

I don't think you can "forfeit" your right to life. Everyone has a right to life. You don't ever stop having it, no matter what you do -- I don't expect you to agree with that, it's just a personal principle of mine.

One of the big reasons behind that, though, is that the death penalty can't be undone and there is always a chance that the person is innocent.
-
[ Parent ]

true dat (5.00 / 2) (#112)
by el_guapo on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 08:48:08 PM EST

and in this country, the death penalty IS appallingly assigned to minorities in drastically larger numbers than non-minorities.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
A meaningless distinction (none / 0) (#143)
by RyoCokey on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 04:58:01 PM EST

What use is life when you are no longer self-actualized? What can a person in maximum security confinement do, really? Could we simply lobotamize the convicted?

"A Right to Life" simply seems meaningless. A right to not be arbitrarily murdered, perhaps. But I see no reason why life should be held inviolate, especially as it inevitably ceases, regardless of human action.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Ask them (none / 0) (#147)
by Lynoure on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:03:08 AM EST

Ask the guys in maximum security confinement if they'd like to be killed instead. I bet most of them  still want to live.

As for lobotomy, most of the civilized world has abandoned it completely many decades ago. USA has not?

[ Parent ]

Actually... (4.66 / 3) (#124)
by Tau on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 05:08:34 AM EST

...when people talk about the whole barbarity and right to life aspect of the Death Penalty, I tend to think that's something of a non-issue anyway.

Put it this way; when you get into your car, there's a good possibility that you won't get back out again. In fact in day to day life this is the greatest risk we face to life and limb. But do you even give that risk a moment's thought? Well, I know I don't anyway. Similarly I doubt a criminal is much deterred by the possibly fatal consequences of an act he's about to commit, so I don't believe the mere intellectual awareness of a threat of death is enough to deter anyone from an action that they want to carry out or none of us would ever get behind the wheel of a car. Severity of consequence is not much of a deterrence; certainty of consequence is.

Also, I dunno about you but the idea of living out my remaining sixty-odd years behind bars frankly scares the shit out of me. I feel life imprisonment is a far harsher punishment than the death penalty can be. Just imagine what it feels like to die at the end of it all having lived the vast majority of your existence in prison, the free world nothing but a distant memory, and the limits of your universe being a mile square. Frankly I'm surprised more people aren't banging on about how life imprisonment is a cruel and inhuman punishment.

The argument against this perspective is the cost of keeping someone in prison for their whole life. Yes, there is that but frankly the problems with the prison system are a separate issue -- no it's not perfect but like capitalism it's the best solution we have at the moment. Put it this way though, we also undertake considerable, perhaps commensurable expense in order to keep our elderly alive and comfortable. Should we slaughter everyone past middle age simply because they're fiscally inconvenient? The analogy isn't perfect because the elderly condition is not a fault of its afflicted but hopefully you can see what I'm getting at.

And of course you've got all the time in the world to correct a miscarriage of justice.

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]

Cost (none / 0) (#132)
by aeolia on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 12:34:32 PM EST

Apparently the process for executing criminals in the U.S. is generally more expensive than keeping them in prison for life.

[ Parent ]
*my* logic (none / 0) (#133)
by el_guapo on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 12:46:02 PM EST

isn't so much "death as punishment", but "you can be so dispically bad that you don't deserve to live at the expense of the general population, and as a side note, being dead is worth it to remove the chance that you might escape". now, that said, i think the current US implementation is completely fucked up....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Teach society that killing is wrong by killiing! (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by Netsnipe on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 10:58:28 AM EST

Mark Fiore's flash cartoon sums it up pretty well. http://www.markfiore.com/animation/execution.html

--
Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
[ Parent ]
That's a Composition logical fallacy (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by RyoCokey on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 04:50:27 PM EST

Arguing that executions are equivalent to murder is a Compositional fallacy. Essentially, just because murder is wrong, doesn't mean capital punishment is.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Explain some more... (none / 0) (#146)
by Lynoure on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 02:52:51 AM EST

How does the capital punishment* of an innocent differ from murder?

*)Sounds a lot nicer than execution, doesn't it?

[ Parent ]

A number of ways... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 11:10:39 AM EST

With murder, we have the actions of one person killing another, without consideration of it's wide-ranging effects.

With executions, we have society as a whole judging that the person's life should be discontinued. With murder, there is no consideration, and no justice. Murder disrupts and weakens society as a whole, while Executions strengthen it.

You could argue it from any utilitarian perspective, or a variety of Divine Right ones.

However, you just attempted to Straw Man my question:

How does the capital punishment* of an innocent differ from murder?



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Not the point (none / 0) (#135)
by scruffyMark on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 01:51:55 AM EST

Sure, there are people who commit such terrible acts that the only way to keep society safe from them would be to kill them. And you can argue back and forth about "deserving" to die. But none of that is the point.

The point is that the justice system is a bunch of humans, and making mistakes is what makes us human. So, writing it into the books that there can be capital punishment pretty much guarantees that some of those mistakes will lead to innocent people getting killed. No matter what, those are mistakes that can never be made right. And of course, in any society, it will be the already marginalized who will be the vast majority of victims of such mistakes

To be totally consistent in a position in favour of capital punishment, then, you have to be able to say not only "I would be willing to be see innocent people executed" but "I would be willing myeslf to be executed for a crime I didn't commit, as the price of having capital punishment available in the justice system."

I don't think there's really that many people out there who can say that.

[ Parent ]

A Swift solution (none / 0) (#154)
by pulnimar on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 10:50:18 PM EST

As "it will be the already marginalized who will be the vast majority of victims of such mistakes" (wrongful executions).  We will be reducing the excess population of marginalized, thus leaving a greater preponderance of the mainstream.

Frightened and angry at the treatment of their brethren (and some sistren), many of these marginalized folk will start committing crimes that will rightfully earn them the death penalty.

Others will (legally) protest against this.  Untouchable now, it will quickly be found that most are actually guilty of capital crimes with the help of honest informants such as the like described in the article.  These honorable people, surely just trying to work themselves up from the margins, will have the help of the rewards (for the arrest and convinction of...) that they have justly earned.

[ Parent ]

A negroid hair, perhaps (2.80 / 10) (#69)
by Poor Yorick on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 05:59:19 PM EST

But was it a negroid pubic hair? And was it stuck in the victim's teeth?

Spelling error: (5.00 / 3) (#73)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:03:47 PM EST

And was it stuck in the victim's teeth? should read And was it stuck in the victims' teeth?


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
Must have been... (5.00 / 4) (#93)
by edo on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:24:59 AM EST

Must have been a pretty long hair then.
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]
how would they be able to tell the difference (3.66 / 3) (#91)
by DJ Glock on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:37:39 AM EST

between a negro pubic hair and any other type of negro hair?

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

Pubic Hair (none / 0) (#97)
by Merk00 on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 08:23:03 AM EST

Pubic hair is very different from hair found on different parts of the body. It is very easy for an investigator to tell the difference.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:17:46 AM EST

I find myself wondering if your username is short for "merkin". You certainly appear to know quite a bit about this sort of thing!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#100)
by Merk00 on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:23:25 AM EST

I had to search google to figure out what you meant.

I saw the statement about pubic hair on a crime pathology show once. I have a tendency to remember useless bits of information.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Evidently so do I :-) (nt) (none / 0) (#101)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:27:03 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the K5 show, on the Lifetime Network (2.71 / 14) (#71)
by RobotSlave on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:53:44 PM EST

Yes, I realize this is a serious case—I've been reading pretty much the same newspaper article on it for ten years now, after all—but I'm pretty fed up with the rash of Evil Oppression of American Teen-Agers stories at K5.

I mean, come on.

Can we please talk about some non-American teen-agers being oppressed, for once? Or maybe about some American teenagers who are unjustly overprivileged? Or perhaps we could have a story about teens who do foolish or dangerous things with their American freedom?

Or, hey, how about a story with some American teen-agers who do something uttlerly horrifying, and get decisively and righteously caught, and then receive their fair and just punishment?

Does K5 really have to mirror the most maudlin, overwrought style and pandering sentimental subject matter of downmarket television infotainment?

I agree. (4.33 / 3) (#72)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:01:29 PM EST

John Jameson, the famous computer hacker from Sweden has not gotten enough exposure for his unfair treatment by INTERPOL with regard to his crime of hacking PDF files.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
You have a point. (1.00 / 1) (#74)
by RobotSlave on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:19:13 PM EST

OK, let's make that non-western teen-agers, then.

[ Parent ]
I have a suggestion... (2.20 / 15) (#82)
by localroger on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:32:18 PM EST

There are people who need to die. We do not know whose these pieces of trash in human form are. But there is hope! YOU have helpfully stepped forward as a piece of trash in human form interested in the case. Since, as some other "who cares" trolls suggest it doesn't really matter who we kill, why not step up to the plate for us? Let us kill someone, e.g. yourself, who actually DESERVES to die. Then you can go on to your next life as a rat instead of a cockroach.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Sounds good to me. (3.00 / 6) (#84)
by RobotSlave on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:48:45 PM EST

Sure, I'd go for that, but only if you're the one who has to pull the trigger, localroger.

Now be a good boy, put your pee-pee back in your trousers, and stop scowling and bothering all the nice K5 people like that.

[ Parent ]

At least we're (1.50 / 2) (#87)
by qpt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 12:11:51 AM EST

Not bloodthirsty.

Geeze man, indifference is one thing, but wanting someone to die? You're sick.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

hm (none / 0) (#138)
by EMHMark3 on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 07:56:42 AM EST

"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."

T H E   M A C H I N E   S T O P S
[ Parent ]

Good! (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by Ubiq on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:37:59 PM EST

We look forward to seeing your submissions in the queue.



[ Parent ]
ye! (none / 0) (#113)
by debillitatus on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:03:45 PM EST

Hear fuckin here

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

Something like... (none / 0) (#150)
by nklatt on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 03:32:34 PM EST

this, maybe?

[ Parent ]
For more information, ... (4.57 / 7) (#83)
by hmspgh on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:36:56 PM EST

HBO Documentary films have two documentaries on the subject -- the 'Paradise Lost' series, if I'm remembering correctly.

The father of one of the boys, Chris Byers (if I'm remembering correctly), is a complete wacko who loves to act for the camera. There were a lot of questions regarding him, as he had a history of beating young Chris. Additionally, bite marks were found on some (one?) of the victims, but Mr. Byers promptly had his upper teeth removed. The more you look at the case, the more evidence seems to point to Byers, but the police have apparently cleared him. The second HBO special, where the filmmakers take a slightly less objective approach (they're sponsoring wm3.org) features Byers peeing on fake graves of the WM3 and generally being your typical redneck. If it wasn't for the seriousness of the situation, what with 3 kids mutilated, two teenagers in prison, and one about to die, Mr. Byers' antics would be rather amusing.

Anyway, the HBO specials are slightly disturbing, so watch with caution.
---
"Aldous Huxley's 1983 has arrived." - Arthur Spada, CT Public Safety Commis.
Check out the book (5.00 / 5) (#94)
by vnsnes on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:50:38 AM EST

"Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three" by an Arkansas reporter Mara Leveritt.

You can get a cheap hardcover copy from Henry Rollins' website. I believe all (most?) proceeds from the sale will go to benefit the boys' (who are now men) defense. Not sure how much that would help Damien, but it's something.

Rollins has been involved in raising money for the West Memphis 3 pretty heavily. He put together a collaboration CD "Rise Above" that goes to benefit the WM3. Proceeds from the Rise Above tour also go to their defense.

now where have I... (4.00 / 5) (#105)
by dr k on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:26:33 PM EST

Oh, lookee here.

Destroy all trusted users!
Shit! (none / 0) (#108)
by dasunt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:28:24 PM EST

I thought I searched for West Memphasis 3 on k5 before doing this story

My bad.



[ Parent ]
Let the Police do their Job! (1.13 / 29) (#111)
by sellison on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:56:18 PM EST

Look, the boy was a satanist, even you admit that.

Satanists are 'into' blood, brutality, and disgusting sex by definition.

3 innocent little boys were brutally killed in an obvious satanic sex crime. Of course the local satanist is the proper suspect, and the Police had plenty of evidence to connect the evil one to the crime.

You might think that worshipping satan is just a cute phase, but the fact is he is the evil one, Damien was a follower, and a satanic crime occured that Damien is the most connected to.

To attempt to shift the blame from the local satanist to some poor black man is the height of liberal racism! Sure you liberals support equal rights, unless you have a chance to take a stab at good, God fearing Christians by shifting the blame from a brutal satanic murderer to some poor minority!

The fact is, this sort of crime has become more and more common in the US as we have become more tolerant of satanists in our midst. It is the sort of thing we either have to become used to or take a stand against.

Kudos to the West Memphis PD for doing so!




"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

Blinded by the light of Gawd (4.60 / 5) (#118)
by seraph93 on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:11:33 PM EST

Satanists are 'into' blood, brutality, and disgusting sex by definition.

By whose definition? That doesn't sound much like any of the Satanists I know. Also remember that there are Satanists, and there are Satanists. There are the people who are members of the Church of Satan because they think Anton laVey had some pretty insightful things to say, and there are the kids who draw pentagrams on their schoolbooks because it pisses off Mom and Dad. Just like there are Christians who accept the Lord Jesus's message of love and forgiveness for everyone, and then there are Christians who just use Jesus as a cheap excuse for intolerance and bigotry. It's amazing how many of the latter find it so easy to scream and rant and denounce things that they know nothing about.

To attempt to shift the blame from the local satanist to some poor black man is the height of liberal racism! Sure you liberals support equal rights, unless you have a chance to take a stab at good, God fearing Christians by shifting the blame from a brutal satanic murderer to some poor minority!

That's interesting. I can't find anything in my Bible that advises me to kill the first scapegoat I can find instead of seeking justice. Maybe I have a defective copy? And remember, saying that all Satanists are brutal murderers is every bit as accurate, informed, and open-minded as saying that all black men loooove that fried chicken.

You've got a nice quote for a sig, there. Here are a couple more you might want to check out. They aren't from anyone as awesome as George "Dubya" Bush, but they still look sharp at the end of a good, God-fearing Kuro5hin post:

"Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself."
"Let he who has no sin cast the first stone."
"Before removing the mote from thy neighbor's eye, attend to the beam in thine own."
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Pentagrams? (none / 0) (#122)
by edo on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 04:57:16 AM EST

> there are the kids who draw pentagrams on their
> schoolbooks because it pisses off Mom and Dad

Inverted pentagrams, I should hope.

Remember, kids: nothing pisses off the establishment more than inversion!
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

Scribblin' on schoolbooks (none / 0) (#134)
by seraph93 on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 07:32:11 PM EST

Inverted pentagrams, I should hope.

Well, I should hope so too, but these *are* idiot schoolkids we're talking about.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Not quite (none / 0) (#137)
by edo on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:51:00 AM EST

> these *are* idiot schoolkids we're talking about.

Really? In my experience, the rebellious ones tend to be the smarter ones. But since I went to school in NL, my take on this is bound to differ from yours.
-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

You lucky bastard (4.00 / 3) (#139)
by seraph93 on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 12:52:56 PM EST

Kids actually learn things in your schools, or so I've heard. Here in the US, they teach the Three American Virtues: Breed, Consume, Obey. Everyone learns the same lesson. The "rebellious" kids shop at the same mall as the "nice" kids, they just go to different stores. "Rebellion" in an American school means wearing a different brand name than the majority, listening to music from a different record label, drinking a different brand of beer. The counterculture's been prepackaged, shrink-wrapped, and marketed, and they're selling it for twenty bucks a shot down at Hot Topic. The kids who actually *think* differently, the truly creative and intelligent ones, get sent to the psychiatrists to be medicated into normalcy.

I know it sounds awfully cynical, but it's the truth. The educational system's job here is to create good consumers, not to cultivate great minds. Intelligent and well-educated populaces have an unfortunate tendency to see through all the bullshit and call shenanigans on the whole society. And that, my friend, would destroy the American way of life. We can't have that.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Those quotes are meant (none / 0) (#136)
by sellison on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:29:58 AM EST

to be spoken of Christians, by Christians. We know we are sinners, we know that one of us is not better than the other.

But think, if you were to see a loved one killing himself with alcholism or heroin addiction, would it be righteous to say "well, I'm not going to get all judgemental, if my son wants to waste his life away with a needle in his vein, who am I to speak?"

Well, for a believing Christian, a satanist, atheist, moslem, etc., is that addict, caught in self-destructive behavior, and slowly wasting his one precious soul into dust.

So a good, decent, loving Christian can do no other but point out that his heathen neighbor is killing his one chance at heaven, while not being over-critical of his Christian neighbor who is doing the best he can.

As far as the topic, it stands to reason there are no good satanists, and it also is only reasonable to suspect a person who chooses to worship evil, even if it only seems a childish play act, of evil acts when they occur.

Again, kudos to the Police in this case for not letting the PC perversion of the idea of tolerance divert them from seeking and finding justice. It is too bad that they did not act sooner, that they were not allowed to act sooner and punish this boy for his 'harmless' satanic rituals before he was ready to graduate to the real thing!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

You're fun to argue with, Sellison. Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by seraph93 on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 01:32:40 PM EST

I can understand that being Christian would move you to try and save the souls of as many of your fellow human beings as possible. There's nothing wrong with that. What I take offense to is your ignorance and misrepresentation of Satanists (by which I mean "members of the Church of Satan"), and indeed your misrepresentation of every member of every faith different from yours.

...it stands to reason there are no good satanists...

No it doesn't. This statement does not stand when even the smallest amount of reason is applied to it. Nowhere does Satanism encourage random acts of violence, virgin sacrifices, blood rituals, or anything that you seem to associate it with. Being a Satanist does not mean an utter rejection of morality, it just means using a different set of morals than Christians do. I can understand that, given an exceptionally narrow world-view, "not Christian" must equal "evil", but "different religion" == "evil" is the kind of reasoning that leads to crusades and suicide bombings. If you take a broader view of morality, and consider what "good" and "evil" mean to humanity as a whole, it might shock you to discover that, from an objective viewpoint, Satanists are no more "good" or "evil" than Christians are. They just use a different set of moral guidelines, that's all.

In fact, the Church of Satan was not founded to further the glory of Lucifer at all. It was founded as a rejection of and complaint against the blind intolerance and hatred so often displayed by Christians. It's called the Church of Satan because Anton laVey knew that no other name would piss off the Christians more. And it seems to have worked. Don't believe me? Why don't you research the topic instead of making things up then? I know that Christians don't much enjoy empirical evidence, but it does help to bolster your arguments when engaged in a debate.

Again you applaud the West Memphis Police Department for ignoring all available evidence and putting a convenient scapegoat on Death Row, and again I must object. Even if the scapegoat were a member of a part of society that I personally disapprove of, I would still object. In lieu of justice, a child is being put to death for the crime of holding different opinions than the majority. If Christianity teaches you to applaud this sort of behaviour, then who is it, exactly, that is worshipping evil?
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Who aren't those quotes meant for? (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by IdahoEv on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 03:45:07 PM EST

sellison sez:

Those quotes are meant to be spoken of Christians, by Christians. We know we are sinners, we know that one of us is not better than the other.

Interesting contention, that these statements only apply to Christians.

Take for example "cast the first stone". John 8:1-11. Jesus was speaking to a group of Pharisees. Apparently *he* felt his morals applied to all people. In fact, that was rather the point.

I could really get going, here. Tell me: how many examples do you want that Jesus' teachings instruct Christians to apply their ethics fairly to all people?

How well can you support your implied claim that Christians are not required to treat all people with the same fairness and standards they apply to other Christians?

Or, perhaps are you telling us that Jesus' words suddenly become false if quoted by a non-Christian?


IdahoEv's Rants
[ Parent ]
When speaking of sin (none / 0) (#144)
by sellison on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 09:24:47 PM EST

obviously the comments have little meaning to people who don't understand or believe in sin.

As far as applying Christian morals to all people, of course that was His point and mine: worshipping Satan is a bad thing to do, whether you are a Christian or not, though of course only a Christian can be expected to be able to know and tell how bad it really is.

To an atheist all morals are equally groundless, do as you will is the only law, and the only thing that keeps an atheist moral is the surety of drastic punishment in this life, since he denies the fact of punishment in the next life.

As far as the Satanist, he is busy worshipping the embodiement of pure evil, you should expect good works from such a man as much as you should expect Saddam Hussein to surface as a reformed saint and you should expect the direst evil from such a man as a matter of course.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Understand issues before you speak of them (4.00 / 2) (#151)
by IdahoEv on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 07:47:13 PM EST

As far as applying Christian morals to all people, of course that was His point and mine: worshipping Satan is a bad thing to do, whether you are a Christian or not...

I have two things to say to this:

First: No, that wasn't your point at all. You responded to Seraph93's scripture quotations, including the ever-present "cast the first stone", saying that those quotes were meant to be used by Christians for Christians. Thus implying that they do not apply. My point is that they DO apply because Jesus meant his ethic of "do not judge" to apply to all people. Saying "worshipping Satan is evil" is not a reply to my point. Whether or not you think it is evil, the Bible and Jesus instruct Christians to attend to their own sins, not condemn others to death, as you did in this post. You condemned a so-called "satanist" to death for this crime despite evidence that he didn't do it. The bottom line is, according to most Christian doctrine and the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, the judgement is for God to make, not you.

As far as law is concerned, if you believe Satanism is wrong and should be against the law, get a law passed saying so and prosecute the offenders on that basis. Prosecuting someone for a totally different crime (i.e. murder) that he may not have committed because you disapprove of his religion or dress code is WRONG. It's opportunistic, illogical, unethical, and ultimately un-Christian.

Second: Your judgement is blatantly false anyway. You repeatedly make statements about things you clearly know little about. While I am not a Satanist or a member of the Church of Satan, nor have ever even known one, out of curiosity I have taken the time to research them. The church of Satan does not worship the entity Christians call Satan, the Devil, or Lucifer. Most of them do not believe in a supernatural power of any sort. It is a group that essentially exalts hedonism and "human nature" as they percieve it. You and I may find that distasteful but it's a far cry from "worshipping Satan". They picked the name "Church of Satan" essentially because it would annoy people like you.

People have already pointed out the misunderstanding of Satanism before in this thread, yet you do not see fit to educate yourself about the issues at hand and continue making false statements about it.

To an atheist all morals are equally groundless, do as you will is the only law, and the only thing that keeps an atheist moral is the surety of drastic punishment in this life, since he denies the fact of punishment in the next life.

This is complete and utter bullshit. So disconnected from reality it's almost not worth debating. Numerous philosophies exist that give extremely strong, logical, foundations for morals and ethical behavior. Clearly, you have never heard of or studied Humanism, Bioethics, or any other element of our 2500-year tradition of philosophical thought and literature.

On the other hand, one may argue that belief in a Christian deity does not necessarily give a strong foundation for moral behavior during life. Some branches of Christianity (including perhaps yours) believe that salvation depends only on the acceptance of christ as a personal savior. Thus a murderer who accepts at the last moment of his life is saved, but a buddhist philanthropist is not. Clearly, this is not the strongest argument for "good works", since one would not need to conduct such works to be saved.

As far as the Satanist, he is busy worshipping the embodiement of pure evil

He is doing nothing of the sort. Again, go read up on the Church of Satan: you know absolutely nothing about them and are therefore not qualified to speak on the subject. The kind of "satanist" you mean doesn't really exist. It's a boogeyman someone invented to you to scare you at night, and you should outgrow it.

The person in question in this criminal investigation most likely wasn't even a member of the Church of Satan. In all probability, he's just a mixed-up kid who thought wearing pentacles and dark clothing would get a rise out of his parents. He certainly doesn't deserve to die for it.

You have some dark personal fantasy that the world is full of evil people who sign contracts with Lucifer and drink virgins' blood. And because some innocent kid's clothing triggers that fantasy, you assume he committed this crime regardless of the evidence and would send him to the electric chair. How very Christian of you.

-Ev


IdahoEv's Rants
[ Parent ]
American democracy (none / 0) (#152)
by sellison on Sat Aug 23, 2003 at 05:37:43 PM EST

is by Christians, for Christians, of course. Other moral systems do not include sufficient teachings regarding personal responsibility and the reasons behind the gift of freedom. Thus such moral systems are causing increasing problems for American Democracy, all out of proportion to the tiny numbers who practice them.

As far as the cast the first stone quote, it is of course referring to 'he who is without sin'. No Christian thinks he is without sin, but non-Christian moral systems that have no concept of sin, the quote cannot apply. Atheists don't believe in sin, thus there is nothing keeping them from casting stones (other than the overworked police). Satanists believe sin is good, so they also have no restrictions on casting stones.

It is certainly clear to good Christians that we need a strong and active police force to protect us from such amoral behaviorists in our midst. In fact, in the past, when Christian ideals were the norm, such digusting behavior as this satan worshipper's would not have been tolerated by his local community, and he would have had no chance to act his terrible rituals out on these innocent boys.

They picked the name "Church of Satan" essentially because it would annoy people like you.

That is their public face. Satan is the deciever, and his followers know that even 'progressive "humanists" such as yourself would be shocked if you knew their true beliefs and practices. So they have designed a lie that will appeal to moral relativists such as yourself, and you see how effective it is.

Numerous philosophies exist that give extremely strong, logical, foundations for morals and ethical behavior.

All of them based on the ideas and works of men, which are all, by definition, false. The only moral system that is real flows from the words of God, all else is a persuasive illusion designed by satan to confuse such as yourself.

In all probability, he's just a mixed-up kid who thought wearing pentacles and dark clothing would get a rise out of his parents

The real victims are the three little innocents he killed. But in typical moral relativist fashion you want me to feel sorry for the satanic thug who killled them. No way. Though in my opinion his parents are nearly as guilty as he is, they should have recognized the signs of the evil one right away and taken steps to stop their boy's 'play-acting', because when you 'play' with satan, sooner or later you find you are no longer playing.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

I'd like you to point out to me where (none / 0) (#153)
by Wain on Tue Aug 26, 2003 at 06:52:30 PM EST

Satan is in your bible, I'm not finding him in mine.

[ Parent ]
lies! all lies! (none / 0) (#155)
by rebelcan on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 12:47:23 AM EST

as a half christian half buddhist, i belive it is people like you who give a bad name to people that just wish to live as normal people with christian beliefs within society. you're only a couple rungs below this guy on the ladder of fanatasism to me.

but non-Christian moral systems that have no concept of sin, the quote cannot apply.
what? you don't have to have a christian moral system to have a concept of sin. most people have the understanding that sin == wrong. it's not rocket science.

All of them based on the ideas and works of men, which are all, by definition, false.
so all branches of modern science and medicene are completly false? quick! tell the press! the universities! everything we know is false!

by the way... the way you call ol' George W. "Brother" seems kinda stonecutter/masons/secret-society to me...


=============================
God is dead -- Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead -- God
but Zombie Nietzsche lives! -- Zombie Nietzsche
[ Parent ]
is that supposed to be sarcasm? (1.00 / 1) (#119)
by j0s)( on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:57:03 PM EST

cause i cant tell if you think youre funny or if youre just a troll.

-- j0sh



[ Parent ]
Satanism. (5.00 / 3) (#123)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 04:58:57 AM EST

Most true Satanists do not believe in Satan. They believe that man is the center of the universe. They are basically atheists that believe in goofy shit like magic.

At least, that's the way Satanists who put any time or thought into their beliefs think. Damien's Satanism meant wearing a trenchcoat, a pentagram necklace, dying his hair black, and listening to (HAH!)Metallica. Lots of kids go through phases like that, and not just Klebold and Harris types. God knows I did.

[ Parent ]

And no lightning bolt? (5.00 / 2) (#127)
by fn0rd on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 07:54:49 AM EST

God knows I did.

I for one hope you've made it up to him, 'cause I hear he's kind of a jealous, vengeful fucker.

--------------------------------------------------------------
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
Death to the fidels!

[ Parent ]

There is no god... (none / 0) (#130)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 10:36:14 AM EST

and fuck anyone who believes in him.

Sincerely,

Psycho Dave.

[ Parent ]

Wiccan != Satanist (none / 0) (#145)
by MacButch on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 10:31:27 PM EST

Why do you assume that because he had an interest in Wicca that he is automatically a worshipper of satan???

[ Parent ]
The whole things smells sour... (4.50 / 2) (#115)
by tessai on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 10:09:43 PM EST

In cases like these, there's no real reason to start pointing the finger at a particular suspect. Anyone could have done it. So what about the kid being "satanic"? We can give 4 officers the benefit of the doubt for beatin a drugged black guy half to death, so there should be no problem with giving these guys a break. It could have been the neighborhood pastor for all we know.

It's ok to be a little scared of a people because you don't understand them (for lack of a better term) or what-not. It's wrong to send a man to his death because you feel he _HAD_ to have committed a crime, even though there was no evidence to support the claim. There's just something wrong when the paranoia of a few can cost a man his life.


--Tessai
It be witchcraft! Burn the witches!!! (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by mooZENDog on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 09:04:35 AM EST

There's just something wrong when the paranoia of a few can cost a man his life.

This reminds me of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'.

AFAICS... although 'The Crucible' was primarily a metaphor for McCarthyism, it deals really well with the power of rumour prevailing over reason. From reading the article, I was immediately reminded of this story. History repeating... again?

--------
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"
- Gandhi

[ Parent ]
Aaargh duelling banjo time (1.00 / 1) (#126)
by davidmb on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 06:42:48 AM EST

Hey, why don't you just put all the pagan teenagers who listen to metal to death right now and get it over and done with? We all know that they're responsible for most child murders.
־‮־
the problem is (5.00 / 4) (#129)
by crazycanuck on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 09:25:57 AM EST

that there's absolutely no incentive for the police and prosecutors to find and convict the true criminal.

The public wants results, fast. They often push for someone, anyone, to be declared a suspect. This makes the public feel as if something's being done. The public has no patience for long and thorough investigations. There's also no review after a conviction

As long as the police can get enough "evidence" and the prosecutor's skilled enough to convincea jury, they will put you in jail. The public feels safe and that's all that matters.

Even in cases where there's enough actual evidence to show that the suspect might be innocent, the police/prosecutors will ignore it or hide it unless they have something to lose (i.e. the evidence is strong enough to actually prove they're prosecuting an innocent man and this will hurt the police/prosecutor's reputation)
But if the evidence is only strong enough toshow that they should be exploring other leads, they will ignore it. Why do all the extra work if they can get a conviction?

The West Memphis Three | 156 comments (115 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
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