Monday, July 25, 2011

Cost of a Criminal Trial, Revisited

Back in November of 2010 I was inspired by Jeff Gamso to write Cost of a Criminal Trial, where I referred to the trial of the serial killer Anthony Sowell.  At that time (November 2010) the cost of the trial was at $185,000 and going up like a sky rocket.  Well, what do you expect?

On Thursday, July 21 I read that:
Sowell’s trial holds the record for the most expensive publicly funded criminal defense in county history, with a cost to taxpayers of nearly $600,000.
from Deliberations continue in case of serial-killings defendant Anthony Sowell. That's right.  Six hundred grand just to prove this worthless son of a bitch is a murderer.  And the fun doesn't stop there, oh hell no.  Sowell will likely get the death penalty.  Actually, I don't see any way that Sowell can't get the death penalty given the amount of media coverage this case is getting.  And then, especially since Cleveland is almost as dead broke as Detroit, we the people get to spend even more money while Sowell's case is appealed several times over the next twenty years, and we get to support Sowell while he sits on death row during these appeals, and then we get to hear all about how the Governor of the State of Ohio either commutes the sentence to life without possibility of parole or not, whereupon Sowell will have one more brief moment in the spotlight while he's either released into the prison's general population or executed in whatever manner the State has adopted twenty years from now.  By the time the whole process is finished, I bet the State will have spent over one million dead presidents just to put an unrepentant serial killer out of our misery.  That's $1,000,000 that we could have used to teach grade school children to read, preserve green space, provide low interest loans to college students attending medical school, clean up the environment (yeah, like Cleveland doesn't need that) or even send a State Senator down to Dallas, Texas for a red hot weekend with a hundred dollar an hour hooker.  Lock up your guns, boys - Sherrod Brown's in town!

Consider the Sowell case for just a minute.  How long does it take to enter a plea of not guilty?  Literally, five minutes at most.  Fifteen at the outside.  All you have to do is stand in front of a judge and answer one question.  After that the next question goes to the persecutor prosecutor.  If the death penalty is on the table, then two questions have to be answered before anyone goes any further with the case.  One, is the defendant legally insane; and Two, is the defendant retarded.  I don't know or can't remember the politically correct term for being retarded - sue me.  You see, the government of the United States will not execute a retarded person, nor will it execute a legally insane person.  I have no argument with that.  So even if the State picks up the tab for the necessary evaluations (which is the way it should be), and discovers that Sowell is either nuts or a retard, the death penalty comes off the table before the trial even begins.  But let's say Sowell is not nuts, and is not a retard.  Then the only question that remains is obvious, but in this case it cost us over half a million to conclude that, yes, in fact, this same Sowell that kept the remains of eleven dead women in and around his home is guilty of murder in the first degree - how much guiltier can this no good son of a bitch be?

I would like to revisit Bubba, Sissy and Joe who are joined by their friends Donny-Ray and Amanda-June down at The Silver Spur, having their third round of boiler makers.  Ask them about six hundred grand and you'll eventually get one or all of them to admit they cannot imagine just what you or anyone would do with that much money.  That's a sobering thought and would call for another round to start the party back up again.  Keep asking and Amanda-June will inform you somewhat peevishly that, "You're a real downer to be around, you know that?"  Explain that you're just trying to make sense out of it all - you know, spending six hundred grand on the trial of a serial killer who's as guilty as all that - and you'll get some good old country insight, likely from Bubba who is easily the most lucid of the group.

"Sheee-it, it's the guv-ment.  It don't have to make sense.  See?"

Then there will be a chorus of agreement all around.  It's the government, naturally it won't make any sense to anyone like you or me.  Just what do you expect, anyway?  Hell, we've all got too much damned common sense to understand somethin' like the guv-ment!  Too damned honest, too.

The thing is, Bubba is on to something.  Anthony Sowell is obviously a serial killer, obviously guilty.  He's been declared legally sane and competent to stand trial.  Just how the government ended up spending six hundred grand on the trial is beyond me, but the government should not have spent the money.  Sowell falls into that rare class of people that are bad enough to be taken out and shot.  I still advocate that the firing squad is the best and simplest method of execution.  The method has a lot going for it; it's sufficiently ceremonial, it's quick and there are no survivors.  Any government that will spend six hundred grand trying a criminal of Sowell's stature and force we the people to cover the cost is fully capable of putting together a firing squad and circumventing the legal system just long enough to assemble the firing squad and the criminal for the necessary amount of time to produce a dead body and an end to the spending.


Covnitkepr1 said...

The way the government "coddles" criminals is a crime in itself.
I write and maintain a spiritual blog which I have titled “AccordingtotheBook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it.

Mad Jack said...

I should delete this one, but I think I'll let it stand for a while.

First off, covnitkepr1 is a link whore. This is obvious to anyone reading his 'comment'. He has no interest in what I've written, only in generating more traffic for himself.

Second, I've read According to The Book and, put gently and delicately, speaking the truth in love, covnitkepr1 is wrong in his beliefs. His is a common fallacy and it's one I see all the time. Ergo, if you want to learn about Christianity, go somewhere else.

I have good reason for my disparaging remarks. You see, covnitkepr1 believes that in order to be saved a person must be baptized, and that is not true. But you don't have to take my word for that - check 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 3:5. The act of baptism goes to good works, and no one is saved by good works. More importantly is the thief on the cross which you can read for yourself in Luke 23:39-43.

Third and finally, covnitkepr1 writes with a didactic, condescending overtone. It's my way or the highway, and I know best. I, covnitkepr1, will explain what the Scripture means - you needn't trouble yourself. This is not in keeping with Christianity, as the Scripture is there for everyone to read and understand.

Again, don't take my word for it. Go find out for yourself.