Monday, August 04, 2008

...and we should care about that, why, again?

From a story in this morning's Houston Chronicle, on the impending execution of double murderer Jose Medellin:

"Most of our friends abroad have long since come to the conclusion that this country, on this topic, just doesn't get it," said Southern Methodist University history professor Rick Halperin. "This state is seen as uncaring and hateful. And this case is just right on the top."
Uncaring and hateful. After what Medellin and his fellow thugs did to those two teenage girls that hot summer night in 1993, it's the state of Texas that's seen as uncaring and hateful. A recap, from the same story:

Students at Waltrip High School, Jennifer was 14, and Elizabeth had just turned 16. Their lives were filled with the things that occupy teenage girls. Friends recalled Elizabeth, who was beginning to dabble with makeup, as a "social butterfly." Jennifer tried her hand at basketball before concluding she wasn't cut out for athletics.

On June 24, 1993, the girls were at a party at a friend's apartment when they realized the lateness of the hour. Following the railroad tracks through T.C. Jester Park, they concluded, would shave 10 minutes off their trip to Elizabeth's Oak Forest home.

As the girls made their way past a thicket near White Oak Bayou, they stumbled onto the tail end of a drunken gang initiation. When they blundered into the group of youths, Medellin — 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing just 135 pounds — grabbed Elizabeth and flipped her to the ground. Jennifer, drawn by Elizabeth's scream, turned to help and was herself captured.

As the teens cried and struggled, six gang members took turns raping them.

Finally, gang leader Peter Cantu told Medellin, "We're going to have to kill them."

Gang members Derrick O'Brien and Raul Villarreal looped a belt around Jennifer's throat, pulling with such force that the belt broke. Cantu, Medellin and Efrain Perez strangled Elizabeth with a shoelace. Then they stomped on the girls' throats for good measure.

Four days later, police, acting on a tip from a gang member's brother, found the teens' bodies, badly decomposed in the summer heat.

The victims were identified through dental records.

Judge Cathy Cochran, a member of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which last week rejected his appeals, wrote that Medellin bragged to his friends that the victims had been virgins until they were attacked by the gang.

"His written confession," Cochran wrote, "displayed a callous, cruel and cavalier attitude toward the two girls that he had raped and helped to murder. Surely no juror or judge will ever forget his words or his sordid deeds."

After all that -- and don't tell me those motherfuckers outside the United States don't know the history of this creep or his little friends -- it's still the state of Texas, and its attempt to bring justice to the families of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, that's seen as "uncaring and hateful." As another blogger said some time ago on a different subject, "Telling, isn't it, that the presumption for ‘humanitarian consideration’ automatically accrues to the guilty…and never to his victims?" I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd love to tell every one of the self-righteous pricks and prick-ettes in question in no uncertain terms to go fuck themselves.