01 December 2006

Translating Tom

"The common sense of the majority of people lead them to support the death penalty-- they instinctively realize that certain heinous crimes call for the ultimate punishment, not because of bloodlust, but because justice calls for a congruent satisfaction in order to restore as much as possible the moral damage done by the perpetrator."


"The common sense of the majority of people" & "instinctively realize" = "gut reaction"

"certain heinous crimes" = "anything bad some Yankee done to me & mine"

"justice calls for a congruent satisfaction" = "get a rope"

Or, if you want a short and easy translation of the whole paragraph: "Some people just need to get kilt."

Hmmm . . . That sounds a lot like vengeance to me. Oh well, I can't possibly keep up with Tom's quoting of 13th century Latin screeds so I'm not in a position to get into a theological argument with him. Even if I tried he'd probably nuke me by starting to discourse in Latin, Greek, Hebraic, or Sanskrit (well, probably not Sanskrit).

BTW: Tom, Priti Patel looks kinda cute - any chance of getting me an introduction?

BTW, BTW: Why isn't the killing of likes instead of actuals acceptable as a valid punishment? For instance, if Jon Smith kills Peter Jones' infant child wouldn't society accomplish a more congruent punishment by killing Jon Smith's child? And wouldn't that, in general, create much more of a deterrent?


Tom McKenna said...

You can call it "gut reaction;" I'd prefer the more accurate term "natural law."

We don't kill a child killer's baby because the point is not to inflict the sorrow the victim's ,survivors feel, it's to address the evil of taking the victim's life. In other words the moral disorder consists of unjustly taking away the life of another. For that, the only "congruent satisfaction" is to forfeit one's own life.

It's really not a difficult concept... it's been around in the Judeo-Christian West for some 6,000 years and can be found almost universally in other cultures.

Jon Katz said...

Hi, Ken- Thanks for not letting your role as a prosecutor stop you from publicly stating your reservations about capital punishment.

If you're assigned a capital case to prosecute, will you request that the case be amended to a non-capital case, or that it be re-assigned to another prosecutor if it remains a capital case?


Ken Lammers said...


I doubt I've any chance of seeing a capital case crossing my desk any time soon. At this point I'm handling the usual sort of felonies, most common among them theft, drugs, and welfare fraud.

I am, and think any sane person must be, wary of the death penalty. However, even as a defense attorney I never ruled it out entirely. Watch the video linked to here which I made when I was a long haired defense attorney type.

The Commonwealth Attorney whom I serve under knows that I am a "future dangerousness" only death penalty guy and understands that this is a faith-based position. I can't say he agrees with me about it but it's not been a problem and I seriously doubt he would assign me a case outside that parameter. Not that it's really an issue; the only death penalty case around here for the last hundred years or so was a guy who killed another while locked up in a supermax. That pretty much is the definition of future dangerousness to me - if you can continue to kill people while in a supermax you are a danger anywhere, anytime.