Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vigilante Juxtaposition

TOLEDO, Ohio—An 86-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon in Calvary Cemetary. The man had been visiting his wife’s grave. The robber took the man’s wallet and car keys. The wallet contained multitudes of identifying information, meaning the man and his family must now cancel accounts, change passcodes, and keep a vigilant eye on his credit report.

More importantly, however, the man is now afraid to visit the cemetary alone.

Police currently have no leads.

The crime victim is Tirithien’s grandpa. I want to cry and scream and track down the robber all at once. “How dare you terrorize an old man like this?” I would demand. And pain, yes, there would be pain. And fear. On the robber’s part, not mine.

MARSHVILLE, North Carolina (AP) -- An angry mob fatally beat a man whom they mistakenly thought was involved in the disappearance of their friend, shortly before police arrested and charged another person in the crime, police said.

Union County Sheriff's deputies found Tony Lorin Blakeney at his home with serious injuries Friday. He later died at a hospital.

Ten men, ages 16 to 30, were charged with murder in the attack. They were being held without bond until an October 4 court date.

But one of the hallmarks of civilization is that we let the rule of law take its course, rather than trying to mete out justice and/or revenge ourselves. I am not equipped to know a person’s guilt or innocence.

Had I been with Grandpa at the time, it would surely have been justified to defend him as best I could. After the fact, I have no right to touch the robber, much as I may want to.

Constitutional Amendments
Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Thank you, James Madison, for including these. They do protect scumbags like the guy who robbed Tirithien's grandpa, but they also do protect those upon whom no harm should fall. Our judicial system isn't perfect, but it's better than trial-by-mob.


martie said...

That is terrible...I am so sorry that this happened to his Grandpa. Poor old man!

How's the arm doing?


clew said...

Hey lady! I e'd you but the address I have bounced back. How've you been?

So sorry about Grandpa. :( Prayers and hugs ~

Tirithien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tirithien said...

Grandpa's darn shook up. I was going to blog myself, but this covers it nicely.

As for the thief, in a just world...

In the words of the Assassin's Guild, he would know pain. He would know fear. And, at the appointed hour, he would die.

What happened to respect for elders?

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Oh, that email address was taken away when I cancelled my Comcast account to move! But the one I have linked through Blogger is good. Sorry about that! :-)