Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Potential Excuriating Pain

The last time I posted my thoughts on death penalty cases, I got a few typically liberal backlash comments from the peanut gallery.

I wish I could justify some other stance, but despite the yowlings of people I assume are well intentioned, like Steve Earle, I just don't swing that way.

I've had someone I knew yanked from this earth by a rapist and killer, and basically everyday that her attacker is alive and coddled by the state, is a grievous insult to her loved ones. It's now been over 10 years since the violent atrocity was committed, and I doubt the victim's family goes a day without knowing that...

In general, I am more sympathetic to a victim's family, than for the convicted killers who reside for years on death row and have committed the crimes in question. I hate to advocate for someone's death, but let's face it people, some folks just don't deserve your empathy & concern. I truly wonder why do you care so much about someone who could care less about anyone else?

Clearly, we are not talking about some mistaken identity here, or questionable circumstances. The people I have no problem with seeing executed are admitted pre-meditated killers of innocent victims. They are the cold, bold & heartless, who've gone beyond the pale and committed crimes far beyond mere accidental or circumstantially suspect killings, or even vaguely definable potential self defense situations. These are the sick mf'ers that yer mama shoulda warned ya about, and I bet she'd want 'em put down too...

Case In Point Du Jour:

I gotta love the Michael Morales moral morass that is, currently as I write this, surrounding some hired killer's fate, and presenting a perplexing plight.Out here in California, a state that is a leading producer of fruits & nuts, a rallying cry has been raised over a death row inmate named Michael Morales.The jist of the hype is his scheduled execution has been twice postponed, because the poor bastard might suffer "excruciating pain" during his upcoming lethal injection. In fact last night, just prior to his execution, a bunch of court appointed doctors got their professional panties in a bunch and walked out because they were afraid if Morales woke up during the execution, gulp, they'd be in an awkward position. Perhaps, it's my understanding, that this would be a possible violation of their "Hippocratic" oath (which I guess is not to be confused with the utter hypocrisy of the whole situation).

However, as much as you are compelled to empathize, let's remember that this Morales is a guy who showed no mercy in the slaughter of a beautiful 17 year old girl whom he mercilessly raped, choked, hammered, stabbed in the chest and left bleeding & naked from the waist down in a vineyard to die alone. According to testimony, he went on to beat his victim Terri Winchell in the head with a hammer at least 23 times, and beat her so brutally and repeatedly that her face was no longer recognizable.

If any of that doesn't bother you, here's some other relevant things to consider though:

Michael Morales, was an adult, aged 21 when he commited his horrendous crime, which he now wants to blame on alcohol & drug use. El wrongo !

Look I myself, and millions of others, have had plenty of experience with alcohol and drug use, but have never even considered any of the sick sh*t that this Morales character has nonchalantly admitted to. In fact he has accepted full responsibility for the fact that his disgusting animalistic actions led to Terri Winchell’s horrible death.

But it don't stop there...

The case of course also has the Bay Area & Bravo network friendly media pre-requisite weird homo angle of course as well, as Morales was a hired assailant, used by the victim's ex-boyfriend, Morales' own closeted bi-sexual cousin Ricky Ortega.

Yep...Ortega reportedly told Glenda Chavez that he was angry at Winchell for accusing him of being a homosexual and for her calling him “gay.” Ortega brought in Morales to harm her because he was also jealous about a new relationship Miss Winchell was having with another guy that Ortega was secretly having a sexual relationship with. Does it get any more small town twisted than that? I sure hope Ortega is happy spending his life in California State Prison having as much happy homo-sex as his $30,000+ a year tax-payer funded prison stud lifestyle will allow.

Within two days of the killing, Ortega's blood spattered car was impounded, and Morales was arrested at his residence. The police found Morales’ broken belt used to choke Terri Winchell with her blood on it hidden under a mattress. The police found knives and a hammer likely used in the killing, hidden in the refrigerator's vegetable crisper. The hammer had traces of Winchell’s blood on it. hmmm... wonder how all that got there?

The police also found blood-stained floor mats from Ricky Ortega’s car in the trash. Terri Winchell’s purse and credit card were also mysteriously in the house. Morales had used $11 from Winchell’s purse to buy beer, wine, and cigarettes on the night of the murder.

Hmmm... Being a good liberal, I uh, I blame the beer, god knows beer is dangerous...Evidence shows that Germany drank so much of it, I hear they started two world wars, and killed millions of people in the process... Beer should be on trial , not Michael Morales... right?

But instead, California taxpayers have paid for his prosecution and defense at his trial, his housing, 3 meals a day, laundry and basic medical upkeep for 25 some odd years for his death sentence and elongated appeals process to finally roll around. Yet, before he can be put down like the bad,bad dog we know he is, Mr. Morales ( or more likely his court appointed attorney advocates) began whining that his death by injection now might make him a victim of state sponsored brutality. In fact, it's his contention that in his case, a lethal injection is "cruel and unusual" punishment... and I guess he would be an expert on what "cruel and unusual" is ...

Boo F*cking Hoo...

I wonder if he found it cruel and unusual to spend the victim's money on beer & cigarettes after strangling, raping, beating, and stabbing her?

Then much to my surprise, who should appear to save Mr. Morales ass, none other than right wing stooge & professed Clinton hater, former Prosecuter Kenneth Starr, now a Professor at Pepperdine. The former Whitewater investigator has been listed as co-lead counsel for Morales’s clemency petition. Huh?


uh, are you kidding?

Memo to Ken Starr : Get a life already... are you that starved for attention?

But really , enough is enough, and all the lurid details and even the presence of Clinton hater Starr are distractions . The real crime is that Morales has been alive for 20 some years after so brutally raping & killing his innocent victim.

Said a family friend recently to the San Jose Mercury News : "He's the monster that killed the beauty, and he needs to pay for a crime that was senseless," Jacqueline Miles said. "We need to actually show the world that people can't get away with murdering people just because they get mad."

Meanwhile teenagers and young men are assigned to be blown to bits doing military duty in Iraq, and no one at the ACLU raises a fury in their defense.

It makes me sick... honestly I'd be interested in what are your thoughts?

Leave a comment, and while you ponder aimlessly on a subject we all have no control over as usual...

Here enjoy some mp3 mayhem y murder musica...

Cobra Verde - Let's Get The Party Started

Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder

Thrice - To Awake & Avenge The Dead

Mermen - With No Definite Future And No Purpose Other Than To Prevail

OK GO - A Million Ways To Be Cruel

Black Dahlia Murder -
Funeral Thirst

The Last Rites - Psycho Killer

Cradle of Filth - Rape And Ruin Or Angels

Cumshotte - Lethal Hot Beef Injection

The Sexy Magazines - Sex Murder Music

Shabba Ranks - Murder She Wrote

Juelz Santana - Murder, Murder ( clean version

Juelz Santana - Murder Murder ( Dirty)

Enon - Murder Sounds

Varukers - Murder

Carbide Spiral - Execution Of The Brain

Rilo Kiley - Execution Of All Things ( live )

The Family Machine - Lethal Drugs Cocktail

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Mistakes & Regrets

Megadeth - Punishment Due

and here's a nineteen minute spiel from author and history Prof. Richard Moran on the History of the Electric Chair. One of the controversial projects that pitted Thomas Edison vs Westinghouse at the turn of the 20th Century.

Plus in the interest of fairness, informed debate and faux intellectualizing of all the issues, here's a link to a radio show that aired on KCRW on Feb 15th in which medical professionals, a victim's rights advocate and an ACLU anti-death penalty activist ponder the Morales situation

KCRW - Death Penalty, Medicine & The Law

My uneducated opinion ?

Money For Schools , Not Death Row Inmates !!!

PLEASE ! Kill This Dog F*cker Today !!!!!!


Annie said...

Repeating the old arguments why there should be a death penalty doesn't make them any more justified. Mature, democratic, and free societies need anything but a government that kills some of their members. More importantly, families of victims probably won't feel better about their loss once the offender is killed - that's most probably an illusion. If it isn't, those people should think about why they feel they need something as low as revenge. Because that's what it's all about, isn't it? (It's certainly not security, you don't need a death penalty for that.) Like back in those days when you cut fingers off the hands of thieves... Those kinds of punishment have been done away with, except for the harshest one of all - at least in some parts of the world. Killing people by electrical shocks or by other methods is too disgusting to even think about, and it makes the crime that is being punished only worse, for everyone involved. Btw, this point of view has nothing to do with being liberal, but everything with being reasonable.

m said...

Annie was brave enough to respond to an obviously charged issue of our day, and I would like to take a minute to write back on some of her points.

One of her most off topic, and actually reprehensible viewpoints in my opinion is that she finds the execution as mere "revenge" set up to appease the "low" feelings of the victim's family.

The Death Penalty is just as it says, a Penalty... it is not a gift to the victim's family.

While it is true that members of the victim's family often attend the executions, it is not done to appease them, there are also cases where the victim's family has opposed the execution... but the executions went ahead because that is not whom it is done for... it is done as punishment for a heinous crime.

The Death Penalty arguably sends a message that for those who transgress our most basic social contract, that they will lose their ultimate right, an inalienable right guaranteed in our constituition, the right they also boldly and brutally took from another, and that is their right to live and breathe another day.

I have linked to information on recent studies that describe and quantify how effective the death penalty can be as a deterrent below...


when you decry the lack of need for the death penalty, because you asssume it's merely "revenge" for a victim's family, you are not seeing the whole picture.

After a homicide, the victim's family are also in effect victims, forever, and experience intense and overwhelming emotions over a long period of time, which can affect the normal functioning of everyday life.

Here are some quotes from Terri Winchell's family, people who have waited 25 years for the criminal who killed their daughter in what, I would no doubt refer to as, a truly horrorific manner...

"The victims are going through more pain than the murderer," Said the victim's mother Barbara Christian...

"I just think the whole judicial system went to hell, in my book. I can't understand it," said Mack Winchell, the victim's father.

One of her cousins said that the abrupt postponement of Morales execution was like "being punched in the stomach"

more info on the delay in the Morales execution:


One of Annie's claims is that in her opinion "mature, democratic and free societies" should have no need for a death penalty.

That would assume we live in something resembling or even striving for such a situation... a society in which penalties that don't directly contribute to "security" are somehow deemed unecessary.

Is that what you imply?

So I guess folks like G.Gordon Liddy and Michael Milken or Ken Lay should never have beenput on trial because they weren't obviously physical "security" threats to those around them?

The point is, for as long as we've had organized societies, then a society has had laws and certain penalties attached to certain crimes.

cliche'd sayings like:

"Thou Shalt Not Kill"

"May The Punishment Fit The Crime"


"An Eye For An Eye"

all these were sayings obviously bandied about for a long time before Mr.Morales made the decision in the early 1980's to rape & kill a young girl...

he knew the rules...

and so, when he went beyond them, a punishemnt is due. Society in it's process of judgement gave him a chance to defend himself from the accusations, and instead the evidence was found overwhelming, and he was convicted. He appealed, and those failed as well. So, like another saying

"What's Done Is Done"

the only difference is justice administered in Terri Winchell's loss of life, was tossed aside on a side issue involving a test case regarding a choice of chemicals, and who will administer them. Let's just say Mr. Morales had no problem consulting a physician and administering chemicals to himself the night he bludgeoned, choked and f*cked the life out of Terri Winchell.... oh happy day !

So Annie, before you refer to the victim's family as somehow being under an "illusion" or seeking "revenge"... look into the long history of how these types of penalties were devised... and why.

I would suggest Annie must look deeper into not just her heart, but admit the barbaric age we currently reside in, and where is she opposing the other types of activities our governments, economic instituitions & corporate entities engage in daily.

I would love it if she were to not be distracted by the emotional, and to really go to the root, or radix , as the greek would have it... (hence the word radical...)

I propose Annie, and other bleeding hearts think radically, from the base of the issue... not just about the icky "disgusting" aspects of having a penal system that's very seldom actually charged with enabling executions of it's worst offenders.

Let's Face It:

Everyone is going to die at some point, planetary resources are running scarce, so why should we spend so much money as a society keeping admitted killers alive for decades after their crimes are committed?

How does society benefit?

If our US Supreme Court can uphold the concept of eminent domain, where in a city can take property it wants for the benefit of it's economic interests... why can't it simply elect to take a life?

If our "free society" has a right to pursue it's vital interests, such as your property, ... why should your life be considered anymore sacred?

What is the state's economic interest in keeping a shmuck like Morales happy & healthy in captivity another 40 some years?

Job creation for prison guards ?

I find it hard to see my government somehow justify torturing and killing so-called "enemy combatants" and enact "extraordinary rendition" and detainemnts upon non-citizens without any charges, why can't our same legal system at least make decisions to execute violators on clear cut murderous behavior, after confessions and convictions via informed juries and appeals?

Which I guess, also leads me to in effect challenge her assumption that the United States is either a true democracy or "free" in any other way than possibly a quasi-regulated "free market" economy...

I would say that we live under an "oligarchy" more so than a democracatic system, and that it is more a "corporatocracy" than effectual democracy.

I find it highly retarded that our society forces all of us, as law abiding citizens, to find labor as a means of support when an easier way out clearly exists.

We must work many years & hours a day to earn a lawful living, yet our taxes are extracted to pay for murder abroad, and lifetime rent & support for any murdering thug who strays from a just moral path here. That US based criminal in turn will never have to work another day in his life, and in effect basically wins an out from capitalism, and ever paying another bill in his life.

In fact, said murderous thug is allowed to exist in systematic sanctuary, warm & dry, with room service, gym privileges, and 24 hour guard patrol protecting him from almost any act of revenge from the outside world ever befalling him. If he were to fall victim to attack, the state itself is liable for the injuries he suffers. Where when I suffer a burglary in my home, or become a victim of an accident, no police officer is compelled to come to my aid.... I've been there, and that's just a fact Annie.

Is that what democracy and so-called "free societies" you talk of are all about?

Am I not to be considered reasonable beacause I don't agree with you?

Maybe you are linging to some unreasonable assumptions yourself?

Why is it reasonable for a society to cut social programs and education spending but contsantly build more prisons and spend on more destructive weapons that ultimately kill civilians?

Annie, I hope you never have to suffer the rape and murder of a friend as I, and too many others have had to. I would hate to see you in the courtroom weeping, or dealing for the rest of your life with the tragic waste that has so senselessly occured. If the case beats the odd and the killer is even found and even if they flip off the victim;s family on the stand, and admit the crime, the trial and pleas will long pass, and years go by, and you will never forget, but you will go on. The best part is just knowing that you and all those around you will tithe to the amoebic exponentially expanding "Correctional Industrial Complex" and continue to pay the salaries of the caretakers who guard and feed and bring clean sheets to the slime that did the crime for the rest of his mortal life.

You might wonder about the value of a "free society" that seems to punish only those who abide by it's rules. I see a current system that exists that you purport to support , where in victim's loved ones must wait years for trials and sentencing and appeals to be exhausted, and the criminal in question lives his life out quietly in prison, and then receives parole away from the spotlight in many ways punishes those who did not commit the crime more than the murderers.

Anyhow, I doubt ya read this far...

but here are links to abstracts of several recent studies that show the death penalty is a deterrent to other murders being committed. Which means that basically for every Death Sentence that is publicized, there is a corresponding reduction in capital crimes. Annie that means the Death Penalty, in effect saves lives...Some of these studies even show a correlation in the less amount of time that the death sentence takes to be administered can result in saving even more lives.


that's just my ramble on it for now,

gotta go...