Went on a 50-mile wild goose chase today. Was supposed to attend the Chicago premiere of "A.I.". Got into the city, parked the car, discovered that even though we got there at 6:05 for a 7PM show, they'd run out of passes (in an arrangement that seems suspect) five people ahead of us in line. So, get mad, get the car out of parking (including tax, $8.75 for less than half an hour) and drive 25 miles back home. Ah, the rage.
Had this conversation today after being sent to a link to a piece about accused serial killer Paul Runge's previous conviction for sexcrimes. The email directing me to the article (which can be found here http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/metro/chicago/article/0,2669,ART-52648,FF.html though I don't know for how much longer) included the line "This is perhaps the most ridiculous load of crap I've ever heard. How could a fuckhead like this be hired to flip burgers, let alone sit on a Bench?"
HVConstat9: Why the big anger?
Angelo: Did you read the story?
HVConstat9: Yeah. It's unfortunate, but not surprising.
Angelo: I know, but just his bullshit attitude. "What does that do? Save three girls' lives? I can't think that way,"
Angelo: How the fuck does he think he's supposed to think?
HVConstat9: Remember, it is not a system of justice; it is a system of law. A judge is not an instrument of vengeance.
Angelo: Yes he is. Dammit.
HVConstat9: No, he's not. You do that, you're just short of frontier justice and mob rule.
Angelo: Why stop short?
HVConstat9: Because then we lose the right to call ourselves civilized.
Angelo: I think it's kinda fucked up that it's more civilized to defend the rights of a rapist/murderer.
And "Angelo" is right, on one level-it is, at best, counterintuitive to defend the rights of a convicted rapist who did his time, got out, and is alleged to have rape/murdered seven women. But the judge really can't come under attack-he was following the established precedent. We can, perhaps, get angry at a prison system which allowed him to go free after serving only half the time he was sentenced to (and indeed, the article makes mention of Illinois's new truth-in-sentencing law which requires felons to serve at least 85% of the time they're sentenced to), but even then, they were just following procedure. Obviously, the procedure needs (needed) changing, which the truth-in-sentencing law is a major step toward.
And if you get mad at the judge who knocked down the 30-year sentence, remember, he was, at some point, elected to the bench. But we can't give in to mob rule. It runs counter to the basic legal traditions of the country.
I get the feeling I haven't quite spoken to what I wanted to say, but it's late and I'm tired.
Today's Link Of The Day is The Smoking Gun, which prints all sorts of interesting documents-contract riders, internal memos, things obtained through Freedom Of Information Act requests, etc. Fun fun. Find them at http://www.thesmokinggun.com/
6/27/2001 3:58 AM