Belanglo again

The grand nephew of the Belanglo murderer has conducted a kind of ecstasy killing - which is to say he and another person dragged someone into the Belanglo forest and humiliated and terrified the victim before executing him with an axe, recording the incident and boasting about it. Both of the two were sentenced yesterday as was reported in various newspapers like this one.

I have a question. In the case of murders with this degree of psycho derangement, WFT are we doing not putting such people away for life ie, until they die of natural causes? What on earth would possess a sane person to consider releasing someone without very strong evidence that they won’t take up their prior pass-time? Even the judge seemed concerned that ‘he still is a “serious potential danger” to the community’.

The other thing I’d like to see is a general social convention reinforced by appropriate media suppression orders that the names of such people not be publicised. I presume the nutter in Norway and our own special nutter cooling his heels in the special cell in Hobart either still enjoy, or did once enjoy the notoriety their disgusting deeds gave them.

 

33 thoughts on “Belanglo again

  1. The other thing I’d like to see is a general social convention reinforced by appropriate media suppression orders that the names of such people not be publicised. I presume the nutter in Norway and our own special nutter cooling his heels in the special cell in Hobart either still enjoy, or did once enjoy the notoriety their disgusting deeds gave them.

    Bang on Nick – down at Port Arthur you notice they don’t name the gunman at the memorial for that reason. I can’t recall where but I remember someone once saying that spree killers often revel in it because it makes them feel significant. The Norwegian posting that massive essay before he did it definitely shows he was cognisant of the attention it would bring (even if it appears he may not have been cognisant of much else).

    The serial killers I understand often have personal reasons for what they do – the British Doctor famously never stating why or giving any insight comes to mind.

  2. Yes listening to the judge this morning the same thoughts occurred to me. And I wondered how do you sentence an individual like this? Their motivation is unimaginable and perhaps one day it will be diagnosed as a specific and treatable chemical imbalance, but until then, I agree, it is in the public interest to segregate them under supervision.

  3. There seem to be murders and murders. Then, every so often, you get an incident that shows the difference between a run of the mill shoot out between bikies, say, or a couple rowing and one or the other wields a knife in a moment of fear or stress, or even a paid hit done impersonally and cleanly with a weapon.
    The category is thrill-killing with or with sex, specifically involving a relish at the pain and abjection of others, without provocation.
    Bryant and Breivik are a slightly different category to me, particularly Bryant, who was obviously in particular, as daft as a cut snake.
    But sadism, often involving sex often involving kids and women, is too much. These people look like they could be out still young enough to do more. The name Milat, with its connotations of weird pathology sends a shudder through people.
    I remember a particularly vile case when I was young. The details shocked me. Since it was the 1970′s, I thought, “some men we are, we prove to women and kids we are useless as protectors of them, some thing that we tell them is our role”. I even thought for a moment, “If you are a man you ought to shoot the animal, in defiance of him escaping fair retribution and set an example”.
    No, I didn’t doing anything so drastic, but that case still troubles me today, for the cruelty involved.
    Thirty years minimum, and if they keep Milat there until he leaves in a pine box, is the civilised minimum, and I’m glad I don’t have to play god to decide, but internally I’m thinking, “”I’d like to kill the bastard, and not necessarily gently”.
    But If it ever did go back to capital punishment, you can bet the first person they’d hang would be a dupe like Timothy Evans, back in Britain in the ‘fifties of last century rather than the real deal, a monster like Christie.

  4. “In the case of murders with this degree of psycho derangement, WFT are we doing not putting such people away for life ie, until they die of natural causes?”

    Perhaps that’s the solution — allow the prosecution to claim mental insanity, which means they can keep them in forever.

    Also, when you claim that these people are likely to reoffend, is there any definitive evidence of that?

    • Sentencing guidelines give scope for a person to redeem themselves, to change, as opposed to rehabilitate. Our criminal justice system is optimistic about human nature. We are innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; there is a presumption against prison for non- violent crimes; exemptions for the youth of an offender, etc.

      It is this optimism that allows Milat to be reassessed when he is about 50, rather than 70 or 80 or dead. But because the crime is at the high end with few if any mitigating factors the 13 years discretion will take him to 60 years old – too old to gleefully re-offend?

      I’ll probably be dead by the time he comes up for parole but I wonder whether he can change and what the public perception of him will be? Right now Milat is lucky to escape death as far as many commentators are concerned – will the sentiment will run so high at the point of his release?

  5. It’s counterproductive to mention Breivak in the same breath as Milat and Bryant.

    The latter two killed for its own sake. Their methods were haphazard. The pleasure they derived from their act was purely private. Virtually no one endorses their aims or their methods. Breivak, on the other hand, had a social and political motives for his violence. He precisely targetted his victims. He meticulously planned his actions. Thousands of Europeans and others endorse his aims, if not his methods.

    To lock Breivak’s prosecution behind the doors of D Notices, either government- or self-imposed, is to deny citizens the opportunity to perceive that the likes of Breivak are a product of the political culture of Norway and of wider Europe.

  6. Conrad I’m taken aback.

    “Also, when you claim that these people are likely to reoffend, is there any definitive evidence of that?”

    So a guy engages in glee killing and (I’m reading you to be implying that) we’re supposed to release him unless we have have strong evidence that he’ll reoffend.

    Can I suggest a reversal of the onus of proof. It would not be an outlandish policy that any murderer be sentenced not just for a minimum period but such that, they are not released unless there is a high degree of confidence that they will not reoffend? If this strikes you as too harsh (I don’t think it is, though I’d concede it might be overly expensive) then surely you couldn’t disagree with me that a standard like that should be applied to psycho murderers however one might like to define it.

    • It has to be a guessing game. The prison environment is so artificial anything that the prisoner is doing, saying, learning, feeling there is likely to be radically different when they are confronted by the demands of living outside prison.
      Prisoners who have a mental disorder may be different to the extent that their symptoms can be loosely ascertained and assessed for signs of change.
      But once an individual has let loose with killing for interest, how can we know when that interest has been satisfied?
      Deterrence is unlikely to work at the best of times and deprivation of liberty will mean less to a person who has no strong relationships outside a prison.
      Think how much cheaper and more effective it would be if there was a ‘glee killing’ gene that could be modified.
      Prison is stupid but short of killing these prisoners, there is no other way to protect the rest of us except to keep them there.
      … And people can change …. but I haven’t had anything to to with axe murderers so wouldn’t really know.

  7. I understand Nicholas’ pov, theoretically he’s right. But I think the category of thrill-killings is of a such a contrast to petty criminality and general behaviour, as to be requiring an alternative approach.
    In these sorts of cases involving sadism, I’d think there is always a likelihood of recidivism, but in this case this is aggravated by the nature of the crimes themselves, therefore rightful public anticipation of security, as well a need by the courts to offer a an unequivocal statement that whatever else maybe humoured or forgiven, these specific crimes are not tolerable under any circumstances: that permanent incarceration is the consequence of a specific form of outrage that defies inclusion in run of the mill, conventional behaviours and responses.
    Ok, it’s right wing approach, as to this issue, I’ll gladly wear the opprobrium for this occasion.
    The safety of the public; of “others”, becomes also a consideration.
    Rehabilitation is not the exclusive concern, although he individual by all means, should be rehabilitated, treatment is actually de riguer.
    But it may transpire that an individual rehabilitated may be required to spend more time than usual, in the proving, spreading his newly acquired sunshine amongst his now relatively benighted brethren, “indoors”, so to speak.

  8. If you’re going to lock an offender up forever and throw away the key (which seems to be what Nicholas is advocating) it would probably be more merciful and even appropriate to kill them. However I don’t support the death penalty for obvious reasons.

    On the other hand, protection of the community should be the overwhelmingly most important issue with grave offenders of this type (sadistic thrill killers etc). I think it’s better to impose a very long determinate sentence but with power in a court to keep the offender in prison at the end of their sentence if evidence indicates they remain a danger to the community. As Jen observes, that danger may be very difficult to assess given the artificiality of the prison environment, but it’s surely better to assess the danger at that point than 30 or 40 years before when they are first sentenced. Science may know much more in 40 years about what makes these people behave like that and may even have medical interventions to prevent it.

    The High Court considered the constitutionality of a Queensland law along the lines I’m suggesting (confined to serious sex offenders but is equally appropriate for murderers IMO) in Fardon v Attorney-General (Qld) (2004) 223 CLR 575. The following from Gleeson CJ’s judgment is relevant to our discussion:

    An Act of the Queensland Parliament provides, in certain circumstances, and subject to certain procedures, for the continuing, preventive, detention of serious sexual offenders who have served their terms of imprisonment, and who are shown to constitute a serious danger to the community. No one would doubt the power of the Queensland Parliament to legislate for the detention of such persons if they were mentally ill. The constitutional objection to the legislative scheme is not based, or at least is not directly based, upon a suggested infringement of the appellant’s human rights. The objection is based upon the involvement of the Supreme Court of Queensland in the process. It is the effect of the legislation upon the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court, rather than its effect upon the personal liberty of the appellant, that is said to conflict with the requirements of the Constitution. There is a paradox in this. As Charles JA pointed out in R v Moffatt (a case in which there was an unsuccessful challenge, on similar grounds, to Victorian legislation providing for the imposition of indefinite sentences on dangerous persons convicted of certain serious offences), it might be thought surprising that there would be an objection to having detention decided upon by a court, whose proceedings are in public, and whose decisions are subject to appeal, rather than by executive decision. Furthermore, as Williams JA pointed out in this case, there is other Queensland legislation under which indefinite detention may be imposed at the time of sentencing violent sexual offenders who are regarded as a serious danger to the community. If it is lawful and appropriate for a judge to make an assessment of danger to the community at the time of sentencing, perhaps many years before an offender is due to be released into the community, it may be thought curious that it is inappropriate for a judge to make such an assessment at or near the time of imminent release, when the danger might be assessed more accurately. …

    [P]eople suffering from mental disorders frequently come into collision with the criminal justice system, and discretionary sentencing decisions must take into account a number of sometimes competing considerations, including the protection of society. The law is a normative science, and many of its rules and principles are based upon assumptions about volition that would not necessarily be accepted as accurate by psychiatrists. In United States v Chandler, Chief Judge Haynsworth said:

    “The criminal law exists for the protection of society. Without undue harm to the interests of the society it protects, it can exclude from its moral judgments those whose powers of intellect or will are so far impaired that they have no substantial control of their conduct. It can afford, too, elimination of the last vestiges of the notion of punishment for punishment’s sake and a further implementation of the principles of rehabilitation, deterrence and, wherever necessary, the ultimate isolation from society of those individuals who have no capacity for the adjustments necessary to conform their conduct as active members of a free society to the requirements of the law. The law may not serve its purpose, however, should it embrace the doctrines of determinism. Should the law extend its rule of immunity from its sanctions to all those persons for whose deviant conduct there may be some psychiatric explanation, the processes of the law would break down and society would be forced to find other substitutes for its protection. The law must proceed upon the assumption that man, generally, has a qualified freedom of will, and that any individual who has a substantial capacity for choice should be subject to its sanctions. At least, we must proceed upon that assumption until there have been devised more symmetrical solutions to the many faceted problems of society’s treatment of persons charged with commission of crimes.”

  9. That’s interesting stuff, from Ken.
    I’ll risk suggesting that it comes close to raisng by implication, the slippery slope theorising that applies to today’s examples in parts the US, say, where someone is incarcerated for twenty-five years for filching a Mars Bar, hundreds of executions may occur over a decade, as in Bush’s Texas and millions of mainly blue collar people are incarcerated without access to rehab , for crimes that once might of been regarded as suitable for bonding over over fines.
    From there you could go to the immigration detention system there, that also seems to have lost any sense of proportion.
    The question of Laura Norder “races to the bottom” by populist tabloid politics is not actually connected to the very specific issue raised here, but ensuring that rules dealing with Milat types are not then applied to people who did five k’s over the speed limits, on the basis of the punishment fetish misapplied, could be problematic given the nature of justice- Conservatives invoke the law as a silver bullet for law and order issues to the extent that sound law can be overturned by expediency, disrupting the viability of justice itself in an ordered society, as arguably, the Obama Executive Order rule does when “spun” adequately
    I realise dimly that part of the underlying nature of the thread is to do with absolutism in law applies to all subject to it, rich or poor, if you commit certain actions certain consequences follow to balance injury or inconvenience caused others. Yet its hardly “justice”, if a rich person flogs food to show off to friends and cops a fine to laugh off, against the consequences for a beggar born into poverty, who filched a slice of bread for existential survival.. How is “justice” served when the law, in seeking to remedy a wrong, adds another ?
    We recall a couple of years ago, the case of the young people who had acquired RU 486 in Queensland and the negative response from social conservative in the majority, across the Qld parliament, denying the young people involved any hope of a balanced, proportional reading of their actions and behaviours.

  10. Ken P:

    “If you’re going to lock an offender up forever and throw away the key (which seems to be what Nicholas is advocating) it would probably be more merciful and even appropriate to kill them. However I don’t support the death penalty for obvious reasons.”

    I think in cases like these a life sentence should be imposed but the enlightened lefty within me thinks the loss of liberty associated with imprisonment should be the sole punishment; that is to say, prison conditions should never be so bleak that a prisoner ought feel his or her life is worthless, no matter how grave their crime.

  11. “Prisoners who have a mental disorder may be different to the extent that their symptoms can be loosely ascertained and assessed for signs of change.”

    Which of the people in these cases don’t have a mental disorder? It seems to me we’re dealing with psychopaths (who can often be identified from an early age) and people with serious schizophrenia. On this note, there’s a good study looking at violent offenders in US jails, and if I remember the results correctly, then about 50% could be identified as having frontal lobe problems, even with the crappy technology of 20 years ago. So these people have identifiable neurological problems (let alone ones with psychogenic problems that can’t be identified so easily). We just don’t like to admit this because (a) people with similar problems don’t always do this sort of thing; and (b) if we did admit it was a problem out of their control, they might use it as a reason not to be locked up, and we certainly don’t want that.

    Also, many years ago previously in Oz it was in fact quite easy to claim you did it because of a mental disorder, but the rules got changed when someone got off that should have certainly not have. This is a famous case that one of the legal people may be able to remember (sorry, I can’t and I’m not in a position to right now to ask the person I know who knows the answer!). Now it’s almost impossible, and when you do you get locked up for life, so no-one claims it (in the US, which is similar, generally people claim it when the death penalty is the alternative).

    “So a guy engages in glee killing and (I’m reading you to be implying that) we’re supposed to release him unless we have have strong evidence that he’ll reoffend. ”

    No, I was really asking an empirical question, for which I assume there would in fact be evidence from places like the US. I’m not sure of what the answer is, but obviously it would make a stronger argument to say “even people caught at 20 and released at 60 will still do bad stuff” than “you provide the evidence they won’t to do bad stuff again”.

  12. Here’s a thought. When better developed, why not employ technologies that identify diffs in brain structure that may linked to lack of control/choice in control in dealing with their own impulses and behaviours, for individual charges with capital crimes?
    From this point it will become easier to transfer defective units to institutions where some attempt at cognitive rewiring can occur.
    I understand treatments for folk suffering personality disorders are still fraught with difficulty and often ineffective.
    What I wonder is, does successful therapy actually alter brain structure to the non pathological norm and thus to an extent be detected through technological means, later.
    Of course this would not obviate the political problems involved with earlier release.
    And it would not prevent the state from being tempted to exercise outright incursions of personal integrity, in perhaps universalising testing and employing also on the public, regardless of a criminal event before hand or not.

  13. I’m strongly against the death penalty. Just because someone has degraded themselves and their victim doesn’t mean we should degrade ourselves by killing them. And I don’t particularly want to make the rest of their life a misery. Then again I’ll be wanting to keep their incarceration as cheap as possible, so it may not be a lot of fun for them. I want them out of sight and out of mind. A non-person.

    • I can see your point on not wanting to gratify the perverse publicity-seeking desires of such offenders. But, as others have observed, it’s problematic in terms of the basic principle of open justice. Moreover, even if we suppress the offender’s name (including before trial – how would you decide that?) might the offender not still obtain the same gratification through their actions still being graphically publicised?

      And wouldn’t all the other prisoners (their immediate audience for the next 30 years or so) rapidly discover who they are anyway?

      And wouldn’t there inevitably be some hothead like Derryn “Human Headline” Hinch who would consider it a holy crusade to identify such offenders despite court orders?

      In a more general sense I think there’s far too great a tendency for judges to issue suppression orders for quite inadequate reasons.

      A couple of months ago a prominent Sydney property developer was convicted of sexually assaulting his then 11-year-old step daughter on Sydney’s lower north shore (she is now an adult). He was sentenced in the Sydney District Court to 18 months in prison.  See this story:

      During the case the convicted man’s barrister, Anthony Bellanto, QC successfully argued to have the defendant’s name suppressed in NSW to ”minimise any ongoing damage to his reputation”.
      Mr Bellanto said keeping the man’s name secret “could reduce the damage that will no doubt occur if these matters reach the electronic and print media” and that naming the man would have a “catastrophic impact on his ability to earn income”. …

      Notorious Melbourne radio shockjock Derryn “Human Headline” Hinch, who has been imprisoned twice before for “naming and shaming” pedophiles, named the offender in this case on his Melbourne radio 3AW talkshow.  Hinch also uploaded a story revealing the offender’s name to his personal website The Human Headline.

      The suppression order was later revoked after much publicity about its seeming inappropriateness.

      • Ken, as you’ll see from a comment of mine already up here, I agree with you that suppression orders are too easily given. I’m not all that au fait with the details, but at least on my cursory knowledge of them I think Hinch’s breach of those suppression orders was morally justifiable.

        But there’s a case for suppressing names, and I think this is one such.

        Further as indicated in a comment already on this thread (this multi-level thread with individual responses has its drawbacks) I’m arguing for everything about the trial to be open. I’m also OK with people being able to go to a website if they want to learn the name. It’s publication and celeb status I’m trying to stop.

        It’s a good question as to how one imposes it before conviction. I guess one creates the power to do so in relatively tightly defined circumstances – as presumably exists right now. I agree it would be tricky to tie down the definition. The thing is we all know it when we see it – murder that’s not ‘normal’ – that’s not engaged in for reasons of revenge, ingrained hatred or self-interest, but is engaged in frivolously and with apparent lack of any feeling towards the victim.

        Perhaps one defines what a suspected psychopathic killing is and allows a judge to exercise some discretion in such circumstances.

  14. Hmmmm, pondering on that Nick, just wondering if that denies the Milat type the opportunity to experience what the criminal decided was such a necessary experience for the victim?
    Also, if we employ a utilitarian outlook as to housing conditions (costly rehab?), might it not be more efficient, just a pistol shot to the base of the skull?
    Would it be a “human” death if the Milat types, pre-imaged by techno means during a case to also determine their often irreversible pathology ( if they are physically pathologicised, are they “human” in the meaningful sense any way )?
    And it would be useful for many suffering a deterioration in workplace efficiency and personal peace of mind, given the macabre nature of some of the crimes, to have a deficit restored through the removal of something dehumanised beyond humanity, whatever the appearance?
    All right, no!!
    I’ll stick with Nick’s position for now.
    It would also be complex-inducing psychologically for those forced to play god with someone like this.
    Spare a thought even for the psychopath, it may be that a physical condition, as diabetes is a medical condition, has driven some to do something atypical because of the condition. You don’t shoot diabetics because they’re sick, is it right to put down a psychopath burdened by lack of choice in her behaviours, particularly if the thing is physical and treatment then withheld.

  15. The other thing I’d like to see is a general social convention reinforced by appropriate media suppression orders that the names of such people not be publicised

    Principle of open justice, never heard of it.

    What an incredibly terrible idea, for incredibly obvious reasons.

    We already have enough Star Chamber justice in this country, the last thing we need is more.

  16. Matthew Milat probably received a fixed term because he was 17 at the time of the murder. Australian judges resist sentencing teenagers to life without parole. Had Milat been five years older, he may well have got life. The idiotic nature of the crime shows immaturity. Murdering someone well known to the offender, in company, and then boasting about it afterwards, are signs of a young numbskull. If Milat survives his long imprisonment, he will probably be an institutionalised semi-vegetable. Is there any data on the recidivism of offenders imprisoned during their late teens and released when 50 or older?

  17. Agree John.

    Presumably recidivism after 50 would have been taken into account when determining the sentence – would be interesting to know what the judge was considering.

    Would anyone listen, if when sentencing the judge went into even more detail about how a sentence is arrived at? Would it change public perceptions about the justice system? The short grabs form trials and the sudden result belies the exhaustive process. Yet we watch endless cops and robbers – surely there is an audience….

    Could trials be edited and serialised as they proceed? After The 7.30 Report we could have Who is in Court? And in the dailies a corresponding serial of edited transcripts containing brief explanatory notes .
    But would more detailed reporting compromise the integrity of the trial and stir up pointless controversy?

  18. Nick G:

    ” I want them out of sight and out of mind. A non-person.”

    I disagree. Even though it will cost more money, I would prefer it if prison was a humane place of rehabilitation and redemption. If you can’t get to that position by some enlightened route then it might be worth thinking about how reasonable the non-person position is on the falsely convicted. The work of the Innocence Project in the US indicates innocent people have a much higher chance of being jailed than we’d like to think.

  19. Bill P,

    Although there are plenty of cases where the law does not pursue open justice for various reasons whether or not they’re persuasive in particular cases (closed justice in sexual crimes often protects the perpetrators) I’m not in favour of anything about the case being closed except for the ability to publicise the name. Anyone can attend, anyone can report the case, but they can’t publish photographs or their name.

    • That’s pretty close to the regime in the Family Court, although presumably you’re not saying victims shouldn’t be identified (but – how would you propose dealing with the situation where identifying victims might tend to identify the alleged perpetrator?).

      The net result of the Family Court restrictions is that proceedings there are largely unreported. I can’t see that happening for trials of mass murderers, but it would certainly mute coverage. Shouldn’t such important criminal trials get full coverage?

      Isn’t it important that we make some effort to understand what’s going on with people who become mass killers? And isn’t that the real purpose of these trials (there’s usually not much doubt that the accused has done it in cases like these, the evidence is generally pretty overwhelming)?

      It seems to me any attempt to muffle coverage simply because you find some elements of it distasteful is misguided in the extreme.

      None of this is intended as a comment on the appropriateness or otherwise of the regime in the Family Court. And Oof course, this whole discussion is completely academic: your proposal has zero chance of getting up any time soon.

      • I think you’ve answered most of your own questions Bill.

        Your idea of ‘full coverage’ amuses me. You think that open justice depends on ‘full coverage’ no doubt with cheque books out and celebrity journalists peering with great seriousness into the camera.

        We don’t have ‘full coverage’ of any legal case. Coverage is subject to sub judice, contempt. There is normally no TV coverage and that’s just fine with me.

        I’m happy that the coverage be sufficient so that anyone who wants to find out anything material about the case can. As for ‘full coverage’ well, I’m not that much of a fan of full coverage, but if the media want to give it ‘full coverage’ then it should go ahead. It would have to be full coverage that avoided sub judice, contempt and (in my world which you rightly assert is unlikely to arrive any time soon) naming the perpetrator.

        • You think that open justice depends on ‘full coverage’ no doubt with cheque books out and celebrity journalists peering with great seriousness into the camera.

          I didn’t say that and I don’t.

          However, when administering the principle of open justice the courts do recognise that the press acts as the eyes and ears of the public, which largely doesn’t turn up to watch trials.

  20. Of course our immediate gut reaction to these things is “kill the bastard, and not cleanly”. But gut reactions make for bad policy – we need to rise above our African plains ape instincts.

    Everything we do after something like this should aim at making sure it doesn’t happen again. Nutters are not going to be deterred whatever we do, so the aim has to be incapacitation. Far the strongest argument for capital punishment, IMO, is that it is the ultimate incapacitator for someone we believe will always be a risk (against that is its irreversibility if we get the wrong guy, and the weakening of the taboo against murder because WE are doing it).

    So I say lock em up for life, or at least until there is no doubt at all they are safe to release. But the aim is preventive detention, not futile revenge, so there is no point in putting them in a hellhole. Hellholes ensure that people who do get released come out worse than ever, and its also bad for the screws – if they’re not already sadists when they start they will be after a while in such a place. For everyone’s sake we should make prisons as civilised as possible.

  21. Yes, don’t remove the court orders, it’s the only chance we have to see anti social wreckers like Andrew Bolt and Derryn Hinch doing gaol time, for their sins.
    The stand out post today is the comment mentioning that Milat the Younger was only 17 when he did the crime. You DO do weird things at that age, altho most of us confine ourselves to a little bullying or tipping of hot water down ant’s nests.
    The idea of an adolescent neurotic trying to emulate the Hard Man is plausible- it would be good for this thread if we could take a figurative peek at the psych report (hi Foucault!) and see what the actual diagnosis was.
    I see now why it was a little more complicated for some posters earlier.

  22. You should know, Nicholas, that we appreciate your inclusion of the recent Kathy Jackson hearing transcript.

  23. I have a question: WhyTF do conservatives always whinge about court judgements they don’t agree with? WhyTF do you always assume that you know more about the process than people who’ve been involved in it for the whole of their professional lives?

  24. Come on Chris, you the answer to that. Because they feel disempowered. They think THEY should be passing judgement not some meddling fool of an activist judge.
    Its a good way of distracting attention away from them, guilt is of course involved also.

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