Here in Jacksonville, the local "alternative" paper (read: liberal), Folio Weekly, interviewed Victorino, who is currently on Death Row at the Union Correctional Institute in Raiford. Unsurprisingly, the interview was all about the injustice of the death penalty, how the state is out to get vengeance, and how the death penalty doesn't solve anything. I won't post the entire interview, but here are some snippets:
Folio Weekly: What's your view of capital punishment?
Troy Victorino: My personal views are that it doesn't solve anything. It's just a way of murdering someone legally. There's no real sense to it. It doesn't solve any problems. It doesn't fix anything. It doesn't deter crime.
FW: Are you talking about revenge?
TV: Yeah. As long as the public cheers it on, they're not gonna stop it.
FW: You're saying it's not the actual lethal injection that's cruel and unusual, but simply undergoing execution?
TV: I think that anytime that you kill anyone, it's cruel and unusual. Especially if you lock them away for X amount of time and every day that person has to dwell on the day that they're gonna die. And people out there, cheering it on, the news broadcasting it all over, it's just a public spectacle. And I think it's more cruel in that sense than any other. Anytime you kill someone, there's a measure of cruelty. That's anything -- in any kind of homicide or killing.
How compelling. I especially loved the part where the murderer talks about how cruel it is to kill someone. Ain't that irony for you.
For those unfamiliar, here's what happened:
From the doorway, to the left, a 17-year-old lay in a recliner, legs draped across an ottoman. His head was crushed and his face, neck, chest and stomach stabbed. His wounds show he fought hard. He was a musician and an actor. His name was Jonathan Gleason.
A few feet away, a 34-year-old lay on the floor -- beaten in the face. He had left New York City to escape trouble and violence. His name was Anthony Vega.
Around the corner, past the closet, Vega's girlfriend was in a bedroom. She was stabbed behind her ear, and in her right breast and hip. Others in the home had been mutilated after they died. But this 19-year-old whose father called her "Princess" hung on for quite a while. While her heart continued to beat, they slit her throat, three times. That's all she could take. Her name was Michelle Ann Nathan.
Across the hall, lying in the doorway of the next bedroom was a 28-year-old. Like Vega and Gleason, he, too, fought. But he also suffered a similar fate. He was stabbed at least 15 times in his chest and 10 times in his stomach. But he died from being beaten in the head. His name was Roberto Gonzalez. His friends called him "Tito."
No single room held more death than the master bedroom. Next to flipped mattresses lay a 30-year-old from Puerto Rico, naked. Just one head wound stretched from his ear to his forehead. Teeth were knocked out. His throat cut. His name was Francisco Ayo-Roman. His friends called him "Flaco."
On the other side of the room, a limp brown figure lay. It was a dachshund named George. Someone had stomped his snout so many times it killed him. He lay next to his master, her legs half inside the bathroom, naked body halfway out. It's here Flaco's 22-year-old girlfriend offered up a final breath after suffering the most abuse of the six victims. Even after she died from the beatings and the cuts, her body had been sexually desecrated.
Her connection to another home had sparked trouble. She called the police after finding a man's belongings in her grandmother's home. There was a run-in, and then another. The man grew angrier and angrier. He wanted his stuff back. He wanted revenge. She didn't want a fight.
She wanted it to end, and this is how it did.
Her name was Erin Belanger. She was raped with a baseball bat.
Three other men were responsible for the murders besides Victorino: Robert Cannon, Jerone Hunter, and Michael Salas. But multiple people pointed to Victorino as the ringleader. He had it out for Erin Belanger.
Belanger had called the police when she discovered Victorino squatting in her grandmother's house. She removed his belongings from her "Nana's" house, including an Xbox. She kept it boxed up in her house and was willing to give it back to him. But Victorino was furious that she called the police on him, and the quest for revenge started.
He initially gathered six people to go by the house Belanger lived in, and a screaming match started. Belanger, terrified, called the police. Victorino and his group of thugs left, but not until they had slashed the tires of two cars. One of the people who participated, Nicole Kogut, told investigators:
"I was like, hold it, we did, just did like $500 worth of damage. And Troy's like, 'So? I want them dead.'"
So Victorino gathered some people and went to Wal-Mart to get his weapons of choice: baseball bats. He had accomplices. He had the tools. He planned the attack. Six people were soon to be brutally killed, and Victorino was found guilty and sentenced to the death penalty.
And like many murderers, much of Victorino's life has been a crime spree.
Before the Aug. 6, 2004, killings, eight of his last 11 years had been spent in prison -- six for beating a man so severely he needed 18 hours of reconstructive surgery. Victorino pummeled Michael Simpson for four to six minutes, records show, shoving a walking cane down his throat and knocking out three of his teeth. The reason for the violence: Simpson would later say he believed Victorino wanted his souped-up Honda CRX.
Behind bars, Victorino was still notorious. He was repeatedly disciplined in prison for fighting and generally being "a security threat," state documents show. One time in 2000, he was accused of hitting an inmate in the face with a lock after calling him a snitch. Locked up, he still had power -- he was the leader of a Latin Kings gang, state records show.
Most ordinary people would celebrate the fact that this violent monster is behind bars and will be put to death, never again able to inflict such pain and torture upon innocent people.
But not if you're a liberal.
If you're a liberal, you'll probably be howling about the injustice of the death penalty, and how cruel it is. I think beating and stabbing someone to death, only to then rape them with a baseball bat, is pretty damn cruel, too. And no matter what Troy Victorino or your local liberal rag might claim, the death penalty does deter crime. As far as I'm concerned, though, that is not why we put murderers to death. We put them to death because it is punishment. After you've brutally murdered six people, in addition to beating someone almost to death, I don't think you're in much of a position to point the finger about receiving a cruel and unusual death, nor to expect that you deserve a peaceful death in your sleep.
Will liberals ever understand this? Troy Victorino is just another murderer, and of course he's going to do all he can to try to avoid the death penalty. What's even more sickening is the liberals that enable him and others like him.