Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Moral Relativism and Rail-Riding Killers (UPDATE!)

(You might have to register at the Houston Chronicle site to read some of the stories mentioned. Try BugMeNot. Scroll down for update.)

As I write this, infamous rail-riding serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz is likely being carried out of the death chamber in Huntsville, executed for the rape and brutal murder of Houston clinical geneticist Claudia Benton. Our local paper, the Beaumont Enterprise, ran a story on Mr. Resendiz today, and in it, was this quote from a member of the Beaumont chapter of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty:

We have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard than he held himself to...

Higher standard, eh? Well, just for grins, let's see exactly what kind of standards Angel Maturino Resendiz held himself to when woselecting methods for the mayhem he wreaked (emphasis mine --ed.):
Benton's murder, which catapulted Maturino Resendiz into headlines and launched one of the largest manhunts in recent American history, was outstanding for its brutality. Benton, 39, died of multiple stab wounds, one of which completely penetrated her chest, and head injuries resulting from a beating with a 2-foot-tall bronze statue. The attack snapped her right arm and shattered bones in her face.

Another standard:
...the scene inside the house was unspeakable. In a back room, Sirnic, 46 (Norman Sirnic, minister of Weimar Church of Christ -- ed.), and his wife, 47, lay side by side on the bed, their heads crushed by a sledgehammer.
Karen Sirnic had been posthumously sexually assaulted.

And another:
Police in northeast Texas became convinced Maturino Resendiz was implicated in the October 2, 1998, murder of Leafie Mason, 87, bludgeoned with an antique iron at her home in Hughes Springs.
Then, in the first week of June, the bottom fell out.
In Houston, the body of Rice University graduate student Noemi Dominguez, 26, was found in the bedroom of her home in the 6900 block of Van Etten, a short distance from railroad tracks. Dominguez, described as "the sweetest, nicest teacher — a darling who went the extra mile," recently had left her job at Franklin Elementary School to complete her master's degree.
In Fayette County, the body of Josephine Konvicka, 73, was found in her rural home, just 3 1/2 miles from the scene of the Sirnic killings.
Both women had been slain with a pickax. Fingerprints linked the crimes to Maturino Resendiz.

And another:
...police in tiny Gorham, Ill., reported that retired prison guard George Morber, 79, and his daughter, Carolyn Frederick, 51, had been murdered in their home, a short distance from the railroad tracks. Morber was slain with his own shotgun, which then was used as a club to kill his daughter (come to think of it, I'm surprised the Bradys aren't all over that one today --ed.). Maturino Resendiz's fingerprints were found at the scene.

So here we have Mr. Resendiz using various, quite painful, grisly methods of killing...
...and tonight the State of Texas is putting him to sleep using a painless cocktail of chemicals...
...and yet we're holding ourselves to the same standards that he held himself to.
If there's a better example of the moral relativism emanating from the port-side "thinkers" in this country today, I have yet to find it. I am not surprised, but I am sickened nonetheless. Better example? Sorry, dude. I think this is the perfect example. I don't want my tax dollars feeding this sonofabitch three squares a day for the rest of his life. Put that rat bastard down like the rabid dog he is and be done with it. Really, I think justice would have only been fully served if one of his potential victims (and better sooner than later) had put a bullet in his head before he could have killed again, but, well, as a taxpayer, I'll take what I can get.

: Reading this morning's Chron, I came upon another quote from death penalty opponent/moral relativist David Atwood, of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (emphasis mine -- ed.):
...Atwood said in a written statement, "executing Resendiz accomplishes nothing for the citizens of this state."
Counting Maturino Resendiz, Atwood wrote, Texas has executed 368 killers since 1982, when executions here were resumed.
"The only thing they have done," he said, "is help politicians get elected and satisfy the cries for vengeance from some of its citizens."

Well, I'd say that what Resendiz's execution did for the taxpayers of Texas was rid them of a cold-blooded killer, but, well, that's just one crazy Texas blogger's opinion...
On a more serious note, though, I was reminded, when I read this, of another far worse episode involving Atwood and a victim of another savage band of killers Atwood wanted to keep fat and happy in the Texas penal system:

Date: MON 11/17/2003
Section: A
Page: 15 MetFront
Edition: 3 STAR

Victim's dad, death penalty foe in heated debate


PERHAPS DAVID ATWOOD picked a touchy time to debate the death penalty with Randy Ertman.
Atwood, of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, was hanging out on the eighth floor of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center last week, right after a judge set an execution date for one of the men who raped and killed Ertman's daughter.
"You're not proving anything with the death penalty," Atwood told Ertman. "You're just repeating what was done to your daughter."
"I think he's a piece of crap who deserves to die," Ertman told Atwood, referring to his daughter's killer, Raul Villarreal.
Ertman was on his way out of the courtroom, where he had just saluted Judge Mike Anderson for setting Villarreal's execution date for June 24, the 11th anniversary of the rape and murder of Ertman's 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and her 16-year-old friend, Elizabeth Pena.
"The death penalty's not good for anybody," Atwood told Ertman, a painter.
"Well, it's good for me," Ertman said, looming over Atwood.
"It's vengeance," Atwood said.
"I'm not into vengeance," Ertman said.
"You are, too, into vengeance," Atwood insisted.
"If you've got something to say to me, you want to say it outside?" Ertman asked.

"I'm not into vengeance."
"Are too!"
Such arrogance leaves me speechless. Repeating what was done to 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman and her friend, 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena? Take a look at one of the Houston Chronicle reports from 1993...
According to a source, the girls were forced to submit to "just about every sex act you can imagine, and a few you just couldn't imagine."
Statements by some of the suspects say that after the girls stopped moving, the six took turns jumping up and down on their bodies, to make sure both were dead.

According to other news reports from the Chronicle, Ertman and Pena were strangled with shoelaces and a belt, and various suspects stomped on their throats to make certain they were dead. And, again, the animals who committed these sadistic acts were to be put to death, one more time, boys and girls, with a painless cocktail of chemicals. Yet according to self-righteous moral relativists like David Atwood, by killing monsters like these, we're just repeating the horrible deeds they committed. It's a damned good thing it was not my face Mr. Atwood got into. I'd have broken his nose and maybe punched out some teeth. "You feel that, you cocksucker? My baby girl's pain was a thousand times worse!"

I guess I really should explain that last thing. It might make me sound like a violent, unstable person, hardly the type to be owning or carrying a firearm, but the truth is that I am a very calm and easygoing person. But honestly, if I'd had the fate that befell Jennifer Ertman had befallen my beautiful little girl (if I had one), and I'd had some asshole come up to me and shove his agenda in my face, knowing the pain I was feeling, I just am not so sure that I'd be able to hold back. Maybe I would have just told him to get the hell out of my face, but I just found Atwood's actions to be downright unconscionable. Judas, whatever happened to letting people grieve in relative peace? Think about that, those of you who read this and actually agree with what Atwood did.