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Just when I think I’ll never be again surprised by the capacity of one human being to inflict unimaginable pain and suffering on another human being, along comes this story.

I was appalled when I read about Michael Gilbert’s ordeal. Talk about a dysfunctional family.

Here’s an excerpt from The Times: (more…)

This man is called Stefan Kiszko.

In 1976, he was found guilty of murdering eleven year old, Lesley Molseed. Lesley had been raped and brutally murdered.

Kiszko and his family had always maintained his innocence. His mother campaigned tirelessly for his release, believing that her son was innocent.

Finally in 1992, there was a break-through. Crucial evidence had been withheld, and it was discovered that the police had basically forced a ‘confession’ out of Kiszko. He fit their idea of a murderer because he was mentally challenged, and he was a foreigner.

“Lord Lane, the Lord Chief Justice, finally declared the conviction unsafe after hearing that Mr Kiszko could not have been the source of semen on Lesley’s underwear, and thus the murderer, because his condition made him incapable of producing sperm.

An investigation was launched into why this information was not disclosed to the defence in the 1976 trial.”

Basically, this evidence was withheld at the original trial. Also Kiszko had a rock solid alibi that was never brought to the attention of the courts.

Kiszko was released in 1992, but eighteen short months later, he died.

Yesterday, Lesley Molseed’s real killer was brought to justice, thirty two years after his horrific crime.

Ronald Castree not only took the life of that child, he also took the life of Stefan Kiszko. He let an innocent man spend sixteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit. I think that that’s almost as big a travesty, as the original murder itself.

I hope the perverted fucking bastard gets butt-fucked everyday for the rest of his life in prison.

“What happened…

Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena were 14 and 16 years old, respectively. They were friends who attended the same high school in Houston, Texas, Waltrip High School. On June 24, 1993, the girls spent the day together….and then died together.

They were last seen by friends about 11:15 at night, when they left a friend’s apartment to head home, to beat summer curfew at 11:30. They knew they would be late if they took the normal path home, down W. 34th Street to T.C. Jester, both busy streets. They also knew they would have to pass a sexually-oriented business on that route and so decided to take a well-known shortcut down a railroad track and through a city park to Elizabeth’s neighborhood.

The next morning, the girls parents began to frantically look for them, paging them on their pagers, calling their friends to see if they knew where they were, to no avail. The families filed missing persons reports with the Houston Police Department and continued to look for the girls on their own. The Ertmans and Penas gathered friends and neighbors to help them pass out a huge stack of fliers with the girls’ pictures all over the Houston area, even giving them to newspaper vendors on the roadside.

Four days after the girls disappeared, a person identifying himself as ‘Gonzalez’ called the Crimestoppers Tips number. He told the call taker that the missing girls’ bodies could be found near T.C. Jester Park at White Oak bayou. The police were sent to the scene and searched the park without finding anything. The police helicopter was flying over the park and this apparently prompted Mr. ‘Gonzalez’ to make a 911 call, directing the search to move to the other side of the bayou. When the police followed this suggestion, they found the badly decaying bodies of Jenny and Elizabeth.

Jennifer Ertman’s dad, Randy Ertman, was about to give an interview regarding the missing girls to a local television reporter when the call came over a cameraman’s police scanner that two bodies had been found. Randy commandeered the news van and went to the scene that was now bustling with police activity. My first knowledge of the death of Jennifer was seeing Randy, on the news that evening, screaming at the police officers who were struggling to hold him back, “Does she have blond hair?? DOES SHE HAVE BLOND HAIR?!!?”

Fortunately, they did manage to keep Randy from entering the woods and seeing his daughter’s brutalized body and that of her friend Elizabeth, but they were unable to escape that fate themselves. I saw hardened, lifelong cops get tears in their eyes when talking about the scene more than a year later.

The bodies were very badly decomposed, even for four days in Houston’s brutal summer heat and humidity, particularly in the head, neck and genital areas. The medical examiner later testified that this is how she could be sure as to the horrible brutality of the rapes, beatings and murders.

The break in solving the case came from, of course, the 911 call. It was traced to the home of the brother of one of the men later sentenced to death for these murders. When the police questioned ‘Gonzalez’, he said that he had made the original call at his 16 year-old wife’s urging. She felt sorry for the families and wanted them to be able to put their daughters’ bodies to rest. ‘Gonzalez’ said that his brother was one of the six people involved in killing the girls, and gave police the names of all but one, the new recruit, whom he did not know.

His knowledge of the crimes came from the killers themselves, most of whom came to his home after the murders, bragging and swapping the jewelry they had stolen from the girls.

While Jenny and Elizabeth were living the last few hours of their lives, Peter Cantu, Efrain Perez, Derrick Sean O’Brien, Joe Medellin and Joe’s 14 year old brother were initiating a new member, Raul Villareal, into their gang, known as the Black and Whites. Raul was an acquaintance of Efrain and was not known to the other gang members.

They had spent the evening drinking beer and then “jumping in” Raul. This means that the new member was required to fight every member of the gang until he passed out and then he would be accepted as a member. Testimony showed that Raul lasted through three of the members before briefly losing consciousness.

The gang continued drinking and ‘shooting the breeze’ for some time and then decided to leave. Two brothers who had been with them but testified that they were not in the gang left first and passed Jenny and Elizabeth, who were unknowingly walking towards their deaths. When Peter Cantu saw Jenny and Elizabeth, he thought it was a man and a woman and told the other gang members that he wanted to jump him and beat him up. He was frustrated that he had been the one who was unable to fight Raul.

The gang members ran and grabbed Elizabeth and pulled her down the incline, off of the tracks. Testimony showed that Jenny had gotten free and could have run away but returned to Elizabeth when she cried out for Jenny to help her.

For the next hour or so, these beautiful, innocent young girls were subjected to the most brutal gang rapes that most of the investigating officers had ever encountered. The confessions of the gang members that were used at trial indicated that there was never less than 2 men on each of the girls at any one time and that the girls were repeatedly raped orally, anally and vaginally for the entire hour.

One of the gang members later said during the brag session that by the time he got to one of the girls, “she was loose and sloppy.” One of the boys boasted of having ‘virgin blood’ on him.

Click to read on

The 14-year-old juvenile later testified that he had gone back and forth between his brother and Peter Cantu since they were the only ones there that he really knew and kept urging them to leave. He said he was told repeatedly by Peter Cantu to “get some”. He raped Jennifer and was later sentenced to 40 years for aggravated sexual assault, which was the maximum sentence for a juvenile.

When the rapes finally ended, the horror was not over. The gang members took Jenny and Elizabeth from the clearing into a wooded area, leaving the juvenile behind, saying he was “too little to watch”. Jenny was strangled with the belt of Sean O’Brien, with two murderers pulling, one on each side, until the belt broke. Part of the belt was left at the murder scene, the rest was found in O’Brien’s home.

After the belt broke, the killers used her own shoelaces to finish their job. Medellin later complained that “the bitch wouldn’t die” and that it would have been “easier with a gun”. Elizabeth was also strangled with her shoelaces, after crying and begging the gang members not to kill them; bargaining, offering to give them her phone number so they could get together again.

The medical examiner testified that Elizabeth’s two front teeth were knocked out of her brutalized mouth before she died and that two of Jennifer’s ribs were broken after she had died. Testimony showed that the girls’ bodies were kicked and their necks were stomped on after the strangulations in order to “make sure that they were really dead.”

The juvenile pled guilty to his charge and his sentence will be reviewed when he turns 18, at which time he could be released. The other five were tried for capital murder in Harris County, Texas, convicted and sentenced to death. I attended all five trials with the Ertmans and know too well the awful things that they and the Penas had to hear and see in the course of seeing Justice served for their girls.

Two VERY important things in the criminal justice system have changed as a result of these murders. After the trial of Peter Cantu, Judge Bill Harmon allowed the family members to address the convicted. This had not previously been done in Texas courts and now is done as a matter of routine.

The other change came from the Texas Department of Corrections which instituted a new policy allowing victims’ families the choice and right to view the execution of their perpetrators.

I had an ever-swaying opinion on the death penalty before this happened to people I know, before I watched the justice system at work firsthand. I have now come to believe that there are some crimes so heinous, so unconscionable that there can be no other appropriate punishment than the death penalty.

This is why I joined Justice For All.”

Source: Victim’s Voices

“This story is about our sister. Her mother is Lana, her father is Ted, and she is the third born of four girls. Growing up she was always the littlest, the most petite and the pickiest of all four. As a little girl she loved to be with her little sister Christina; they were inseparable growing up.

We lived in Commerce City, CO until she was about 11 years old. We then moved to Arizona, to be in the warm weather. While she was there, she and our mom were the best of friends. She loved to baby-sit for people and loved that she made her own money. She often took our mom and Christina out for lunch.

In April of 1991, they returned to Commerce City to live, as Trisha wanted to go to Adams City High School to attend high school where her mother and older sisters graduated. She started high school in 1991. She loved to go to school; she had a 3.5 or a 4.0 GPA.

While she was in the 10th grade, she got a job working at the Mile High Flea market on weekends, where she continued to work for 3 years. She loved school, her friends, and her family.

After graduation she got a full time job working with me (Kathy) at Continental Book Company in Thornton, Colorado. She worked for Continental Book Company for 1 year, at the same time she held a part time job at Target during the evenings and weekend, just so she could afford her car that she bought essentially on her own.

She met her then-boyfriend Tony, while out cruising. They dated for about 6 months. After they broke up, she found out that she was pregnant with his child. They remained friends throughout her pregnancy and Trystan was born on June 22nd, 1997. Trisha loved her child very much; the day he was born was the best day of her life. She was scared to take care of this little child that was hers, but with help from all of her sisters and mother, she made the best of it.

In approximately August of 1997, she started working at Sound Track where she met Troy. They started dating right away. She loved the idea that Troy just loved her son, and helped her out with the things that she needed for him. It was an off and on relationship from the beginning, they never really lived together until June of 2000.

We only saw him occasionally, at family affairs, Christmas, Trystan’s birthday, etc. When we did see him at those affairs, he was usually drunk or drinking. Trisha’s relationship with him was very shaky to say the least.

On June 1st, 2000 they finally decided to move in together. They thought if they lived together, things for them would get better. Having your own space and learning to get along would get better. They moved into a wonderful apartment in Greenwood Village, Colorado. We never did get to see her apartment until after everything happened, but it was beautiful, everything that she ever wanted. Plus it was hers!

On about June 23rd, 2000, she went to stay with my mom for a week, as her and Troy were not getting along. She had decided to leave him and try to make a life for her and Trystan. She stayed with our mom for one week and then decided to return to her apartment as the trip from Woodland Park, Colorado to Denver was too much to do on a daily basis.

She stayed at the apartment for a couple of weeks, trying to find a place to live; she never did ask any of her sisters if she could move in with them. She wanted to do this on her own.

She spent the 4th of July with me and my family. We had a BBQ and then went to watch fireworks. She never mentioned anything was wrong.

Then on July 15th, Trish, and I decided to go visit our mom in Woodland Park, and our older sister Melody came up later in the day. We spent the evening cooking dinner for our mom and stepdad. Then we watched movies for the rest of the night.

Trish and I left our mom’s about 2:00pm on Sunday the 16th and got back to Denver around 3:30. We went to my house and we sat around talking and then I cooked us dinner and we waited for Trystan to come back from his dad’s. I have a cleaning job that I do on the weekends and I had to go do that so around 6:00 p.m., I decided I better go do that, so Trisha and Trystan went home.

The next day at work we got the phone call that all people hate to get. A person from the CBI called my work looking for me. I was unfortunately late for work, but my older sister worked with me and she took the phone call for me. He told us it was an emergency that we needed to come down to the Greenwood Village Police Department. He wouldn’t tell us any more over the phone.

My sister Melody and I then drove down to the Police Department and the police took us into a room and told us that Troy had stabbed my sister to death. She had made a call to 911, and they traced the call and got the address and responded to her call, but by the time they got there she was deceased.

He had stabbed her over 15 times, 2 times in the throat and one time close to her heart, while in the presence of her three-year-old son. The first thing we asked for was Trystan, They told us that since the murder happened at 8:30 or so, they couldn’t locate the family, and he went into temporary foster care. Tony was the only one that could get him out.

After that we asked to see Tony – Trish and he remained friends and we wanted to see how he was doing. Also we wanted to see what he was doing to get Trystan back.

Then the detectives told us we had 15 minutes to decide how our mom was to be told. We told them not to send a police officer, that we didn’t want our mom to be told that way. We had to call her at work and tell her. The police told us to call and get the manager on the phone and ask that she be taken to another room where she had some privacy. When I called, I asked for the manager and got my mom on the phone. I told her to go into another room and take someone with her. When she went to another room and got back on the phone, I told her it was about Trish. She asked “Is she ok?” and the only thing I could say was no. She started crying and gave the phone to her friend; the police officer then took the phone from me.

That was the hardest phone call I have ever made. They did send a police officer, but at least she didn’t have to hear the news from a stranger.

While we were at the police station waiting for our mom to get there, we were essentially locked up, as the press was outside and they didn’t want us to get hounded by them.

The week that followed was the worst week of our lives; we had to plan a funeral for a 23-year-old that should have never died. When you have to plan a funeral for someone that shouldn’t die, you don’t ever know where to start. We didn’t know if she wanted to be buried, cremated, what her favorite flower was or her favorite song was.

We then decided that her mother and sisters wanted to be cremated, so it wouldn’t be fair to leave her here. Everyone, even though they are young, needs to have a will or something written down so that if something horrible happens to them, their loved ones will know what their wishes are.

We did at the time know her favorite color, (purple and green), but we have since learned that her favorite flower is a daisy.

Her son, Trystan has since been placed with his natural father, Tony. They are doing good. Trystan has been in therapy since that fateful night in July and will more than likely stay in therapy the rest of his life.

His dad has since got engaged to his long time girlfriend Sedona, and they are trying to make a wonderful family life for Trystan. I hope he always remembers his mom and the love she had for him. She would have done anything for him.

She was a wonderful mother and enjoyed the time she spent with Trystan. She never went anywhere without him, unless he was with his dad. At first she had a hard time letting Trystan go with his dad every other weekend. She didn’t know what to do without him around. She slowly began to learn that Trystan needed his father just as he needed his mother.

Trisha also enjoyed being around her sisters and mother. I always received a phone call from her at least once or twice a week. She knew how to be a best friend and a sister at the same time. She was loving, caring, smart and a joy to be around. When she got upset, you just had to let her be and she would come around later and act as though nothing ever happened.

Her hobbies were being the manager of the baseball team in high school, reading, drawing, talking to her friends and hanging out with them. She enjoyed the time she got to spend with all her friends; she always kept in touch with all of her high school friends.

The first holidays have been hard to get through; we have just taken it one day at a time. We still have many more firsts for our family. Unfortunately, Trisha’s birthday is still to come and the first birthday for her son without her. We also have the anniversary of her death still to come. We have since started a tradition; each year at Christmas we will donate money to critical response team from Woodland Park, which helps in all domestic situations.

Our mother, Lana and our sister Christina are trying to start a support group up in Woodland Park, Colorado for women. Not just for battered women, but for anyone that needs some support. If you would like to support the group with donations or in any other way, or if you live in the area and need help, please contact Lana at GreenFamily@murdervictims.com.

The man that did all this is now in county jail, awaiting his arraignment. It will more than likely go to trial. The motions hearings have been ongoing and her family will have to testify the day after Christmas. As far as the trial, we will let everyone know the outcome.

UPDATE: The trial for the man that did this to our sister started on May 15th. It lasted until the 30th of May when the jury finally came back with a verdict. The jury got the case on the 29th around noon. The jury found him guilty of 1st degree murder, 2 counts of felony menacing, 1 count of child abuse and 1 count of wire-tapping. Our family can now say, after almost two years of waiting, we have found that there is some justice in this world. Most of the time it just takes a long time.”

Source:Victim’s Voices.

“This is dedicated to Ms. Bethena Lyn Brosz. As a daughter, sister, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, aunt, niece, cousin, friend—in every aspect of her life, she is loved & missed more than we know how to describe.

Bethena was born October 10, 1981 in Dallas, TX at Baylor Hospital. During her school years, she was in many Honors & Pre-AP classes and sang in Choir. She was selected for Who’s Who in American High Schools and graduated high school with a 3.82 GPA. She was working customer service for Web-TV subscribers & taking her freshman year courses at UNT in Denton, TX. She wanted to go to Colorado to study Astronomy for her degree.

One of the last things I remember Bethena shopping for was a baby’s bathing suit (with sandals to match) for her best friend’s little 8-month old daughter. Beth was a very giving person who was always helping others. If a friend needed a ride to buy groceries, to get to a job interview or to work, or to go to the doctor, often she would even rearrange her schedule so she could get them there….

I know that she must have suffered beyond anything we could imagine, in terror & in agony, but I will never understand how anyone could do such a thing to another human being, especially one so gentle & kind as our Bethena. Too much has been taken from her and from us—her smiles, her wedding, her hugs, her children, and the carefree joy of a holiday that does not hold a bittersweet, black empty space where she should be. Murderers have forced this path upon us. Murderers have taken her from her home.

Click to continue reading.

The men who murdered my precious daughter chose to use their God-given free will for horrifying evil. They shot her in the right knee, slashed her throat 3 times, slashed her shoulder, and shot her twice in the head. Only 5”1” tall & about 110 pounds, she could not have had the slightest chance against 2 men with guns & knives. But in spite of these mortal wounds, God made a miracle & kept her alive for a time, unconscious & unfeeling they tell me. Then He led 2 good Samaritans to find her & call for the Care Flight that arrived within minutes of their call.

Because of that miracle, at least Beth did not have to die alone. We will always believe that on some level she knew we were there with her in the ICU, praying for her & telling her over & over how very much we love her. Also because of that miracle, it was possible for Beth’s wish to be granted—7 of her organs were donated & 5 lives were saved.

That would not have been possible if she had died in that roadside ditch. We thank God for this miracle—that He made sure her wish could be fulfilled in spite of what was done to her. Since we couldn’t change what had happened, fulfilling that wish was one of the last things we will ever have been able to do for her. For us it is the only silver lining in a very, very tarnished situation.

The other victim was found dead at the scene, his throat slashed, shot 6 times in the head. One of the few correct things that has been printed in the news is that everyone connected with the investigations has said that Beth was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. But this is little consolation, because what happened to our Beth & the other victim should NEVER happen to ANYONE for ANY reason.

Beth was wounded May 2, 2001. She was pronounced brain dead at 4:30 PM on May 3, 2001. Even before she died, the police had received some very good tips & leads. The first suspect was in custody a few days later, and the second was arrested in another state in July 2001. A CrimeStoppers reward was issued to that anonymous caller that happened to see him & knew he was wanted in Texas. He was extradited back to our home county in Texas in August 2001.

Our DA announced that they would seek the Death Penalty for the first time since 1993 in our county, due to the brutally vicious & preplanned way in which these murders were committed.

One of the 2 suspects, Steven Woods, was found guilty of capital murder. The jury recommended & the judge sentenced him to the Death Penalty. He has been transported to Death Row in Livingston & will be showing up on the TDCJ Death Row website as soon as they finish the “intake process” (psychological testing, etc.) is what the DA’s office tells me.

See the link below for the article that was written the Sunday before the trial began and the article covering the final sentencing day–what was not reported in the paper was that Woods had been arrested when he was a juvenile–for making a bomb & leaving it on a neighbor’s deck, and another time for aggravated sexual assault–for these juvenile offenses he had received only probation & mandatory mental health treatment (a whole 6 weeks worth).

When the social worker who reviewed his juvenile criminal & mental health history testified that his home environment & lack of proper treatment were mitigating circumstances, our lead prosecutor asked her if the other children that grew up in the same home had become murderers too. Of course, she said she had no way of knowing. But I am guessing that is why the defense did not even put Wood’s mother on the stand in the sentencing phase–so our prosecutor couldn’t ask her that question–I’m pretty sure I know the answer.

If there were other children in that family who were murderers, if the home environment is truly what made it impossible for him to be/act otherwise, the DEFENSE would have already brought that information out–we would not have had to wonder at all.

We will find out more about when the 2nd suspect’s trial will be in the next week or so. His name is Marcus Rhodes. He is still in the Denton County Jail.

We are very fortunate to have the support that we have from our DA’s office in Denton County. Jackie Carpenter, Kathy Bomar and Erin Frewin from Victim Assistance were there for us in so many ways. Any time that we had to simply leave the courtroom because we could not bear it anymore, we never had to leave alone–one of them would always be right there for us so we had support.

I really don’t know how I would have made it through this horror tale that is our reality without them. The DAs on this case have been amazing throughout, considering some of the horror stories I have heard of what has happened in other places. ADA Michael Moore leads the prosecution team.

We have been working with him for over a year, and I have never had to wait more than a few hours for him to return any call unless he was out of town, and then he would call me back on the first day he returned. ADAs Roger Jones (the head of criminal prosecution in Denton County) and Tony Paul completed that team. We really feel like Bethena did have someone representing her in that courtroom, and for that we are so grateful.

On Monday, August 19, 2001, when that jury recommended the death sentence, my husband Terry & I went to see Beth when we left the courthouse–to sit on that bench and let her know that we were halfway to that justice for her that she so deserves, but that we were wishing mostly that there had never been any reason for any of it–the only true justice would be if we were all home together that evening. But since we can’t have that, this will just be the best we can do. Then we had to go to Beth’s sister’s house & give our grandsons big hugs, and whether they can understand yet or not, I had to tell them that the world just got to be a bit safer place for them on that day.

That trial was the second hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am not looking forward to doing this again, but we will do whatever is necessary so that at least these particular criminals can never do this to any other person, any other family ever again.”

Source:Victim’s Voices

Tina Engler, Founder of Elloras Cave Talks About Her Marriage To A Convicted Murderer, And Airs Her Views On The U.S Penal System

JaynieR posted an interview with Tina Engler, AKA Jaid Black on her blog earlier today.

The purpose of the interview appears to be two-fold. Firstly, it seems to be an opportunity for Black to give her side of the story, in terms of her marriage to a *convicted felon, (if the link is broken, search for a David Roy Keen) serving time for shooting, and killing an ex-girlfriend; and secondly, to discuss her feelings, on the failings of the current U.S penal system, and its bias towards the poor, and the uneducated.

Ms Black’s decision to marry a prisoner, serving a life sentence for murder is her affair, and I feel that it would be remiss of me to publicly comment on my personal feelings relating to this matter.

In actual fact, what disturbed me most was Black’s assertion that locking up prisoners is tantamount to human trafficking, and that a person who deliberately takes a life, cannot be blamed for their actions.

When one reads the interview in its entirety, the delivery of her message is staunch, and unflinching, whilst her belief that she speaks a universal truth, appears to be unshakeable.

Ms Black writes:

“At the time the crime is committed, the male is typically aged 18-25, too poor to retain private counsel, and black. (My husband was poor and white.) Many possess very low IQs and/or are clearly mentally ill. The accused is typically severely depressed at the time of his arrest, and particularly in one-time crimes where violence is involved, suicidal.

During this phase they often don’t care about their own fates and wish they were the dead ones instead of the victim—a normal feeling given what they did and one that resurfaces over and over again throughout their lives. The reason for this extreme guilt and self-hatred is because there tends to be a true remorse amongt these men,”

What Black appears to be saying here, is that we should have more sympathy for convicted felons, because they are often young and foolish, and know not what they do. Plus, they are always remorseful after the fact.

Presuming that this is true for every 18-25 year old who decides to end the life of another, are we to take the route of excusing them for their crime, simply because they were poor, and perhaps their parents didn’t love them sufficiently enough to turn them into decent human beings?

She continues:

If released, they are the least likely group of men to wind up back in prison. (Recall we’re talking about one-time killers here, not serial killers. They are a different breed altogether”

Black’s assertion that felons who have only killed once, aren’t as dangerous as serial killers, seems to be a tad naïve, and slightly disturbing.

The statements that she makes all the way through this interview, at no time, takes into consideration, the rights of the victim, or their family.

“So here is the accused—young, poor, uneducated, morbidly depressed and suicidal—and he’s given a public defender who, if lucky, speaks to him for 20 minutes to an hour before representing him at a trial that will determine his fate forever. (For all the hyperbole one hears about men allegedly getting out on appeal, this happens very, very rarely.)”

Once again, without thought for the victim, who’s life has been deliberately cut short, (don’t forget we are talking murder here) Black suggests that being young, poor and uneducated are viable reasons for us to sympathise with somebody who’s taken the life of another.

“On the other side, representing the state, is a damn good, seasoned lawyer with his/her eye on bigger and better things. They want to be judges, politicians, or well-paid private attorneys. The glory they seek can come only from knowing how to play the game and by playing it well.”

OK, what have we learned thus far?

1. We have learned that every 18-25 year old who goes on to commit murder, is always truly remorseful after the crime has been committed.

2. The public defenders appointed for the accused, are always below par to say the least.

3. Every lawyer representing the state is a damned good lawyer, who doesn’t care about his/her cases, they just want to hit the big time.

Moving on:

“Amongst all this, where you commit a crime is probably more important than what you actually did, at least from a cold perspective. Florida (my husband’s state) and Texas are notorious for giving loooong sentences. In Florida, for instance, you can be found guilty of first degree (premeditated) murder if you had even a second to think about what you are doing. I don’t know too many people who can make calculated decisions in a single second, let alone premeditate a murder,”

In other words, if an armed burglar enters a house, without any intention of killing the occupants, but panics and shoots the homeowner, killing him, then according to Ms Black, this should not be treated as first degree murder, because the Burglar didn’t have time to think about pulling the trigger, he just panicked.

“Off to prison he goes. He has no voice, cannot vote, is locked in a cage and stripped of all human rights and dignity forever. He will be given substandard, third-world medical care by unqualified “physicians” who often times aren’t even legitimate doctors and/or do not speak the convicted prisoner’s native English tongue, making communication all but impossible. His meals are as substandard as his medical care, the fruits and vegetables often rotted.”

But what about the victim? What about the young woman who will not live to see her potential, what about the girl who will never become a bride, what about the girl who’s family were given a death sentence of sorts, when their child was brutally taken from them?

As a parent, if your child was murdered, would you really be worried about the fact that the perpetrator of that murder wasn’t getting the best healthcare, and that they had lost their right to vote?

“The government and big business make a lot of money off legalized human trafficking—a very scary reality. It costs approximately $27,000 USD per year to house, feed and clothe an inmate in Florida and produces a profit of over $100,000 USD per inmate per year for the state. (FYI: this info is readily available on the FL Dept of Corrections website.)”

Human trafficking? Black seems to have missed the point of correctional institutions altogether. Prisons are not supposed to be easy, and her assertion that the whole penal system was set up, just to make as much money as possible seem quite wild, and mostly unsubstantiated.

These places only exist because there are people out there who have no respect for life, who have no respect for other people’s possessions, and who have no respect for the notion of freedom. The financial gains made by the state, is merely a by-product of this.

In the question and answer segment that follows Black’s essay, she writes:

“All of us, with no exceptions, make hideous mistakes. Unfortunately, some of us also make tragic ones.”

Tragic would be killing a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her, one supposes?

“My kids love their (step) dad —my husband—beyond reason. In fact, when they overheard me on the phone talking about doing this interview in light of the emails being sent around (I didn’t know they were eavesdropping), both of them became extremely upset and were crying.”

As I stated earlier, Black’s decision to marry a man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend is her business, and I’m sure that her children do think of him as ‘Daddy’, but I would question whether or not every member of her family is as ecstatic over their relationship as she appears to believe.

“The issue for me as a wife and as an activist is this: Does a man deserve to spend the rest of his life alone and neglected, starved for human affection and attention, because of a deed he committed many, many years ago as a young, immature man?”

It is feasible that a person who commits such a heinous crime as a young man (23), would feel remorse. But is that a good enough reason for him/her to not be punished severely?

Black, insists that her husband is a good person, and that his incarceration is no longer of value to him or his victim.

I suggest that perhaps the victim’s parents would feel otherwise.

One has to wonder if Black would feel the same way, if it was one of her children who had been murdered by a man who was really, really sorry afterwards?

Via Anonymous