Thursday, April 24, 2014
street news, views and stories of justice and injustice
Follow me on Twitter

Search WitnessLA:

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

Meta


Cruel & Unusual: A New Look at California’s LWOP Kids

May 7th, 2009 by Celeste Fremon

cruel-and-unusual-1
Ashley Jones, age 14, at sentencing in Alabama


Last week, the LA Times ran a very good editorial in support
of a bill by state Sen. Leland Yee that would permit inmates who were juveniles when they were sentenced to life without parole—LWOP, as it is sometimes called— to have at least a chance at getting parole after they’ve spent at least a quarter century in prison.

(WLA reported previously on the bill and the issue.)

This week Rob Greene, the editorial board’s smart criminal justice wonk, wrote an excellent blogpost that comments on the editorial, then takes the issue still further.

It’s well researched and impassioned and it merits your time.

Here are some clips:

The editorial cited the case of South Los Angeles resident Antonio DeJesus Nuñez, who may be the only person in the world sentenced to life without parole for a crime he committed as a minor in which no one died or was injured.

That’s not an overstatement. The New York-based Human Rights Watch asserts that the United States is the only nation in which minors are sentenced to life in prison without parole; we have 2,571.

A 2007 report from the University of San Francisco did find some youth outside the U.S. sentenced to life without parole: a grand total of seven of them, all in Israel.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child bans life without parole for youth, but the United States is one of only two U.N. member nations that have not signed it — the other being Somalia.

Nuñez was 14 at the time of his arrest. He was convicted of a frightening and brutal crime — kidnapping a man for ransom. And, by the way, he shot at police officers when they gave chase. Prosecuting him made sense. Imprisoning him made sense. But life? With no chance of parole? For a crime he committed when he lacked the judgment and maturity, in society’s view, to drive a car, vote, honor a contract, marry without parental consent, join the military or go to an R-rated movie? Should he never get a second look, once he grows up and we can see whether he studied in prison, behaved, repented? Do we believe that some youths are simply irredeemable, and that in our wisdom we can look them over at age 14 and know which ones can be salvaged as adults and which can’t?

The same day the editorial ran, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal granted Nuñez’s habeas corpus petition and threw out his life without parole (the legal jargon is LWOP) sentence, ruling that it violated constitutional strictures against cruel and unusual punishment and ordering the trial court to resentence the inmate, who is now 22. Read the court’s opinion here.

[BIG SNIP]

California has the second-highest population of inmates serving sentences of life without parole for crimes committed in their youth (Pennsylvania is number one). It has zoomed ahead since this map was created by the PBS program “Frontline” in 2007.

Back to Antonio Nuñez. Does it matter that he had turned 16 by the time he was sentenced? Is he less deserving of a second chance in life (under Yee’s bill, it could come at the earliest in 2026, when he is 39) or if he looks dangerous (check out the Orange County Register photo)? Or that he was a member of the notorious 18th Street Gang, as the Register reported?

cruel-and-unusual-2
Antonio Nuñez before sentencing in California.


Perhaps it matters instead that in his South Los Angeles neighborhood he was shot,
at age 13, while he was riding his bike. And that his brother came to his aid and was shot to death in front of him. Or that he left the gang and moved with his family to Nevada, but that he was required to return to his old neighborhood by the Probation Department, and then ended up participating in the crime at issue in the case that got him sent to prison forever. As we said in the editorial, Dickens would have a field day.

Once again, the question is not whether he should have been convicted,
or punished, or sentenced to life. It’s merely whether he, and other people sentenced for reckless and violent action they took before they were adults, will ever get to even apply for parole.

Read the rest here.

When the juvenile justice system was invented over 100 years ago
, it was based on the idea that children and adolescents were developmentally different than adults, that they were still-soft clay, not yet formed psychologically. The understanding was that kids were less mindful of the consequences of their actions—and also more able to fundamentally reform. It was, therefore, the duty of the court to look at each young man or woman who came before it and to ask the question: is this kid redeemable?

I cannot possibly imagine the argument against asking that question about California’s lifer kids.

Posted in Courts, crime and punishment, juvenile justice | 70 Comments »

70 Responses

  1. Pokey Says:

    Ashley – Above is the cute little girl in the picture above:

    Ashley Jones cannot say why she and her boyfriend stabbed and shot her grandparents, her 10-year-old sister and an auntie.

    She knows why she torched them and their house, though. She’d seen that on Melrose Place. It was supposed to cover up the evidence.

    Ashley is one of the youngest females ever convicted of capital murder in Alabama.

  2. don quixote Says:

    LWOP or Death for children? The State, Judges, Prosecutors, getting tough of crime, younger and younger children as chow for the justice system, and we’re supposed to have the moral high ground over screwballs like the Taliban?
    Signs of a sick society

  3. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Pokey, if you’re going to put up those facts about Ashley, you need to post that she was left in crack houses by her drug addict mother, threatened at gun point multiple times as a young child, assaulted by her father to the point that she was hospitalized, and raped by her stepfather.

    When she turned 14, she was suicidal, and took up with a troubled 16 year old. When the grand parents tried to intervene, the boyfriend killed her grandfather and her aunt, and nearly killed her grandmother and injured her sister.

    This was a deeply traumatized and troubled girl who, during the first decade or more of her life, was hideously damaged by every adult who should have protected her.

    And she did terrible, terrible things as a 14-year old.

    But I don’t see why, when she’s 37, we couldn’t take another look at her case, do you?

  4. Woody Says:

    I don’t care what other nations do or what the United Nations says. Most nations don’t appreciate our system of freedoms, and the U.N. wants to control, not only the U.S., but the way that parents may punish their own kids.

    Don’t justify something by including comments about what others do. Justify it with information about why something works or doesn’t work.

  5. reg Says:

    “the U.N. wants to control, not only the U.S., but the way that parents may punish their own kids.”

    They also have flouridated your water and send black helicopters to surveil your house.

    Depends are on sale at Rite-Aid this week…

  6. Celeste Fremon Says:

    U.N. wants to control, not only the U.S., but the way that parents may punish their own kids.

    Woody, just out of curiosity, what in the world are you talking about?

  7. Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper Says:

    “U.N. wants to control, not only the U.S., but the way that parents may punish their own kid.”

    The UN is a purulent, moldering Commie organization Celeste. Your Commie has no regard for human life, not even of his own. For this reason, I want to impress upon you the need for extreme watchfulness, as Sergeant Woody articulates. The enemy may come individually, or in strength. He may even appear in the form of our own troops. But however we must stop him. We must not allow him to gain entrance to this blog. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. That’s the way a hard-core Commie works, Celeste. They are all some kind of deviated perverts.

  8. Anon Says:

    Maybe time for Jack D. and Woody to paint the barn.

  9. mrs. salazar Says:

    Woody, what exactly IS 1-hour Martinizing???

  10. reg Says:

    “Woody, just out of curiosity, what in the world are you talking about?”

    In “fairness” to 20% or so of the population, I believe this is some sort of documentary, or perhaps a map, revealing the Landscape of Contemporary “Conservatism.” I mean these are people who get nervous over Obama asking about Dijon mustard when he orders a hamburger…

  11. reg Says:

    The real question, of course, that patriots are asking themselves this week is how come the anti-elitist mustard is called “French’s” ???? Could Glenn Beck start a petition or something so Americans don’t have to embarrass themselves when they indulge in Freedom Food ?

  12. Pokey Says:

    if you’re going to put up those facts about Ashley…
    When a cute little sad girl is shown at the top of the post which laments the story of a child who never hurt anyone but got LWOP, I thought it should be balanced by a few facts, like the horrific crimes of the little girl pictured.

    I am not saying that LWOP is appropriate for any children. But unfortunately these crimes are symptom of the sick society brought about by liberal theology.

  13. reg Says:

    “these crimes are symptom of the sick society brought about by liberal theology”

    I’d have to say that based on that incredibly crap “opinion”, you’re the one in thrall of a sick “theology.” This kind of glib shit is appalling. You should be ashamed to be so flagrantly stupid.

  14. reg Says:

    Pokey – you are more than welcome to shove the following statistics up your ass:

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-1996-2007

  15. officer krupke Says:

    Say it ain’t so…
    Drew Peterson arrested in 3rd wife’s death, former police officer also a suspect in 4th wife’s disappearance.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30630652/

  16. the beaver Says:

    “these crimes are symptom of the sick society brought about by liberal theology”

    Dad’s gonna clobber you Pokey!

  17. Mavis Beacon Says:

    “I am not saying that LWOP is appropriate for any children. But unfortunately these crimes are symptom of the sick society brought about by liberal theology.”

    What are you saying, Pokey? Do you think LWOP is appropriate for kids? Think about it.

    If you spent less time blaming liberals and more time looking for solutions you might even accidentally stumble into some common ground.

  18. Woody Says:

    I am very, very busy at the moment and will have to give you one of my more creative responses later, Celeste, but this link might help answer your question.

    US Wants to Add Parental Rights Amendment to UN Children’s Rights Treaty – Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Also, since I’m limited to one link per comment, you’ll have to read this abbreviated notice by liberals of an international day of celebration and interference into our personal lives.

    International Spank Out Day – April 30th

    Mark your calendar

    International SpankOut Day was initiated in 1998 by EPOCH-USA to bring widespread attention to the need to end physical punishment of children and to provide educational information to parents and caregivers about non-violent alternatives. Over 500 informational events and programmes have been held in the US and in other countries where it is sometimes called “no hitting day”, “no smacking day” or “day of non-violence for children”.

    The Canadian Children’s Rights Council would like to have 365 “SpankOut Days” each year. …

    Ohhhhhhhh, “Why don’t we go along since other countries do this?” Hogwash. Someone should have spanked those lefties when they were little. Wusses.

  19. reg Says:

    What I learned from Woody’s link: The Girl Scouts USA are behind this UN initiative…

    As if those little monsters haven’t done enough damage already with their nefarious plot to kill me with their damned cookies.

  20. Woody Says:

    You can’t trust women.

  21. Pokey Says:

    A study of the breakdown of the family, conducted by Dr. Michael Rendall of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, concluded that the decline of marriage has been the single most important demographic change in this country since the end of the war. Literally hundreds of disturbances in our culture can be traced to the shift of essential values.

    In 1960 there were 74 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women and 9 divorces for every 1,000 married women. By 1991, there were just 54 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women and 21 divorces per 1,000 married women. The marriage rate dropped a full 25 percent, while the divorce rate increased by 230 percent.

    Liberal Theology is directly responsible.

  22. Randy Paul Says:

    Liberal Theology is directly responsible.

    Which is why the divorce rate is so much higher in the Bible Belt states.

    IIRC Oklahoma leads the nation.

    Sometimes this is just like shooting fish in a barrel.

  23. reg Says:

    Tell it to Bristol Palin…

  24. Pokey Says:

    The United States today has the highest divorce rate in the entire world. Half of all first marriages in this country end in divorce, and the mortality rate of second marriages is even higher. Adding to the problem is the fact that half of all divorces involve children, and researchers tell us that throughout the 1990s more than a million children each year will become the innocent victims of divorce.

    Many other social problems, from illegitimacy to drug abuse, and from child poverty to welfare dependency, trace their roots to the breakdown of the family. Today, one child in five in this nation lives in poverty, and Bureau of Justice Statistics data indicate that of all age groups, children are the most likely to be poor.

    With such disturbing trends, it can hardly come as a surprise that juvenile crime has become the most frightening reality of modern life. During the decade of the 1980s the number of juveniles arrested for murder increased by 93 percent, arrests for aggravated assault rose 72 percent, for forcible rape by 24 percent, and arrests for auto theft went up 97 percent. Since 1986 the number of 10- to 17-year-olds treated for knife and gunshot wounds in one hospital in the nation?s capital increased 1,740 percent. All in all, the fastest growing segment of the criminal population is children under 18 years of age.

  25. Pokey Says:

    Ignoring History

    In 1965, as he prepared to launch his “Great Society” programs, President Lyndon B. Johnson affirmed the importance of family values in an address at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He said:

    The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled.

    The irony of those words, spoken to a predominantly black audience at the leading black university in America, cannot be missed, for it was the Johnson Administration, more than any other, that must bear the responsibility for the re-socialization of the nation and for unleashing the armies of bureaucrats and theory-wielding experts into the family rooms and bedrooms of the nation. In the 30-plus years since those remarks the black family in America has been devastated.

  26. Pokey Says:

    Fatherless Children Commit Most Crimes

    Children without fathers of their own seek ersatz fathers, often in gangs or in adolescent sexual experimentation. Children looking for love in all the wrong places take out their frustrations and anger by wreaking havoc on society. One of the most startling findings concerning breakdown in our inner-cities is that most of the crimes are now committed by children without fathers.

  27. Woody Says:

    Randy @ Coopers: No one’s tarring you with anything. You paint with a broad brush. When you do, you smear.
    Randy above: why the divorce rate is so much higher in the Bible Belt states

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to compare the divorce rates of those who attend church regularly with those who don’t, when you try to connect Bible believers with high divorces, rather than paint the South and believers with a broad brush?

    Divorces are brought on by many reasons, and finances in a geographical area and within segments of the population with low incomes may explain a lot.

    Of course, on the other hand, maybe the divorce rate is higher because people in the South actually get married rather than just live together.

  28. Randy Paul Says:

    Woody,

    While you do raise a good point, re church attendance, the difference is dramatic nevertheless and the statistics do bear out my argument. I might also point out that there are more Roman Catholics in New England (Connecticut and Massachusetts had the lowest divorce rates) than in the South.

    Church attendance may not be a good indicator in any event. While this is purely anecdotal, the longest running marriage in my family is the 25 year marriage of my youngest brother. He and his wife are agnostic. Marc Cooper has been married more than thirty years and IIRC he’s a non-believer.

    In any event, Pokey’s comment that “Liberal Theology is directly responsible” is pure, unsupported bloviating.

    Of course, on the other hand, maybe the divorce rate is higher because people in the South actually get married rather than just live together.

    Of course you would never generalize. Perhaps it’s also because they marry far too easily and don’t take the vows quite as seriously.

  29. Pokey Says:

    1) President Johnson’s Great Society
    2) No Fault Divorce
    3) Feminist Movement
    4) Lack of Discipline in Schools
    5) Morals Education removed from School
    6) Abortion
    7) No shame in society

    These have impacted our society the most. (mostly negatively)
    All part of Liberal Theology

  30. Randy Paul Says:

    Horseshit

  31. Woody Says:

    Randy, there are so many factors in divorce besides one’s faith, it’s hard to generalize, even by georgraphical area. Now, maybe we could on race.

    And, just think, if homosexuals are allowed to marry everywhere, the number of divorces will only rise.

    - – -

    Pokey, things were sure better in the 1950′s for some unnamed reasons.

  32. reg Says:

    The superficiality and insipidly glib nature of Pokey’s thinking is stunning. Don’t have time to bother with it right now. Woody’s racist claptrap doesn’t even deserve refutation, it’s so brazen and moronic.

  33. reg Says:

    Yeah, a divorce rate of only around 33% among Christians who go to church frequently – i.e. the most devout and devoted – is truly impressive.

    This shit is too easy.

  34. reg Says:

    And, of course, the highest divorce rate is among self-identified Evangelicals who don’t attend church “frequently.”

  35. reg Says:

    The biggest problem with this discussion is that it assumes culture is something that exists outside of the rest of the social sphere. If we’re going to talk about “feminism”, the dynamics of capitalism (i.e. drawing women into the workforce, urbanization, increased mobility and proliferation of mass media – all factors related modern capitalism and independent of ideology) were clearly the “drivers” of transformations in women’s role and self-definitions, not some abstract “liberalism.”

    Unfortunately, I’m afraid that I’m pushing the discussion beyond the boundaries of what Pokey and Woody are capable of comprehending. They’re simplistic notions must be comforting. But a terrible embarrassment when subjected to even the most elementary scrutiny. Presumably this doesn’t happen often in their circles.

  36. reg Says:

    “Their” not “They’re”….

  37. Woody Says:

    reg: beyond…what Pokey and Woody are capable of comprehending. They’re simplistic notions…. a terrible embarrassment when subjected to even the most elementary scrutiny.

    reg: “Their” not “They’re”….

    The irony of it.

    reg, why do you hate God?

  38. reg Says:

    Substance…

  39. reg Says:

    Woody:” it’s hard to generalize”

    The irony of it…

  40. Pokey Says:

    Please name any conservative philosophy (… theology) that have contributed to the breakdown of the family.

  41. Pokey Says:

    A famous example of Liberal Theology:

    Dan Quayle, ignited a firestorm during the 1992 presidential campaign when, he decried the fictional TV character ‘Murphy Brown’ for having a child out of wedlock.

    Time magazine –

    “It doesn’t help matters,” Quayle complained, when Brown, “a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman” is portrayed as “mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘life-style choice.’ ”

    The remark was replayed endlessly.

    Murphy Brown (and the liberal media) then, and now millions of women had decided that a father and marriage is not required for raising children.

  42. reg Says:

    “Please name any conservative philosophy (… theology) that have contributed to the breakdown of the family.”

    The central one – untrammeled capitalism.

  43. reg Says:

    Here are the “cultural factors” that conservatives rail against as liberal theology:

    Changing roles of women in society. Growth and influence of “Cosmopolitan Gothams” like New York and Los Angeles. Dominance of mass media in various and sundry forms. Increasing emphasis on materialism and consumer culture. Teens increasingly in the thrall of popular (i.e. commercial) culture. Emphasis on “the new” rather than tradition. The home becoming less and less the locus of socialization. Decline in the stability of many communities Demographic shifts that imply the erasure of older and more familiar cultural “norms.” Science and rationality displacing “faith” as the source of knowledge and judgement.

    Not a single one of these facts of modern life can be seperated from the “free market” ideology of conservatism. And while liberalism often ideologically “ratifies” certain aspects of these changes – as in support for “feminism” or close adherence to the First Amendment – liberalism does far more to attempt to take societal impact of unfettered capitalism into account than conservatism, which has become very good at talking out of both sides of it’s mouth (“family values” and “free markets”, as though there’s no contradiction or hypocrisy involved.)

    This discussion is pretty much based on the flimsiest and most shallow social analysis on the rightward side. Not to be taken seriously…

  44. reg Says:

    Murphy Brown ? Wow ! That’s all the evidence I need that this argument isn’t serious.

  45. reg Says:

    Incidentally, I don’t accept the “breakdown of the family” argument as self-evident. Again, we’re talking about a complex history in which only someone with pretty twisted values would go into an orgy of nostalgia for the patriarchy of yore – just as only a blindered racist would express the simple notion that “things were better in the ’50s.” I have nostalgia for things I remember from my youth, but I know the difference between my nostalgia and historical generalizations that can’t pass the smell test. Some things were undoubtedly better, some things were far worse. On balance, I’ll go so far as to assert tha most of what was worse is stuff that liberalism attempted to address and heal, like racism and gender inequality. Most of what was better is the stuff of nostalgia that the “creative destruction” of capitalism did away with.

  46. Woody Says:

    reg: “seperated”

    Merriam-Webster: “separated”

    - – -

    reg: liberalism attempted to address and heal, like racism and gender inequality

    And, the liberals have done one fine job!

  47. Pokey Says:

    So your explanation of why we have unwed mothers and kids committing unspeakable crimes is untrammeled capitalism?

    The reason I go back to 1970’s is that is when the per capita teen violence started to skyrocket along with fatherless families. This trend continued up for 20 years.

    My analysis of history points to the seven items I mentioned earlier:
    Many of which have had FAVORABLE consequences also on society as well as DESTRUCTIVE consequences.

  48. reg Says:

    Woody, go fuck yourself. You’re ridiculous.

    Pokey – my explanation of why family structures have changed dramatically is because the social context in which they exist has changed dramatically. I don’t think this is controversial. To reduce history to a soundbite as you attempt to reduce my point is obviously overly simplistic – but then you’re the one who started that game, and on much less solid ground, since you attribute social change primarily to the prevalence of an ideology (and you do that very inaccurately and ideologically in the worst sense of the word – propagandistically is probably a better description of your method). I just can’t take that kind of glib shit seriously. I’m using shorthand to describe some complex issues, but I’m on more solid ground than the kind of Newt Gingrichesque shit you’re running here – “teens commit murder because of liberalism.” That’s shameful and incoherent.

  49. reg Says:

    Incidentally, Pokey – the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western world. It’s also the most “religious” in the sense of church attendance and the most “conservative” ideologically. I think Bristol Palin is a more significant social indicator than the imaginary Murphy Brown…

  50. reg Says:

    “Not a single one of these facts of modern life can be seperated from the “free market” ideology of conservatism.”

    I do, in fact want to correct that sentence a bit – “Not a single one of these facts of modern life can be separated from the ‘creative destruction’ capitalist dynamic that is the foundation for the “free market” ideology of conservatism.”

  51. Pokey Says:

    Reg,
    I am not saying that “teens commit murder because of liberalism” –,

    I am saying that children that have:
    – no father at home,
    – no discipline in school,
    – no values taught in school,
    – no good role models,
    – no learned shame,
    – no fear of punishment,
    – no fear of god,
    commit murder and wreak havoc on our society and fill our jails.

    We might agree on most of the above list, but you might also add
    – no job,
    – no opportunities,

    Many of the above are some UN-INTENDED consequences of some well meaning liberal programs, liberal curriculum and court decisions.

    The last two, I believe have a lot to do with the massive illegal alien population.

    In addition, I will add that some of these may be caused by “free market ideology of conservatism,” especially any economic related ones. (i.e NAFTA and this entire banking mess / economic crisis.)

  52. Woody Says:

    Abortion = Liberal Family Values

    - – -

    reg: the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western world.

    Want to know why Islamic countries don’t? They kill those girls.

    - – -

    Hey, reg. Be a patriot and save our nation $400,000 for a study in which you already have all the answers.

    Government researchers are spending more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to hit the bars in Argentina. The National Institutes of Health are paying researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk — and just what can be done about it.

    If it’s about South America, it’s a good topic for Beautiful Horizons. If it’s about gays, it’s a good topic for reg.

  53. reg Says:

    More substance from the resident trolling homophobe…

    You’re scum.

    Pokey – yes you did say that – “these crimes are symptom of the sick society brought about by liberal theology”

  54. reg Says:

    “fear of god” – that really works out well in those situations Woody refers to. In truth, I think that people whose rational for not acting badly is “fear of god” have no morals – and many who “fear god” use it as a rationale for the most heinous, bigoted (Woody!), callous behavior that reflects their own damaged souls more than any sense of a holy spirit, grace or redemption.

  55. Pokey Says:

    Reg,
    For the sake of clarity, saying, “these crimes are symptom(s) of the sick society brought about by liberal theology” is far different than saying “teens commit murder because of liberalism”..

    For example it would be more appropriate to say “our polluted atmosphere is a symptom of the materialistic society brought about by untrammeled capitalism”, then it would be to say “people pollute our atmosphere because of capitalism”.

    As far as “Fear of God”, I believe that this would be better expressed as – “Belief that they are accountable to a higher power upon death”.

    BTW, There is loads of empirical evidence that there is an afterlife and an accountability of ones life.

    http://www.victorzammit.com/hall/scientists.htm

  56. Woody Says:

    reg, it goes without saying that you’re nuts.

    Here’s my belief: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7).

    We’re God’s children, and he guides us. Likewise, parents guide their children. Would you say that your kids are immoral because they needed your guidance and, sometimes, a swat on the bottom when they were young?

    You can bet that kids fear correction by parents, and that fear leads them to act right and to gain understanding as to what is right and wrong. In a similar respect, God leads us.

    There is nothing wrong and everything right with those who fear God and worship Him.

  57. reg Says:

    “:Here’s my belief: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7″

    This at least partially explains why you have no wisdom.

  58. reg Says:

    Incidentally, having Woody as one of God’s “messengers” offering Sunday School lessons here works about as well for me as Osama bin Laden’s raving about his love of Allah. The first refuge of too many lowlifes, bigots and people in thrall of twisted, reactionary ideology is some debased form of religion.

  59. reg Says:

    Pokey – it’s not just fear in the afterlife….

    2 Kings 17:25 – “they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.”

    Lots of evidence for this, etc. etc.

  60. Woody Says:

    reg, you mock God. You should be afraid.

  61. reg Says:

    I’m not half-afraid as you’d be if you had an ounce of self-awareness.

  62. Pokey Says:

    reg,
    I am speaking of scientific evidence, not biblical quotes, for my contention that is an afterlife.

  63. Pokey Says:

    Should read — “I am speaking of scientific evidence, not biblical quotes, for my contention that there is an afterlife.”

    - Near Death Experiences
    - Hospice Workers testimony
    - etc

  64. Irv Mudderman Says:

    For heavens sakes, tomorrows Mothers Day, and I want all you rascals, scamps, curs, good-for-nothings, knaves, varlets, snakes in the grass, bounders, reprobates, hellions, rapscallions, evil-doers, and mischief-makers to wish Ms Celeste Fremon a Happy Mothers Day. Show some respectability around here gentlemen… and I use that term loosely!

  65. Randy Paul Says:

    Please name any conservative philosophy (… theology) that have contributed to the breakdown of the family.

    As you have not shown any liberal philosophy that has contributed to the breakdown of the family, I would submit that it would be equally impossible to come up with a conservative philosophy that “contributed to the breakdown of the family” for this simple reason: how do your prove causation?

    In your silly-assed attempt to blame all this on “liberal theology” – something that is undefined and I assume exists in that vast vacuum between your ears – all you’ve demonstrated is that yours is the mentality of a rooster who attributes the rising of the sun to his crowing.

  66. reg Says:

    “my contention that is an afterlife”

    This is not something I’m obsessed with and it’s not the foundation of my morality in the life I’m living – although I admit to indulging myself with thoughts that certain folk will “burn in Hell”, out of some metaphorical sense of cosmic justice. But it’s more than a little scary knowing, based on your apparent state of mind, that if proof existed that there was no “afterlife” – and there’s certainly no scientific evidence that there is, other than the kind of evidence that also suggested Uri Geller could bend spoons with his mind – many religious folk would toss any moral sense aside because they no longer “fear God.” If one’s central rationale for living a moral life is fear of hellfire and damnation, those morals are pretty shallow.

  67. Pokey Says:

    “there’s certainly no scientific evidence”

    reg, you don’t have to look far to find loads of scientific evidence and scientific studies.

    In September 2008, it was announced that 25 UK and US hospitals will examine near-death studies in 1,500 heart attack patients-survivors. The 3 years study, co-ordinated by Southampton University, hopes to determine if people without heartbeat or brain activity can have an out-of-body experience with veridical visual perceptions.[31] This study follows on from an earlier 18-month pilot project.

    Researchers, such as Bruce Greyson, Kenneth Ring, and Michael Sabom, introduced the study of near-death experiences to the academic setting. The medical community has been somewhat reluctant to address the phenomenon of NDEs, and money granted for research has been relatively scarce. However, although the research was not always welcomed by the general academic community, both Greyson and Ring made significant contributions in order to increase the respectability of near-death research.

    Major contributions to the field include the construction of a Weighted Core Experience Index in order to measure the depth of the near-death experience, and the construction of the Greyson near-death experience scale, in order to differentiate between subjects that are more or less likely to have experienced a classical NDE. The NDE-scale also aims to differentiate between what the field claims are “true” NDEs and syndromes or stress responses that are not related to an NDE, such as the similar incidents experienced by sufferers of epilepsy. Greyson’s NDE-scale was later validated using Rasch model scaling.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience

  68. reg Says:

    This is a pathetic obsession…

  69. Maya Says:

    With someone that had severe abuse before, maybe in 40-50 years they can review her case. Maybe. There have been plenty of children that have gone through extremely abusive lives even worse than hers and grown up to overcome them without harming others. Sometimes that’s no excuse to really contemplate actually taking someone’s life. Hers should be taken too, no matter the age. Not necessarily the death penalty (I’m on the fence with that topic. Period.), but behind bars is where she should be (If not with an eternity with a couple of fiery pits. Harsh? Nope.).

  70. WitnessLA.com » Blog Archive » Social Justice Shorts Says:

    [...] by the way, is a past look at California’s LWOP [...]

Leave a Comment





Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.