Word play

April 20, 2006 at 2:37 am (Uncategorized)

Heinous.jpg
Clearly today, we should have long and well argued debate over the common sense definition of this mysterious word. Sure. We'll probably have to go through an acclimation period during which we'll all make sophomoric jokes about other words it rhymes with. After that, we'll be clear headed enough to tackle the issue and analyze the legal decision on its merits.

I really have no idea how big the Christian Averill story will be in the eyes and souls of the readership. To recap, the convicted rapist successfully argued that his 24 year sentence was too long because the crime did not rise (or sink) to the level of heinous. He skulked onto the Bates College campus, like a cancer invading healthy flesh, and forced a young lady into a bathroom stall. To quote from an earlier story on the attack:

Averill snapped off the lights, spun the teen around, locked his arm around her neck and clamped his hand over her mouth, a prosecutor said in her opening arguments.
When the freshman girl later asked what he wanted, Averill said, "Sex." He shoved her into a stall and bent her over, her hands against the wall. He pulled down her pants and raped her.

The prosecutor was right to rub the jury's nose in the step-by-step element of the crime. Unfortunately the jurors, perhaps recalling uglier headlines from national news where people are maimed, burned, eaten, tortured and killed, decided that the defense was right. What Averill did was bad, they said in essence, but not particularly vile. To reach the level of heinous, they decided, the crime must be committed in a manner befitting a horror move. Rape itself, was their conclusion, is not horrific enough.

In an effort to keep my opinions out of this, I'll stop short of saying it's a damn shame the jurors didn't get a chance to personally experience what the victim endured in all its sudden fury and horror. I'll cut myself off before suggesting that perhaps they might have been better informed had they sat with the girl through countless nightmares following the invasion; or lived for a time with the rage and helplessness surely experienced Masked Bad Guy.jpgby the mother, father, sisters, brothers and friends of the girl who was violated in a place where she should have been protected.

There are those who would say this argument for a lighter sentence should never have reached the ears of the jury. The prosecution deftly proved its case the first time and yet had to be compelled back to the courtroom to emphasize again that rape is vile and vicious and ugly by nature. There are those too, I imagine, who will insist that the ruling in the Averill case is appropriate, because distinctions have to be drawn sometime.

Me, I keep coming back to the cancer analogy. And I seem to think cancer is heinous no matter where or who or when it strikes. You don't soften your attack on a loathsome disease because it appeared in one way rather than another. You make every effort to oust the malignancy and try to ensure that it will never return.

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48 Comments

  1. Martha said,

    heinous: (according to dictionary.com)
    1) Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable
    2) enormously and shockingly evil
    3) shockingly brutal or cruel

    HMMMMMM sounds to me like anyone of these describes what was done to this young lady… but there is often no rhyme or reason to the rulings of the courts.

    I think they ought to remove the “instrument” of his crime. That sounds like a fitting punishment to me.

  2. Mainetarr said,

    Welcome back from vacation Martha, I hope you had a good time. We missed you. As far as this guy getting a reduced sentence, I am all for it, as long as they put him in a cell with a 350lb gay inmate. Think that punishment would fit his crime. Then he could feel just like his vicitm did. I wonder how the POS would lke that sentence? I wish I were a judge. And as far as removing the cancerous instrument, another good idea. They could frame it and hang it just out of his reach in his cell. Bastard. Why is society suddenly getting lax on sexual assult crimes? Look at all of the sexual crimes against children lately and the judges handing down lite sentences? Same with rape…are the courts becoming desensitized to these kinds of crimes? Time to tighten the noose, literally on these sexual predators.

  3. Martha said,

    MT… ty.. yes, I had a good time.. My sisters even had a birthday cake for me.
    LOL.. I like the way you think.. put his instrument just out of his reach.. of course the 350 lb cellmate isn’t such a bad idea either.

  4. K2 said,

    If rape isn’t one of the most heinous acts, I don’t know what is. Averill should be castrated and handed over to the victim’s family.

    And how about the Mexico man who only got one year for two counts of sex with a girl under 14? How the fuck is that possible?!?

    This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

  5. Mainetarr said,

    Exactly K2, I saw that article after I wrote in the blog. What the hell IS going on? The punishment HAS to fit the crime.

  6. A.O. said,

    We’re all going to have to lock up our sons and daughters. That’s what this country is coming to.

  7. Mainetarr said,

    Godd thing I lock my doors, eh, AO?

  8. A.O. said,

    You said it. Keep em that way, too.

  9. jesus was falsely convicted said,

    heinous.
    when a 13 year old boy is accused of something he never would have even thought of, and his uncle is also falsely accused along with him, and they lose the trust and love of their family, friends, all of society, labelled “insane” for refusing to admit they did it, and spend the rest of thier lives with the stigma no matter where they go.
    false accusations are also heinous.

  10. Fred said,

    False accusations happen infrequently,Brenda.

  11. brenda said,

    that they happen at all is heinous, just as rape & molestation is heinous. Don’t you think that 13 year old was beaten & raped in prison? and his whole manhood years ruined?
    injustice happens far too often, so while we need strong laws & enforcement, we need to remember not to teturn to the lynch mob mentality.

  12. brenda said,

    meanwhile, lock your doors & watch your back, watch your kids, and beware in public restrooms……..

  13. brenda said,

    ….many rapes are not reported according to counsellors & psychologists.

  14. brenda said,

    but back to the subject of this blog: yeah, that’s ridiculous that his sentence was reduced. Heinous!

  15. LaFlamme said,

    There IS something to be said about false accusations. I mean, how Jobian would it be to be wrongly accused of something this vile, sent to prison to face the wrath there, and then forced to endure a lingering sentence upon release? We know from The Crucible that hysteria can turn small lies into big ones. It behooves police and prosecutors to be sure of their cases. And I think they are in an overwhelming percentage of the cases. Still, just one person wrongly labeled as a ripper would be too many.
    In Averill’s case, it’s moot. DNA, baby. And a confession. Yet, he was rewarded for not using a chainsaw in the attack.

  16. Asshat said,

    Speaking of wrongly accused, I think that those who wrongly accuse someone of a rape should be punished just as a rapist would. Do you have any idea what a wrong accusation of rape can do to someone? What if a school teacher was wrongly accused of rape? His career would be over. What if a physician was wrongly accused of raping a patient? Career over and if career was somehow salvaged, it would cost an innocent physician millions. You think this is fair? Hardly. And don’t give me the bullshit line (Brenda) that you “have to live with conscious for the rest of your life” either. You should do time for false accusations. Because someone is not a teacher, physician, pilot, lawyer, or professional, that person still will be punished for a crime not committed. If you wrongly accuse someone of a rape, you should be tried just as the rapist would. And should do time like the rapist would have to do had he/she been found guilty.

  17. brenda said,

    excuse me asshat, I was 4 years old and didn’t know what the word “molested” (it’s “wake up” in spanish, you know) meant & what was going on Its the lady with the recorder who twisted my words, and my mom & her friend who are responsible for it.
    I didn’t realise they were actually convicted until I came to visit & asked the question of: what happened to so-and-so and my mom said something really wrong that mde me realise it was no mistake, she did it on purpose & doesn’t regret it.
    My stepfather won’t talk to me, and the last time I asked about it he feigned ignorance, non-memory. Now mom’s got some health issues and threatens to have a heart attack or stroke if I try to get anywhere near the subject. I know what is true, I just don’t remember the man’s whole name.
    So if you have any ideas how I could get the innocent men’s names cleared I’d appreciate it. I can’t even find out the name of the newspaper from that area in the ’60’s, I’m not so good at internet research, the internet is like some horrible maze.

  18. brenda said,

    ps, did I say I have to live with consciense the rest of my life? whether I feel badly, or accept forgiveness through some spiritual experience, doesn’t matter- those men still have to live with the false accusation and I think that is totally unacceptable. .
    I do intend to do something about it.
    And I won’t shut up about it.

    you can find my story on powwows.com, under creative writing contest, author lostwolfcrockett , there’s a lot of pages you have to go through to find it. It’s easier if you do an author search. hundreds of people have read it, so I’m telling the world but I won’t be happy until I know that the family & legal system acknowledges that they were innocent. I don’t have money for a lawyer.

  19. brenda said,

    in case my sister or brothers or anyone in my family reads this, I’d like to say:
    If mom realised she made a mistake, and was sorry and tried to help me correct it, we could have a happy ending., It’s her denial, hatred and false presention that make this a problem and splits our family. YOu know, when she’s in the presence of the Great Holy Spirit she will not be able to stand or hold up her pretty false face, no make up, no lies, no protection from sister & brothers can protect her then. She knows deep inside what the truth is, and until she faces it she will have a spiritual & psychological & health problem.
    Remember Grampa, quoting John: “repent! The wages of sin is death!”
    Repentance? What does that mean? Crying in the night for forgiveness? maybe that”s a start, but it’s only a start. Repentance means to change what you are doing. If it was a lie, then TELL the TRUTH. That is what I am doing and intend to DO.

  20. brenda said,

    Laflamme, yes, I agree with you about Averil..
    Thank you asshat for giving me a chance to say all that.
    I hope someone who needs to read it, reads it.

  21. brenda said,

    I just reread asshat’s comments, and to tell you the truth,
    for one thing, I probably wouldn’t do time because I was 4 years old and manipulated, and even my mother wouldn’t because she could claim to be the hysterical mother protecting her child from what she thought was a real danger. Although, you have to wonder when these guys got time alone me without her knowledge? (They didn”t)
    The neighbor who told me to say the words “molested” was truly evil and does deserve prosecution, I just don’t know her name; and the lady with the recorder. When I realised she was using the story about my uncles against dad’s friend & the friends nephew, I pulled her dress, I stomped my feet, I stated it was my iuncles & said their names. I was sent to my room while she & my mother discussed how to keep me from providing “reasonable doubt'” and the other word I heard them using but didn’t understand was “revenge”-
    Then one day I sneaked over to tell the wife of the accused, but she called my mom and I never said what I needed to say.

  22. brenda said,

    but if it meant doing time, I would. I find it difficult to be happy knowing that those things happened to those men. I’d rather break the silence, get the truth told loud & clear, and do time if I need to.

  23. Linda said,

    Well, clearly there’s a lot of pain in the world, and this group of bloggers is not exempt. We can only do the best we can – try not to do harm, and try to fix it when we’ve done harm (if we can).
    Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s all that uncommon for children to be led to making false accusations, and the children can’t be blamed. When I lived in New Zealand there was a young man who worked in a day care center who was accused — probably falsely, taking the whole case into consideration. he’s probaby still in prison. It was a very sad case, but it has to be said, nobody involved had any motives other than wanting to protect children. They may have got caught up in a groupthink and taken their zealousness right over the edge.
    I’m not at home tonight — the usual thursday dial-up purgatory — so you’ll have to carry on without me, however hard that is, ha ha. (I may be able to check in later) Be honest but kind with each other and don’t run with scissors, OK?

  24. The Other Randy said,

    MT, I wanted you to know Mark finally let me try some of the chick. parm. you made and it was delicious. He’s been hogging it all week.

    Actually, I haven’t been around very much the last couple of days. Mark’s taken good care of it.

    Thanks. I think Randyman is planning on having some, too, if he hasn’t already.

  25. Mainetarr said,

    Hey Randy, glad you finally got a taste. I hope the Randyman gets at least one bite of it, too. I love to cook, so expect more goodies where that came from. And tell that chicken hog I want my dish back. LOL They will put that on my gravestone. “Gail died yelling I want my dish back.” LOL I ALWAYS say that, but if I get my dish back, I usually refill it with something else yummy. By them way Randy, that’s a very handsome haircut you are sporting these days…:)

  26. Asshat said,

    brenda if you were only 4 at the time, then it’s your mother that should be doing time-not you. I was under the understanding that you were much older when this happened.

  27. LaFlamme said,

    What? You want the dish back? Shit. I wish I hadn’t broken it…

  28. brenda said,

    there’s two randy’s?
    asshat, I realised that, but thanks for getting me keyed up, I feel a need to get this out but I realise this blog isn’t necessarily hte place. I just don’t know where? to tell it.

  29. Anonymous said,

    Herb called me “Dear” on Our View. YOu think he knows who I am? (I think so)

  30. LaFlamme said,

    Heck, that’s nothing. Herb has called me sweeter things than that.

  31. A.O. said,

    My son had some of that Chicken Parm tonight also. Last I checked, he was on his second helping. Yummy stuff! And, MT, your dish is all cleaned and ready to be returned to you. I’m very responsible about those type of things, unlike a certain reporter we know.

  32. Mainetarr said,

    Look, Linoge, if you broke that dish, it’s no more refills for you, Mister. AO I know I can count on you to bring back my dish. Hell, you’ll even wash it. Mark, on the other hand, will think licking it clean qualifies as a washed dish. Oh yeah, I’m on to you, ML.

  33. LaFlamme said,

    Ha! No way. That dish will be washed, dried and protected until its back in your hands. I know better.

  34. Mainetarr said,

    You know how it works…keep the dish coming back, the refills keep coming. I gotta make Tiramisu for you guys. It is out of this world.

  35. A.O. said,

    Mark, If I ever bring you a pizza, you’d better damn well wash the box and bring it back to me. Do you have any idea how much those things cost??

    I think we need to put out a search warrant for Bulldog. She hasn’t been around these parts for days. Hmmm….now that I think of it, neither has The Weasel. What’s going on here?? Where’s the Treehugger?

  36. Mainetarr said,

    Are you making fun of me AO? LOL The store across the street used to ask me for my egg crates. They buy their eggs in flats, then sell them in boxes.

  37. A.O. said,

    Mainetarr, I would NEVER make fun of you, ever.Oops…I just dropped your friggen dish! Ha. I’ts safe. I’ll bring it by tomorrow if I can!

  38. Mainetarr said,

    Ahhhh, that’s ok AO. I’d still love yah.

    I think we need to send out a search party for Bulldog and Treehugger. I will call him tomorrow, can you call Ann? I heard Treehuggers voice today, so I know where he is. LOL

  39. LaFlamme said,

    Abandoning shrews, that’s what those people are. I mean, couldn’t they at least call or write? They know how we worry. Kids these days. No courtesy at all.

  40. Anonymous said,

    It takes about a week for someone to notice that someone else hasn’t been around lately. No wonder we have dead people in the office for 5 days when you guys are around.

  41. "The Weasel" said,

    BRENDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are a fucking wingnut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. "The Weasel" said,

    Sorry Flamer….

    Confirmation Code: The Brothers Grope

  43. LaFlamme said,

    And the question is: what do you call a pair of city leaders who tell fairy tales and paw waitresses and other young ladies?

    DING. Confirmation complete.

  44. Martha said,

    Brenda,
    I don’t know if this will help, but it would be worth a shot to contact the court of record. It would seem if nothing else, they could point you in the right direction.

    To carry the thread of what asshat said a little farther. I think there are some lawyers out there who should be prosecuted for attempting to free blatantly guilty individuals. I can think of, and could name a lawyer in that area who is well known for that. To the point that if he is representing a defendant, I know without hearing the first shred of evidence the person is guilty. He is the lawyer of record for a certain individual who recently ambushed his baby’s mother and is trying to claim self-defense.. Need I say more?

  45. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, Martha. I forgot about your late night hours.

  46. Martha said,

    Hey, Mark, how you doing? Yes, I’m back in the old routine. Sure is nice to be home. I’m in the process of making a website for all my pictures.. when its done I’ll post the link for all my blogging friends. Sound like a plan?

  47. Martha said,

    MT.. Chicken Parm? Tiramisu? I hope you’re planning on cooking when we have a Lost Sole picnic while I’m up there next summer… Sounds really yummy.

  48. brenda said,

    thanks martha, you mean “court of record” in the town where it happened? ok., I will try. I had written to the attorney general a few years ago. And there was a phone call once from a court, asking me questions, but I hadn’t examined my memories so some of my answers were vague. After that I started writing it all out, and when something didn’t make sense, I went back into my memories & figured out more. But I don’t know who it was that called, to call him back. I have the name in my mind but can’t seem to remember it. Maybe I should go to a hypnotist? kidding.
    as asshat & weasel pointed out, this is very difficult to address, it makes me & my mom look bad. I thought about it, and she isn’t the one who told me to say he molested me, and it could be said that she erred in being too easily caught up in getting revenge for what she thought was dangerous predatorial neighbors, without even considering the possibility it wasn’t true. It was easier for her to think I was trying to protect the neighbors by naming my uncles, than the other way around?
    the problem is, she did know that they were innocent, I believe, because of her reaction to the truth. If she had nothing to hide, she would help me straighten it out.

    and lawyers, yeah. I dated 2 different kinds of lawyers in CA, and from them both, I saw that justice is not a reality in America. Innocent people get convicted & guilty go free all the time and they both knew it & said so.

    so that’s why I get going on this topic- there are child molesters not on SexOffender lists, and at least 2 innocent men on it. Revenge hysteria doesn’t make us safer.

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