The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Will our legal system excuse murder yet again?

Mary Winkler was recently released from jail on $750,000 bond. You may remember that she is alleged to have killed her husband, a pastor in TN, back in March. There's been a lot of talk since her release about her motive for the murder, as well as her mental condition. Some have made the claim that there was emotional abuse on the part of her husband. And ABC News interviewed her lawyers, who said that there is a lot of pressure on pastors' wives - pressure because they have no outlets, no confidants with whom they can share all the secrets to which they are exposed as a result of being married to men in the pastoral position. With this kind of talk, I smell another not-guilty-by-reason-of-mental-defect defense, and I am reminded of the complete injustice that was done recently, when Andrea Yates was awarded a new trial and found not guilty for the same reason.

Every time someone gets off based on this defense, I am troubled. We have come to the point in our legal system at which we say that if a person's brain seems to be working differently during the course of a murder, then the person is not responsible for his crime. A seemingly normal person suddenly snaps and commits horrible atrocities, and we say, "There must have been something wrong with their brain, or they couldn't have possible done this." Of course something was wrong with their brain! They snapped under pressure and committed murder. Whatever was going on their head does not exonerate them. They are still guilty of the crime they committed. Just because we can't find a reasonable explanation for their behavior doesn't mean we should excuse it.

I have a wife and three children. And I seriously hope that if I shot or stabbed my wife to death, or held everyone of my children underwater long enough to drown them, that someone would have enough sense to string me up from the highest tree in town or but a bullet through my head. (Of course, I speak figuratively, since we don't really execute anyone for their crimes anymore. We just put a needle in their arms and let them die peacefully in their sleep.) It's time we realize that we are just making excuses for criminals, thereby creating more criminals who realize they can get away with murder by claiming to have gone temporarily insane just prior to the commission of a crime. Those who commit murder should lose the privilege of living.


  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    The part that concerns me is the idea that they're pushing the "pressure on pastors' wives" angle. Pretty soon the American Psychological Assn is going to add being religious as a psychological disorder. The Left already believes it is.

  • At 5:15 AM, Blogger Merete said…

    Your heart is so full of hate! I'm sorry but I just cannot understand people who are pro death penalty. Don't you consider yourself a good Christian? If yes, what happend to forgiveness? I belive that every human being has the right to be forgiven, no matter what they did.

    Death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. And it has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments.

    I wonder what makes us so different from the killer himself if we are to murder him? That just puts us in the same category as he was - a killer. He killed his victim(s) and we killed the killer. But only we have "the right" to kill him. What the hell is the difference? A human life is a human life!

  • At 12:21 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…


    I doubt if anyone who knows me would accuse me of having a heart full of hate. The fact is that I have a heart so full of love for innocent victims that my feeling toward murderers probably looks like hate. (Actually, now that you mention it, yes, I do have a hatred for murder, but that does not really mean I hate the murderer.) Do I consider myself a good Christian? I leave that judgment to others, but Christ himself said that it would be better for someone who harms a little one to be cast into the ocean with a millstone tied around his neck. Christ also claimed that the government has the authority to "bear the sword." (The reference is to carrying out justice in the execution of criminals.) One does not have to be opposed to all killing to be a good Christian. One must, however be opposed to all murder of innocents.

    The "death penalty doesn't deter crime" argument is bogus. How many murderers have killed multiple people? How many people would still be alive if a murderer were put to death after his first killing?

    What makes us different from the killer when we put him to death is that the killer is not innocent, as was his victim, and government has the authority to carry out justice. The carrying out of justice is not murder.

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Merete said…

    You have a heart so full of love that you like James Bond have the license to kill?

    If you murder a killer, that's not killing, it's justice?! You could be a spin doctor! Then what the hell did you do if you didn't MURDER the killer when he is laying there DEAD, killed by your "justice?" It is cold blooded murder no matter how you look at it!

    I am just like you also married and I have two small children. So I can understand the pain and anger you must feel if any of your loved ones were brutally taken away from you. I guess at first my heart would be so filled with hate that you personally feel that you could strangle the person that did this with your own bare hands. But after some time, I guess I would realise that if I killed the guy who did it in pure revenge, my heart would not exactly be filled with joy and love again. It would sure as hell not give me any satisfaction to sit there and watch the execution of the man who killed my family. I think that would just make me even more miserable.

    Justice is when that bastard would serve lifetime in prison. He would have to get up every day and deal with the consequenses of his action. At least my consience would be crystal clear. But if I killed him, I would be no better than the killer myself.

    You say that there are places in this holy Bible that sais you should cast him into the ocean with a millstone tied around his neck. Well, the Bible also sais that you should love your enemy and that you shall not kill. But please don't drag this into any Bible discussion. My personal thought about the Bible is not really high as I strongly doubt this book was faxed down from heaven for us to use as a guide line. God is within all of us people. He loves us no matter what we do, I don't need no Bible to overstand that!

  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…


    You don't want me to bring the Bible into the discussion. I did so because you asked me if I thought I was a good Christian. Had you not brought religion into it, I may not have quoted from the book you disdain in this discussion.

    You are speaking as though, because I support the death penalty, I believe in vigilante justice. Nowhere did I say that I personally have the right to take someone's life in retribution. That job is left up to governments since, otherwise, everyone would take the law into his own hands. Executing justice is not murder. If you claim that all killing is murder, then you must be a murderer if someone attacks you and you defend yourself, killing him in the process. Or you must be a murderer if you are a soldier and kill other soldiers in wartime. The fact is, not all killing is murder; some killing is justified.

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger THE RIGHT WING AGENDA said…

    Return to Westernesse said...

    The fact is, not all killing is murder; some killing is justified.

    6:44 PM


    Here we have Right wing/Red State/Bible Banging Hypocrisy at it's best.


  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…


    I'm glad you read your Bible enough to be familiar with at least one of the Ten Commandments. Rather than proving hyprocisy on my part, this commandment, when properly understood in the original language, actually in part proves my point. The Hebrew word for "kill" that is used in Exodus 20, where we find the Ten Commandments, is roughly transliterated into English raw-tsakh'. This is the word in the Hebrew language used for murder. (There are other words used for "kill" in other instances.) God makes very clear how He feels about taking an innocent person's life. There are, however plenty of instances in the Old Testament in which God commands that an individual or group of people be put to death as a result of their evil actions. You can call God a hypocrite if you want; that is between you and Him. But there is an obvious distinction between murder and all killing.


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