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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The World in Which We Live...

is sometimes a scary, scary place! On a scary night in 1993, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena were scared as they scurried home through White Oak Park (not far at all from Chez Ginger), scared to death of what their parents would do if they didn't make it home in time for their curfew. They didn't know just how close they were to death, until they were unfortunate enough to randomly find themselves in the path of Peter Anthony Cantu and his rag-tag band of sickling thugs, who captured, raped, and beat the girls to their bloody deaths. Miss Ginger remembers watching the television news, with stories first about the search for the girls' whereabouts, and then, after the bodies were found, stories about the search for their killers.

Since that time, the rag-tag group has been captured and punished- some, not old enough to face adult trials, will be a burden on society the rest of their lives. Two others have already been executed by lethal injection. Cantu was executed tonight. No family members fought for an appeal, or asked for a pardon. No one cared, except for the victims families, who showed up to see another page close on the sad drama that has consumed their lives.

The story that invokes this post is not the scary part. Miss G has lived in Texas for over 24 years. She's used to hearing about executions on the the news. (Cantu is the 16th in Texas this year). She understands that she will not always agree with her fellow constituents. She's not even 100% sure where she stands on the death penalty. On the one hand, it IS murder. On the other hand, why should her tax dollars be spent buying bread and water for some scumbag loser who will never amount to anything when it could be spent to help improve the life of a victim of poverty who who may be willing to work hard to make it in a system that seems to work against them?

The part that scares Miss Ginger is the readers' reactions to the story, as indicated by the blog responses to the Houston Chronicle article recounting the story. Read them. Read them and weep, dear reader. Weep for humanity!


Mind Of Mine said...

I don't believe in capital punishment. It has not proved to be a deterent for violent crimes.

I am athiest but I wonder why when the priest that adminsters the last rites preaches about redemption takes any part in the proceedings.

The criminals swear on the same bible which offers redemption to those who except their sins.

Whats the point.

behrmark said...

I was raised to value life. And yet I believe there's something to the old Mosaic Law of "an eye for an eye." I have no problem with the idea of capital punishment. It certainly beats the life sentence. People say that the prisoners lose their freedom; I say bullshit. They get three meals a day, laundry service, cable TV, fitness equipment, a library where they can eventually earn a college degree via correspondence school.
Do those two young girls have any of that?
And face it...for all of those poor animals who are tortured and killed...the offenders who perform those heinous acts should also be put to death.
And quite honestly I've admired Texas and its commitment to upholding the death penalty.
Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

These guys were a part of the gang now call the HOUSTONS that now are even bigger. Killing them is fair in my mind, but from meeting the parents of these girls when I worked for the state I feel they bear some responsibility. Like the 14 year old who was just killed last week, why would you allow your children to be out to 1 or 2am and why would you let them be walking home through a park. Parents should take a more active role and be the parent that sets rules-not let children set the rules. Behrmark is correct, prison is not hard-3 hots and a cot,free medical care,free college or vocational school. If you happen to stay long enough to become ill and/or disabled upon your release you get SSI disablity/medicare.Oh yes, if it is over 95 degrees outside convicts are not required to work outside, but the people that support them must. This is not fair, but soooo true. MBC

mrs. miss alaineus said...

the summer between my first and second senior year was hard, very hard. within a two week period, my best friend was killed, and then another kid i knew from skateboarding killed someone else. i was on both sides- friends with a victim and an acquaintance of a killer. the kid who murdered my best friend got off because he had a rich daddy. the other kid is still in jail, 21 years later.

i think killing is wrong and i dont understand how killing people who have killed people is an effective deterrent. i also know the appeals process for someone sentenced to the death penalty is a costly and necessary part of the process. and then there is always the 'what if' the person was really innocent....our justice system is only as honest as the the people who are part of the process. we dont have the death penalty in michigan, so at least a wrongful conviction wont end in death.

nothing will ever bring back the loss of life and potential of anyone who lost their life to a violent crime. nothing.

and at the end of the day i still have mixed feelings about the death penalty too.


Lisa said...

As a parent of two daughters myself I too have mixed emotions. I value life; however, gang members that use rape, torture and killing as parts of their rituals have no place in society and certainly do not need my tax dollars to give them more creature comforts than some working people can afford.

Capital punishment has a place when it is apparent that there is no rehabilitation on the planet that will reverse the person's inherent behavior.

I wish that there was a cut and dry cookie-cutter answer for this issue but as long as there are opinions there will always be conflict. One can only hope that elected officials and juries made sound judgments after completely digesting the facts and render verdicts accordingly.

Rest in peace girls.


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