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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Michael James Jackson sentenced to death

A verdict was reached today in the trial of Michael James Jackson -- he'll be put to death. For those of you not from the North Florida area, this is incredibly good news. He was the head of a robbery-murder ring who buried an elderly couple alive two years ago:
The leader of a robbery-murder ring that buried alive a retired Jacksonville couple was sentenced to death Wednesday.

Michael James Jackson, 25 had refused to allow character testimony on his behalf when Circuit Judge Michael Weatherby was weighing the sentence this summer.

During a midday hearing Wednesday, the judge said the eight aggravating factors outlined by prosecutors -- details of the crime that affect the sentence -- far outweighed mitigating factors.

Prosecutors described Jackson as the mastermind of the 2005 kidnapping and murder of James and Carol Sumner, whose bodies were left in a remote area in Charlton County, Ga.

The grave where they were dumped was dug days before the couple was abducted from their St. Nicholas home, loaded into their car's trunk and forced to reveal their bank card PIN number.

Jackson drained the couple's bank accounts and still had their financial records when he was arrested at a South Carolina hotel.

Jackson's defense lawyer, Richard Kuritz, said he's filing an appeal notice today.

For those unfamiliar, Jacksonville has a very high crime rate, especially for murder, which is one of the highest in the nation (I think Detroit and D.C. are the only places that have us beat, but I could be wrong). The head of a robbery-and-murder ring being put away and eventually killed is very good news.

11 comments:

Larry said...

Hmmm... I wonder what might be the most-appropriate manner of snuffing this animal?

Huck said...

"incredibly good news" and "very good news"?!?!? This is how putting someone to death is cheered? What would Jesus do? Well, some might argue that he'd support the death penalty for such heinous crimes; but I doubt anywould would argue that Jesus would go around proclaiming that the snuffing out of a human life, no matter how despicable the acts this human being might have been that would merit a death penalty, is ever "incredibly good news."

Gothguy said...

Huck,

This individual was convicted of burying people alive...'alive.'

He deserves every punitive penality rendered under the law.

I honestly fail to see how Cassy's proclaimation(s) could outrage you. Her proclaimations about this verdict are her 'opinions', much as your outrage about her proclaimation is your 'opinion.'

You seem to have a proclavity of throwing bombs against virtually everything Cassy writes...and I cannot understand why.

Cassy writes about what she feels and thinks about various items, and that is her right, as this is her blog.

I will admit, you do write your retorts in a very erudite manner, and I do admire your skill with the written word, but that being said, you come across as a pompous, arrogant, elitist individual, who thinks their opinion is the governing, final opinion.

Instead of engaging people in honest, open dialogue about their opinions, you instead attempt to 'sledgehammer' them into agreeing to your opinion, and arguing why they should be accepting of it.

Huck, it may not be 'incredibly good news' to you about this individual's sentence, but did you ever consider that it may, perchance, be 'incredibly good news' to the victim's family?

I think the victim's family deserves more...

Huck said...

gothguy - I'm only trying to challenge opinions and the expressions of such. So often, when I express a strong disagreement with people it is interpreted as some kind of elitist, arrogant, or pompous response because I try to express myself coherently, intelligently, convincingly, and with conviction. I imagine that if I express my alternative opinions in a less erudite manner, I'd be considered boorish in expressing dissent.

What I am taking issue with in this specific case is not the opinion that this verdict is just and necessary, which I can respect, but rather the kind of celebratory tone in Cassy's support of the death penalty in this case. I'm just as horrified and offended by this criminal's behavior as the next person, but I also think the taking of human life in any context, even in the proper administration of what some would consider a just execution of such a vicious criminal, is no less tragic and sobering. That's the only point I was trying to make.

Saying that he "deserves every punitive penalty rendered under the law" is one thing. Calling the fact of a public execution "incredibly good news" as if it were something to pop out the champagne for is another thing altogther. I wouldn't take issue with the former, but I do take issue with the latter.

Sassy Poker said...

We are such a happy group

Cas said...

Huck --

Let me point something out to you before you get all teary-eyed about this guy being put to death.

First of all, he buried alive an elderly couple, one of the cruelest ways (in my mind, anyways) to kill someone. They were completely cognizant of the fact that they were going to be killed, and were pleading and moaning as they were being buried.

Second, did you miss the "head of a robbery-and-murder ring" part? As head of a robbery/murder ring, who knows how many people he has killed personally or had killed on his command? Considering the astronomically high murder rate in Jacksonville, why on Earth should I be unhappy that this man won't be able to steal and kill any longer? How many people's lives will be saved thanks to this man's death?

Am I happy that this scumbag asshole is being put to death? Absolutely! It's justice.

How can you say that the execution of a criminal, who steals and kills for really no reason whatsoever, is "no less tragic and sobering"? It is not a tragedy that this man is being put to death. It's justice. Plain and simple. He got what he deserved, and the streets of Jacksonville will likely be a little bit safer thanks to this, which is cause for celebration.

That is by no means "tragic".

Sassy Poker said...

Cassy is my hero!!!

Huck said...

Cassy - You don't need to point out anything to me about the heinous nature of this criminal's behavior. I am well aware of it. There is a reason why death row executions -- even of the most heinous of criminals -- are carried out somberly. There is a reason why the families of victims of such heinous crimes who witness an execution don't pop open the champagne to celebrate the executions of vicious criminals. There is a reason why we don't have public executions with jeering crowds. I would suggest that this reason is, as just as such executions may be, taking another human life is never something celebratory. Even a just execution desensitizes us to the value of life, it chips away at our humanity, and makes our hearts a little more cold and vindictive. Call it justice if you will. I have no problems with that. But celebrating the extinguishing of another human life, however evil this life may have turned out, is unseemly and crass.

gredd said...

When evil is defeated, it's a reason to celebrate.

Huck said...

gredd - perhaps, but we're talking about such a "defeat" as being the death of another human being. I'd say it is not just the defeat of evil that is being celebrated here. That victory, the defeat of evil, was won the day this vicious criminal was caught and his crimes were put to an end. (Ever wonder why TV crime shows always end in relief with the capture of the criminal and not what follows his/her capture?) The celebration in this case is not really about defeating evil, but about executing another human being. Some may argue that this is justice, but that's a far cry from saying we should revel in the "incredibly good news" of an execution.

the jake said...

Here's a thought. Maybe it's not a celebration of the end of a human life but a celebration of justice.