Are there any worse, more far-reaching crimes than trying to subvert the United States government, by threatening public officials with death for doing the jobs they are sworn to uphold, instigating violent insurrection, lying under oath, rigging and trying to rig state and national elections, and fomenting insurrection and violence against the United States?
These are crimes far worse than taking your kid to a drag show. Or lending a book in a library.
I’m no wild-eyed liberal. For instance, I believe the death penalty should be imposed in certain, exceptional cases. I agree with Charles Baudelaire, a notorious poet — hard to believe those two words belong together — who supported the death penalty because, he wrote, if the state cannot draw the line somewhere, for something, how can the state claim any moral authority at all?
Not that I believe that our national and individual states have any moral authority today. They do not. Because — have you noticed? — the politicians who prate about morality, and the power this fantasy supposedly grants them, do this always today to inflict their “authority” upon others — especially people who disagree with them. I am thinking here of the U.S. Supreme Court. And Russia and China.
And speaking of moral degenerates, I am also thinking of William Suff, a mass murderer who killed at least 13 women in Riverside County, California, when I was a city editor there, and probably 10 more.
He was arrested by an astute cop who’d pulled him over for a traffic infraction and noticed that the mismatched tire treads of the car Suff was driving — identifiable tire prints from different manufacturers — matched the mismatched tire tracks that cops had noticed at other murder scenes.
As I recall, that smart cop asked for Suff’s driver’s license and took it back to his cruiser — standard procedure, nothing to worry about, thank you, Sir — where that cop called every officer within hailing distance, who arrived posthaste, to surround that miserable excuse for a human being, sitting all unknowing in his car.
Good police work.
Now, this is not an aside from our main story. It’s part of the story.
So Suff goes to trial. As evidence, the state submits a bloody knife the cops found under his driver’s seat, with blood on it from the latest, and last, woman Suff killed. He’d killed her and dumped her in a graveyard.
When asked at trial why that knife was in his car, Suff replied that he had just been walking around the graveyard and saw the knife and kept it “as a souvenir.”
OK, here’s what I’m saying — and it’s all that I’m saying — a mass murderer who can’t think of a better alibi than that don’t deserve to live. I don’t care if studying his brain could lead to anything good for anyone. Kill him, to set an example for kids who think it’s cool to shoot and kill people.
Thanks to video games.
But the last I heard that spherical sonofabitch is still alive.
(A spherical sonofabitch, my Louisiana Grampa told me, is a sonofabitch from any angle you look at him.)
Suff is a good example of a guy who don’t deserve to live.
Look: I understand that the death penalty in the United States has been imposed, overwhelmingly, upon Black folks, Native Americans and Other People who are not Completely White. That’s why, although I think Suff should be executed, I also support a nationwide ban on executions.
Too many false confessions. Too many men freed from Death Row by DNA. Too many bad raps engineered by bad cops who thought they were tough guys, and thought it would grease their upslide into higher ranks. Too many put-up jobs to hide crimes of cops. And their informers. Or anyone they had a grudge against.
No, I do not support the death penalty — except, as I said, in certain exceptional cases. Suff being one.
So what does that make me? A liberal or a “conservative”?
And who cares?
The threats to our republic are clear and present, due in great part to the cowardice of the Republican Party and its elected officials, and their kowtowing to their Obergruppenfűhrer and his demand for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution.
Well, the voters will decide in November next year. And right now it looks like all 330 million of us might be left with our Constitution as only a souvenir.
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