ESSENTIAL NEED FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
by Timothy Rollins, Editor and Publisher
March 3, 2006
WARNING: This DOUBLE-LENGTH article contains material that is brutally and even horrifically graphic. This is not recommended reading for children, those with weak stomachs, or those whose sensitivities may be destroyed by so doing. Neither this author nor The American Partisan will be considered liable for either the contents of this article or the reaction of its readers to viewing, reading or hearing it. Think it over VERY CAREFULLY before deciding to proceed past this point.
If there was ever a case begging for capital punishment-despite phony cries of wrongful execution since executions were reinstated in 1976-there is nobody in America that screams to be put to death, and violently at that, as does accused murderer Steven Avery (pictured, right).
The catch, however, is Wisconsin is one of 13 states that prohibits execution, the ultimate penalty for commission of the ultimate crime. Just as Wisconsin had to deal with homosexual cannibal-turned-serial-killer Jeffrey Dahmer, they are now forced to deal with Steven Avery. Unlike Dahmer who had numerous problems with police before he was finally caught, Avery only had one previous felony scrape with the law before serving 18 years in prison for a rape that DNA proved he did not commit. Once cleared and released, Avery immediately filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in federal court against both the County and the State for wrongful incarceration.
Upon his release from prison, all Avery had to do was go about his life in the family scrap business and he would in all likelihood have been left alone. Unfortunately, for 25-year-old Teresa Halbach (pictured, left), who had gone out to Avery's trailer to do a photo shoot of a car Avery was selling last October 31st, it turned out to be a Halloween movie from Hell coming to life.
Having done previous photo shoots for Avery in the past, Teresa had no reason to be fearful or apprehensive in visiting Avery at his trailer on the lot of the family's salvage business. Tragically, for Teresa and her family, that was the last time she was seen alive.
Avery's nephew, 16-year-old Brendan Dassey (pictured, right), had been interviewed numerous times by police. This was because of inconsistencies in his story, and because police suspected he knew far more than he was letting on. Detectives again interviewed Dassey on Monday February 27th, during which Dassey said something that had him brought back in for a "hard interview" on Wednesday March 1st, the results of which had Dassey giving a detailed confession to the crimes that took place, and of both his and Avery's roles in the killing.
According to the Calumet County District Attorney, this is what happened: Dassey went to Avery's trailer to hand off some mail to his uncle. On arrival, he saw Avery was partially dressed and sweating a great deal. Avery had his nephew come inside and was taken to the back bedroom where he saw Teresa Halbach handcuffed, shackled in leg irons, and completely naked, as Avery had just finished raping her. He then 'invited' his nephew to also rape Teresa. Dassey repeatedly ignored Teresa's cries for help before she was raped a second time, and again ignored her cries to stop while he was raping her, and just went ahead and 'pleased' himself and his uncle.
After Dassey raped Teresa, Dassey and Avery sat back and watched television with Avery telling his nephew that he was 'proud of him.' Avery informed Teresa that he was going to kill her, and invited his nephew to assist, which Dassey obliged by cutting Teresa's throat. Yet that didn't kill her.
After their 'television break' was over, the two of them stabbed Teresa before Avery strangled her. They then took her body out to the garage where Avery shot her 10 times with a .22 caliber rifle. Teresa's body was then tossed onto a burning fire pit. To cover her body up-or in an attempt to destroy the evidence-they piled on tires, brush, a car seat and a wooden cabinet. Once that was done, they concealed Teresa's vehicle, Avery removed her license plates, which were found crumpled in another car on the property, and hid her car key in his bedroom.
The fact of the matter in this case is simple. I don't give a damn what the liberal mindset may think. I am sick and tired of their cries of how execution constitutes 'cruel and unusual punishment' - in violation of the Eighth Amendment - when the fact of the matter is, it is the victims that receive cruel and unusual punishment, and in almost all cases, it was undeserved. Say what you want, but any punishment less than a pay-per-view televised execution of Steven Avery will not even come close to giving the word 'justice' any meaning. And Avery should be executed in much the same manner as Teresa Halbach died; raped, throat cut, stabbed, shot, and in an act of final defilement, burned alive.
What Wisconsin needs to do is follow the leads of North Dakota and Minnesota in how they handled Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. (pictured, left) Remember him? A Level 3 Registered Sex Offender-an outright predator deemed most likely to re-offend-as in not if, but in all likelihood when, Rodriguez was released from prison after serving 23 years for aggravated rape and attempted kidnapping, and was out of the joint only five months when on November 22, 2003, he kidnapped, and later raped and murdered University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin (pictured, right). The 21-year-old coed was later found-across the state line - on April 17, 2004, during the following spring thaw near a golf course outside of Crookston, Minnesota.
In Rodriguez's case, because Dru was taken across state lines - and also because neither North Dakota nor Minnesota have the death penalty - they turned that piece of human waste over to the United States Attorney in order that the federal death penalty could be sought for Rodriguez. Last I checked, Rodriguez's claim of racial bias in the federal death penalty was dismissed by the judge in his pending trial. Checking out federal executions in the last 42 years-all of which occurred in the last five-we find that three men, one White, one Hispanic, and one Black have been put to death by the Feds for capital crimes, thus making it a punishment that is truly an equal opportunity avenue of justice.
If embattled Wisconsin Attorney General and convicted drunk driver Peg Lautenschlager wants to have any hope of winning another term in Madison, she will confer with her successor at her last job, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, and see if Avery is eligible for federal prosecution for murder under the Violence Against Women Act. Should Avery be bound over for trial in federal court, then the government must have a change of venue granted to the Northern District of Illinois-or better yet, Indiana-in order to secure the death penalty.
Why Illinois or Indiana? Because I have been told by senior cops in Wisconsin as well as by attorneys, that because of the prevalence of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches in the state-both of whom oppose the death penalty under any circumstances-and the large number of their faithful adherents statewide, that no jury in Wisconsin would ever impose the death penalty. Illinois or Indiana on the other hand, would have no compunction about sending a deserving candidate to his or her death.
Some may call the above statement religious discrimination; as a rule of law, it would not apply in this case. Why? During Voir Dire (jury selection) for a capital case, prospective jurors are asked whether they have any ethical, moral, personal, religious or other objections in sentencing a person to death. If the death penalty is being sought and a prospective juror is seen as even slightly hesitating on this issue, it is grounds for dismissal from that jury before trial even begins.
The change of venue to another state in a federal case is not without precedent. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh's lawyers argued that an unbiased jury could not be found locally, because so many people were either injured, killed, or knew someone who had been directly affected by that act of domestic terrorism. The result of that argument was McVeigh's trial being moved to Denver, where he was convicted in 1997, and in 2001, became the first federal prisoner executed in the United States in 38 years. Avery should join the ranks of McVeigh, Juan Raul Garza who was executed about a week later under the drug kingpin statute, and retired Army Master Sergeant Edward Jones, who was executed in March 2003 for the 1995 rape and torture murder of 19-year-old Army PFC Tracie McBride at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.
For those who think innocent people get executed in this day and time, that is simply not true. Given that appellate courts and the Supreme Court have mandated a standard of 'super due process' in cases where the ultimate sanction is handed down to society's most violent predators, no innocent person in the modern American era has been executed. An excellent article to read on this matter is "We're Not Executing the Innocent" by Paul G. Cassell, a former professor at the University of Utah College Of Law, and who now serves as a federal judge in Salt Lake City. A copy of this article which first appeared in The Wall Street Journal on June 16, 2000 (p. A14), can be found here.
Like Avery, Dassey will also be tried as an adult. Because Dassey is only 16 however, he is ineligible for execution and was deemed 'merely an accessory' to the murder, and should thus receive a life sentence without any possibility of parole. At this level of crime, there is no rehabilitation possible. The kid is a done deal.
Perhaps now the Wisconsin Legislature will visit the issue of both capital punishment and establishing a Court of Capital Appeals (an idea previously espoused in this column for expeditious appeals and executions) as the lack of such laws at present only encourages-and even gives license-for the worst of society's bad apples to prey upon the innocent and law-abiding. Given that we in Wisconsin live in one of the nation's worst tax hells, it's long past time that we started getting our money's worth from the criminal justice system. ***
© 2006 Timothy Rollins
A veteran freelance writer, Timothy Rollins brings a wealth of political
experience dating back more than 33 years, and military experience going back
more than 29. He is a freelance writer and policy analyst living in Wisconsin
who has been featured on both television and radio. He has appeared both in
online publications as well as in print newspapers such as the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, USA TODAY, the
Deseret News in Salt Lake City and the Daily Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2006 BY THE AMERICAN PARTISAN
All writers retain rights to their work.