Archive for August, 2009

More consistency, please

Even at the law school, almost everyone seemed to cheer about the guilty verdict of Letalvis Cobbins. Letalvis Cobbins took part in the rape-torture-murder in 2006 of Channon Christian and of her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom. Immediately after the guilty verdict, most people predicted that Letalvis Cobbins would receive the death penalty. That prediction turned out to be wrong. Instead, the jury gave him life without parole.

In shock, students began posting messages on their facebook status showing their disapproval about the lenient sentence. Apparently, torturing and raping and killing two college students at once is enough to get many people riled up in favor of the death penalty. And without a doubt, this sentiment is the correct one:  Letalvis Cobbins should indeed be executed.


But it bothers me to see people get so wrathful only over extreme cases like this one. Most of the time, you can find a good number of idiots in any crowd who will suggest that they oppose the death penalty. Only on occasions where some monster rapes and tortures two college students — before killing them — will enough public anger be aroused to demand blood. Knoxville sees about twenty murders each year. Where is the outrage over those pointless deaths?

The problem is that many people today do not call for blood out a rational sense of justice. They only call for blood out of emotion. When a murder seems gruesome enough and receives enough media attention, then the people get upset. This emotional reaction creates inconsistency. This type of amorality results in the system we have today, where murderers sit on death row for decades before being executed — assuming they even receive the death penalty at all. Most murderers (including, for example, the guy who attacked the Unitarian church last year) receive prison terms. A significant number even receive the eventual opportunity for parole.

The death penalty has grown virtually worthless in American society. Tennessee suffers about four hundred murders each year, and in response, we execute (maybe) one person each year. What good is that? And of course, the people we do execute are typically being punished for crimes they committed at least a decade prior. Dumb leftists frequently cite statistics that purport to show the ineffectiveness of the death penalty in deterring crime. Well, I wonder what might possibly be rendering it ineffective!

This stupidity comes largely from the law itself. We do not simply have moronic juries letting criminals off the hook (although we obviously have some of those, too, as the Letalvis Cobbins case shows). Most people probably do not realize that corrupt Tennessee law actually prohibits the death penalty for many murders.

For one thing, a court may not impose death as a punishment for “second-degree” murder. Second-degree murder is basically the same as first-degree murder — except without “premeditation.” (Premeditation means to mentally plan the murder before committing it.) Since premeditation can technically occur “in an instant,” the whole first- and second-degree murder distinction is essentially bogus. Not only is it unjust, but it makes no sense. I say we just kill all these murderers.

But unfortunately, the stupidity does not stop there. On the contrary, Tennessee law requires that a first-degree murder be especially “aggravated” in order to warrant the death penalty. Factors that can make a murder “aggravated” include:  1) Killing a cop, 2) Killing a judge, 3) Killing a probation officer, 4) Killing a firefighter, 5) Killing a district attorney, [Noticing a pattern here?] 6) Torturing your victim, 7) Killing a young child or someone really old, 8 ) Killing three or more people at once, 9) Killing someone if you already have a felony violence conviction. And there are a few others. But even if the jury unanimously finds that the prosecutor has proven one of these factors, the jury must also find that these aggravating factors “outweigh” all the “mitigating” factors. If the murderer commits his crime under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, clouding his judgment, Tennessee law actually considers that a mitigating factor! Being on drugs can spare you from execution!

Suffice it to say, the law needs to change. Rather than emphasizing the importance of human life, this limited death penalty arguably does the opposite: Yes, we reserve the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes… Killing a human being? No. Killing a police officer or a judge — when not under the influence of any drugs that might cloud judgment. Hah.

And besides changing the law, we need to change this weak public attitude as well. Before executing Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki stated the following:  “Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him, and there will be no review or delay.” We need more people like that guy! A murder destroys a human life. It does not matter whether the victim is a cop, a judge, a black person, a white person, an eleven-year-old, a middle-aged man, or a college student. Our respect for human rights demands that we execute the perpetrator — without delay.



Late last week, I ended my job with the DA’s Office, and now I’m about to start school again. School technically starts tomorrow (Wednesday), but I don’t have any classes on Wednesdays! Rock on! And none on Fridays either! Yeah!

Anyway, now that I’m done with the DA’s Office, I thought I might comment on this recent case involving someone who shot the red light cameras in Knoxville. A judge has dismissed his case because police searched his car without permission or warrant.

When I first heard about this guy getting arrested, I thought it was hilarious. Like most people, I have always hated those cameras and the authoritarian ideology they embody. I privatedly applauded this man for shooting the cameras. And guess what:  I still feel the same way! This man was a hero. We need more activists like him to throw cogs in the wheels of tyranny.

By my observations, the city of Knoxville actually seems to be in the process of removing those accursed cameras. And for good reason, too. Think about it:  If you are the type of idiot who plows through a red light at 50 mph due to carelessness (or drunkenness), is a camera really going to stop you? The only people these cameras will stop are the people who might spend an extra second or two monopolozing the intersection after the light turns red. BIG DEAL. Meanwhile, the camera increases neurosis among the law-abiding drivers. Every time the camera flashes, they wonder, Whoa, was it taking my picture? At least that’s how I usually feel when the light goes off. And unlike a regular ticket, you have to wait weeks and check your mail every day to make sure that you are actually in the clear.

knoxville camera

So yeah, I hate those things. I’m glad the man shot them. Yes, vandalism is usually wrong…blah  blah blah. But he did not actually hurt anyone. So good for him, and I’m glad he got off. And I’m also glad Knoxville finally seems to be getting enough sense to remove these cameras. May they now rot in a dump somewhere.

So with all that said, I am now getting ready for school to start back. I guess I could theoretically be doing something more productive right now, like reading my assignments for the first class, but whatever.


Yippee, we’ve got another woman Supreme Court justice. After all, the first two women were so freakin’ brilliant. (Some of these idiot females in politics are really turning me off from the entire female species, but I guess in some ways, these shrews are hardly women at all.) I can barely contain my enthusiasm.

And she’s Hispanic, even better! This will be so historic — just like our stupendous and historic election of the first half-black president (whose approval polls are sinking). What more could we possibly ask for than Sonia Sotomayor?

Oh yeah, I guess we could ask for someone who believes in the Constitution and logically applies its principles. Or we could ask for someone who isn’t racist against white people. Or we could ask for someone who knows better than to utilize foreign law in judging American cases.


From FoxNews…

On Thursday, 59 Democrats voted for Sotomayor while 31 Republicans voted against her.  The nine Senate Republicans who voted to confirm her were Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Kit Bond of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Mel Martinez of Florida, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

Haha, Mark Levin called these Republicans “the nine most detestable Republicans in the U.S. Senate.” How right he is! I am so sick of Lamar Alexander. I could barely even bring myself to vote for him in 2008, and I doubt that I will vote for him again. I’ve already decided I’ll most likely vote Democratic against his colleague from Tennessee, Senator Bob Corker, in his upcoming election. Best to get these worthless jackals out of office before they become too entrenched!