Dave's Mental Meanderings
2003-04-15 05:15:03 (UTC)

The End of the Innocence

“This is the end of the innocence.”
-Don Henley & Bruce Hornsby

In last Wednesday’s edition of The Collegiate Times, I read
a brief article about three teenagers who killed a mentally
retarded man in Hartford, Connecticut. They pelted him
with soda bottles he had just bought, causing him to fall
and hit his head on a radiator. Even after he fell to the
ground, they continued to kick him and pour soda on him.
According to reports based on the security tapes that
caught this atrocity on film, the man did nothing to
provoke the boys. All of this happened in the lobby of the
apartment building. The man’s name was Ricky Whistnant.
He was 39 years old. He died before help could arrive.
Perhaps the deaths of thousands of innocent people every
day at the collective hands of poverty and political
oppression do not strike a chord in most of us, myself
included. It’s a real tragedy, but the numbers are too
staggering. Our minds can’t operate on that level. We
can’t sympathize with or feel pity for ten thousand grief-
stricken families. A story like this one, on the other
hand, really hits home. If you can paint a mental picture
of three teenagers killing a retarded man for fun and not
feel like you’re about to cry, then you have become
entirely too dehumanized somewhere along the way. Sadly
enough, that only means that you are a product of modern-
day society. What really struck me, and what probably
makes this event so devastating to hear about even in
comparison with overseas massacres is that a retarded
person is such a personification of innocence.
The article goes on to say that two of the boys,
age 14, will be tried as adults. The third one, 13 years
of age, will be tried as a juvenile. That’s bullshit.
Kill all three of them. As I said, the crime was caught on
video, so a trial is trivial in this case. In my opinion,
any person who can be definitively proven to have committed
rape, murder, child molestation, or to have attempted any
of these crimes should be executed. My reasons for
condoning and advocating capital punishment are too lengthy
to enumerate here. Since I will probably end up posting
this journal entry online (I keep a written journal that I
write in every day – I only post select entries online), I
will address the reader of this journal entry: If you want
to argue about the death penalty with me, I’d be delighted
to do so. Feel free to leave me feedback and leave your e-
mail address. However, please spare me a headache and
don’t contact me if you are a closed-minded asshole who is
unable to engage in a civilized, intelligent argument. In
other words, just about anybody who would be interested in
arguing about something over the internet is disqualified.
After you have read about this, think about it
some. I dare you. Don’t just say to yourself, “that’s
fucked up,” and go about your day. Really think about
this. Tell one of your friends about it. Think about what
kind of a person Ricky Whistant was. Think about what kind
of people his murderers are. Think about the world in
which we live – a world in which these three boys can do
something like this and, in all likelihood, get away with a
slap on the wrist, maybe some jail time. How does all this
make you feel?