Friday, December 14, 2007

Over the F^&king Edge

I just got done with a rant about homeopaths, and now I find out about this. The gloves are off! This is a "WILD THREAD!" before it even gets down to the comments. Don't click below the fold if you're uptight about language. (Original source)


What the fuck is wrong with the world? What kind of shit is this?! A gun can at least plausibly be accredited to accidental discharge: One accidental flick of the finger or badly-timed tensing of the hand could send a lethal velocity bit of metal in someone's direction. I may not know much about knife fighting, but it seems to me to kill someone with a knife, you have to maintain a grip and put some fucking muscle into swinging it. It's not easy to accidentally stab someone. If you can't put it in your head that lashing out at someone with a sharp piece of metal has potentially lethal consequences, you do not belong in society. At the very least, this guy's sentence should be measured in fucking decades.

The fact that alcohol enters into it just makes things worse. I'm not against some moderate drinking to relax you, loosen up, or whatever you non-teetotalers do, but drinking to the point that you can fucking forget that swinging sharp pieces of metal can kill? I'd certainly like to know if this guy had previous experience with being a mean drunk, because that would make him even more culpable for choosing to imbibe something in quantities that makes him irate.

The fact that York got abusive before the incident just fills me to the brim with skepticism about the self-defense plea. I may normally be quite squeamish about the death penalty, but if a proper judge had given him the death penalty (that's not available in Australia, is it?), I would strain to find a reason to complain right now.


Don said...

And you know what'll burn even worse?

When some goddamned Christian starts running around the blogosphere throwing around No True Scotsman like it's not tomorrow, ad hocking this fucker out of Christendom because "If he really believed in Jesus, he wouldn't be drinking or stabbing people."

Then they'll just ad hoc him right into atheism, because that's what people like us do.

Anonymous said...

I have to say after reading around the impression I get is that it's basically another drunken argument turned deadly, only this time about evolution. I don't think the nature of the argument itself is what reduced the sentence in this case. Rather, I think it's this idiotic sympathy card for people because they were just "drunk".

Honestly I don't care how good your character supposedly is. If you are going to get drunk, you accept the consequences, and if that means you end up with blood on your hands afterwards, you are entirely resposible for your actions. I didn't get you drunk, YOU did, and you should know that you are destroying your inhibitions and are basically turning yourself into a moron acting on instinct when you do it. I have no sympathy for people who do violent acts when drunk. They deserve the same level of punishment as someone who drives with reckless abandon gets when they kill someone, perhaps more because he clearly was angry.

The only time I'll have sympathy is if it turns out they were forcibly intoxicated against their will and THEN committed it.

Yeah, I don't really drink myself. I'm not about to run around shunning those who do mind you. If they want to do that, it's their own business, but if they screw up while drunk, don't look to me for any defense. You did it to yourself, and also someone else. Your fault entirely.

Lifewish said...

I drink quite often and quite heavily and I completely agree with jaguar.

If you do something lethal when sober, the purpose of the sentence is to make you think before doing it again. If you do something lethal when drunk, the purpose of the sentence is to make you think before drinking again.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to know what the judge used to determine the man's "good character." Wouldn't have anything to do with religion, would it?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd treat it same as a drunk driver killing someone. For all we know, the guy rescues grandmas from trees and walks kittens across the road in his spare time, but still... judge's decision does sound rather strained. Aggravating stupidity all around.

Speaking of edges, it's starting to look like the time to wrap the list up.

-- GM

Dikkii said...

No death penalty over here. But you know the funny thing? In most instances, being non compis mentis due to alcohol consumption is not normally considered a legitimate defence.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Director of Public Prosecutions office appeals this.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

I drink quite often and quite heavily and I completely agree with jaguar.


The thing that gets me is that the Judge said the reason for the light sentence is the GOOD CHARACTER. Drunk or not, killing someone with a knife over an argument automatically puts a checkmark in the "not good character" column for me.

Anonymous said...

I love the rationale for going with the lighter charge:

"Oh, sure, he knew was stabbing someone with a knife. But he may have been too drunk to realize that trying to kill someone with a knife might actually end up working."

J. J. Ramsey said...

rrt: "I'd really like to know what the judge used to determine the man's 'good character.'"

Here is a link to the judge's ruling, thanks to commenters Michael Murray and huxley on Greg Laden's site: link

These are the parts relevant to your question:

"A number of testimonials has been tendered on his behalf from people who know the offender well. They speak eloquently of his good character and his lack of any violent tendencies. I am satisfied that the offender is a person of good character and that this present offence is a complete aberration. He has good prospects of rehabilitation. As I have already said the offence was spontaneous and impulsive and the shocking consequence did not for one moment occur to him. ...

"I deal with the offender’s attempts to plead guilty to manslaughter later on in these reasons. For the present I note that the circumstances and the nature of the evidence were such that the conviction of the offender for manslaughter was far from certain. His conviction for murder was only a slight possibility. Accordingly, the offender's offer to plead guilty should be seen as a willingness to accept responsibility for what he had done and an expression of contrition."

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

Guess who is back?

Richard Hughes said...

They didn't even bring back the death penalty for Martin Bryant. I'd say that the chances of the death penalty coming back to Australia are about as good as me winning the lottery while dancing naked on the wing of a crashing plane that was twice struck by lightening. And I turn into a leprechaun.

(NOTE: This is not an endorsement in any way shape or form of the death penalty.)