Skip

Girl is slashed by 3/4 inch electric cord to death by father.
November 15, 2001 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Girl is slashed by 3/4 inch electric cord to death by father. Sad as it is there was a passage in the article that made me laugh: "Pfeiffer said Larry Slack, who weighs more than 350 pounds, had sneaked a 6-inch kitchen knife into the Calumet Area police station by hiding it in the folds of his skin. He stabbed himself in the chest and was transported to Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for minor injuries before being returned to police custody." My sincere apologies for the big FPP. (Article via DR.)
posted by HoldenCaulfield (76 comments total)

 
the mom who went along with all of this was a nurse, too. pretty sad.
posted by moz at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2001


I read about this last night and it about made me sick. There are so many horrible parts of that story that you'd better not read it unless you want to feel bummed out for awhile afterwards.

Somebody is going to need to post a couple feel good stories of the day to make up for that one.
posted by almostcool at 9:11 AM on November 15, 2001


Unbelievable. I really fear for the other children -- it doesn't look like they'll ever have to worry about their parents beating them again, but the emotional toll must be devastating. Years of therapy.
posted by me3dia at 9:12 AM on November 15, 2001


Stories like this just reaffirm my belief that the death penalty is the only punishment for some crimes.
posted by mrmanley at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2001


HoldenCaulfield, I know comedy=tragedy+time, but I think "time" is more than one day.

Oh, wait. He's 350 lbs. OK, I grant you that part's funny.
posted by luser at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2001


If he was really trying to kill himself and only came away with minor injuries, I think that's pretty funny.
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 9:18 AM on November 15, 2001


Hey, they were devoutly religious. Why am I not suprised?
posted by trioperative at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2001


trioperative: But Leon Slack, an uncle of Laree's, said religion had nothing to do with what happened. "Our family loved Laree dearly," read a statement the family released Tuesday.

posted by HoldenCaulfield at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2001


No religion advocates torturing your child to death. Trying to paint this as religiously-sanctioned behavior makes you look like a complete asshole.
posted by Danelope at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2001


Danelope: Just a question, are you religious?
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 9:23 AM on November 15, 2001


Not a complete asshole.

While the religion doesn't state to do so, who coined the phrase "Spare the rod, spoil the child"?

(Correct me if I mistated that phrase)
posted by trioperative at 9:23 AM on November 15, 2001


No one said that the act was religously sanctioned. It's just that no one is surprised that the person who did this portrays himself to his neighbors as devoutly religious.

Not all religious people are crazy, but a lot of crazy people are religious.
posted by rks404 at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2001




I am not a believer in an eye for an eye, but reading this sickened me so deeply that in this case I'm willing to make an exception.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2001


Well, nevermind, I guess I don't have to argue anymore.
posted by trioperative at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2001


trio - Here's the quote. Middle of page. It's actually: He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2001


thanks. I always thought it sounded off.
posted by trioperative at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2001


I stand corrected by nikzhowz.
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2001


Stories like this just reaffirm my belief that the death penalty is the only punishment for some crimes.

And just what good would it do? I doubt that it would have acted as a deterrent in this case. I don't see how answer cruelty with cruelty would have solved anything, or will solve anything.
posted by jeffvc at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2001


Is this when Supermax is justified, punishment worse than death?
posted by Voyageman at 9:32 AM on November 15, 2001


Well, for one, the death penalty would prevent him from having more kids to beat to death.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2001


Would it deter others, though? These people don't see what they're doing as wrong, and don't expect the law to strike them down. Its their god they feel they have to answer for, not the government.
posted by trioperative at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2001


What is the role of a religious group, that supports a concept such as "spare the rod, ...". Of course, no rational person, regardless of their religious tradition, would translate this saying as beat your child in fury until they are dead.

Shouldn't that organization be responsible for assisting its members in coping with problems, to look out for those that seem to have coping problems?

I cannot believe that no one knew about the parent's violent tempers. This was clearly NOT the first time that they beat one of their kids. Hell, the other kids even knew what to do. ("assume the position, tie her down, get me a towel," and the weapon was probably one that had been used before.)

I do hold religious groups responsible when their members take dogma too literally and no one in the church intercedes on behalf of the helpless victims - usually children.
posted by Red58 at 9:35 AM on November 15, 2001


No, the supermax is never justified.
posted by sudama at 9:36 AM on November 15, 2001


Who decided what is justified?
posted by trioperative at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2001


So within 10 comments a thread about a tragic case of child abuse turns into a slagging match about religion and the death penalty. I'm trying to think of a way to get SUVs and gun control into this argument.

Seriously this is a hideous case, I feel sick to the stomach after reading that lot. I must admit I misread Goad's comments about "child abuse cases hitting new lows in Cook country" the first time. He was talking statistics of course, but may as well have been talking about human behaviour.
posted by dlewis at 9:41 AM on November 15, 2001


Did you expect anything less when it was made a point in the article to point out their religion?
posted by trioperative at 9:42 AM on November 15, 2001


These people probably drive a Ford Expedition.
posted by Vek at 9:43 AM on November 15, 2001


MegoSteve, you're in good company.
"Don't give up on anyone. I had a student ask me, 'Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?' Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed," he said. "We visit prisoners on death row, and some of them are saved, but we believe their sentences should be carried out because they have a debt to society." - Rev. Jerry Falwell
posted by mmarcos at 9:45 AM on November 15, 2001


dlewis, I'd hardly characterize this thread as a slagging match, and given that religion was involved as a focal point, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that that aspect of the case might be discussed.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:45 AM on November 15, 2001


Okay, after reading mmarcos' cheap shot, now I would. :)
posted by MegoSteve at 9:47 AM on November 15, 2001


This article is extremely depressing. I keep picturing this poor girl while her parents beat her to death. It's awful.

I was wondering, how did this get discovered? It didn't say in the article. Did they call an ambulance? Or did one of the children call in help?
posted by witchstone at 9:48 AM on November 15, 2001


MegoSteve and trioperative, you have a fair point. I'm afraid I was still reeling from the Pfeiffer's graphic description to see it.
posted by dlewis at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2001


The prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment precludes the establishment of a supermax-type prison. It also precludes this guy getting what we'd all like to see him get at the hands of the state. This is a Good Thing.
posted by sudama at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2001


Regardless of religion, it's a sad case, whenever someone takes anything too seriously and brings those they love (and I don't doubt that he loved that child) that close or past the brink of death.

I apologize for my generalizations.
posted by trioperative at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2001


The fact that capital punishment still exists in many states, as well as the federal government (i.e. MacVeigh), seems to disprove that statement, sudama. What makes it cruel and unusual? Yes, sometimes mistakes happen with executions and some pain is inflicted. But do you really think that feeling a jolt or the brief feeling of your heart stopping from an injection is anywhere close to the pain that their little girl felt for the duration of that savage beating?
posted by starvingartist at 9:55 AM on November 15, 2001


Lots of talk about capital punishment here. Why don't we talk about corporal punishment, which is the reason for this whole mess in the first place. Does anyone know if electrical flex is a legitimate option available to parents wishing to discipline their child? Surely if this was standard procedure in the family all the kids would be showing distinctive bruising. Now I'm not saying that the social services failed these kids, but in an area known for harsh treatment of offspring, one would expect a greater level of vigilence than the national norm. In particular from the neighbours.
posted by dlewis at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2001


dlewis-

Personally, I don't believe any kind of corporal punishment is acceptable, especially with foreign objects. You know why a whip cracks so loud at the end? Because the tip is moving faster than mach 1 and you get a small sonic boom. Imagine how much force you can get behind an electrical cord! That's unconscionable. As for the bruising, I get the idea from the article that these kids didn't have much contact with people outside the family. Besides, if it was standard operating procedure, the parents would probably have been careful to leave marks where they would be covered by clothing. And again, little outside contact = little concern from the neighbors. Besides, according to the article, they were considered a loving and healthy family.
posted by starvingartist at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2001


A whip is not an electrical cord.

An electrical cord is not a whip. We have no idea at which fraction of the speed of sound the cord was moving.
posted by websavvy at 10:18 AM on November 15, 2001


You're right, websavvy. Maybe Larry Slack beat his daughter to death by gently flopping it across her skin.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:21 AM on November 15, 2001


My point was that you can kill someone by hitting them with something at a hell of a lot less than Mach 1. The speed of sound has nothing to do with this tragedy.
posted by websavvy at 10:24 AM on November 15, 2001


Okay, I agree with that. My apologies to the speed of sound.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2001


starvingartist - I don't believe any kind of corporal punishment is acceptable, either. But many people do. The problem, as I'm sure has been stated many times before, is that a 350 lb loving and caring parent is likely to do a lot more damage than a 150 lb loving and caring parent. Safe in the knowledge that what they're doing is legitimate, encouraged and actually good for the child, people are capable of sinking to the most hideous of depths. Perhaps the last time you whipped your kid with the elecrtical flex you accidently drew blood, which means that when it happens again it's not so shocking. It's the sort of desensitization that we hear about happening to the even the most idealogically motivated and good intentioned torturers.
posted by dlewis at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2001


dlewis: so what do you think should be the weight cap for loving, caring parents?
posted by signal at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2001


websavvy, *expletive deleted* off with the snark. My point was, when you swing a heavy, rope-like object you can put a lot more power behind it than you can with your bare hand. No, it was probably not moving at the speed of sound. But they beat her so hard that her back started bleeding, then they turned her over and beat her some more. And it killed her.
posted by starvingartist at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2001


so what do you think should be the weight cap for loving, caring parents?

About 140 lb if you practice corporal punsihment. Feel free to work out / hit the pies if you don't...
posted by dlewis at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2001


The father ordered his two teenage sons to tie Laree face down to a metal futon frame...

What amazes me is that the other children were made accomplices to this. You would think that if your own sister was being beaten to death, you would try and do something. Of course, they were probably afraid of their parent's wrath, or had undergone the same punishment before and had become desensitized to the violence in the house.
posted by ry at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2001


I think corporal punishment (spanking, not whipping) is often an acceptable form of discipline, but like anything else a parent needs to know when and how much to do it.

These people who did this to their child are monsters, unquestionably (and a perfect argument for the death penalty/supermax).
posted by owillis at 11:25 AM on November 15, 2001


This is a Good Thing.

And yet, an innocent girl is dead, and the person who committed this crime will, under your rule, never suffer the punishment that he himself meted out on an innocent. That is not a Good Thing, for it cheapens the worth of that little girl's life (which in turn, cheapens all our lives), it makes a mockery of our faith in our ability to bring justice to all, and it shows our willingness to shirk our responsibilities to each other as citizens, pledged as we are to our mutual defense in our republic.

The truth is, sudama, that there are some crimes that are so foul, so heinous, that they require the ultimate punishment, and while it may be convenient for us to eschew our responsibilities to this poor dead girl, especially since she cannot petition us for redress from the grave, the fact remains that any semblence of justice for this crime is false while he yet lives. It is our responsibility to each other that this man not only never be allowed to commit such a crime again, but that he be punished appropriately for its commission. The only appropriate punishment for this crime is death. Anything else is a breach of our responsibility.

I don't like that we have to have capital punishment. It is a dark and foul responsibility, and I am personally glad that I am not the executioner. But a responsibility it is, so long as there are those in our society who would commit such terrible crimes. We owe it to the victims of these crimes, but more importantly we owe it to each other. Remember, for each right we enjoy in our scoiety, there is concomitant responsibility we must accept. This is one of them.
posted by UncleFes at 11:38 AM on November 15, 2001


dlewis --
Surely if this was standard procedure in the family all the kids would be showing distinctive bruising.

According to the above mentioned article "The Slack's five other children all showed indications of physical abuse."
posted by Alison at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2001


Whatever your views on the death penalty, I don't see how capital punishment would have changed Laree's fate. It may make you feel better, but it does nothing for her or children in similar danger. The deterrent argument does not work in this case because the parents did not believe they were doing anything wrong. Because corporal punishment is legal, sanctioned and in some pockets of society actively encouraged. If you hit your kids lightly then maybe after a few drinks or a bad day at the office you'll hit them a little harder. You've just raised the bar - it's very easy to do. Its easy to say these people are monsters and should be treated as such, but at the end of the day their actions are the result of a perverse course of good intentions. Until we get to the root of this problem, no amount of super-punitive measures are going to help the likes of Laree.
posted by dlewis at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2001


Corporal punishment is simply unacceptable in my opinion, if we define corporal punishment as the process in which one person is hit in some way (you may consider being imprisoned corporal punishment too because it limits your body freedom, but I think this is not exactly the same thing).

I find hitting one person unacceptable because it is proven
that there are other ways to discipline somebody, including if absolutely needed imprisonment ; you just can't reverse the effect of a hit, while you can grant freedom back ..expecially when it comes to kids corporal punishment is total nonsense because one hit could affect the body of a children for the lenght of his/her lifetime.

In this particular situation it seems they did torture and kill the kid ; I think they don't deserve to be killed, but to be sentenced to life imprisonment for taking the life of an innocent and to work in a mine/break rocks/whatever sweaty bad work you can imagine to punish their cruelity.
posted by elpapacito at 11:45 AM on November 15, 2001


I don't see how capital punishment would have changed Laree's fate.

Obviously, it wouldn't have. There is no deterrent effect from capital punishment, other than the obvious one. But realistically, life imprisonment won't change Laree's fate, either - and life imprisonment leaves open the possibility that her father can victimize other prisoners, indulge various vices, and perhaps even escape. While there is life, there is yet hope, no? And at the same time, he took from Laree all she had, and all she would ever have. Forever. There is simply no possible way that her father can work off that debt in the gravel pit.
posted by UncleFes at 12:02 PM on November 15, 2001


while it may be convenient for us to eschew our responsibilities to this poor dead girl,

she's dead. i doubt she'd complain much. still, let's bring in John Edwards and ask her if she wants us to kill her daddy.

While there is life, there is yet hope, no?

life imprisonment vs. death, it seems like it's a question of redemption. if there's no hope of redemption, then let's kill him.
posted by tolkhan at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2001


UncleFes, your well argued points on the merits of the death penalty are likely to be applicable to most murder cases. This one deserves special attention because it stems from a parent's misconception that they are doing the right thing for their kids. A large proportion of this thread has nevertheless been devoted to discussing what kind of punishment should be meted out. This is a common pattern when any disturbing crime is posted on MetaFilter. Fine - you can put a bullet in this man. But I have an awful suspicion that another may appear to take his place, perhaps from the very same community. This is the issue we really need to address.
posted by dlewis at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2001


The problem, as I'm sure has been stated many times before, is that a 350 lb loving and caring parent is likely to do a lot more damage than a 150 lb loving and caring parent.

Where do you get "loving and caring parent" from? This guy beat his daughter to death because no one could find his jacket (or keys or whatever) and there was some dirty laundry around. No one beats their child to death out of love; they beat their child to death out of rage.

Also, when you're talking about an electrical cord, the damage is done by the mass and velocity of the cord, not the mass of the parent. Undoubtedly, the stronger a parent, the harder he can swing it, but it's not clear that a 350 lb parent can swing it significantly faster than a 150 lb parent.
posted by anapestic at 12:23 PM on November 15, 2001


This one deserves special attention because it stems from a parent's misconception that they are doing the right thing for their kids... I have an awful suspicion that another may appear to take his place, perhaps from the very same community.

An excellent point; it is therefore even more important that we act decidely and in concert, and that we make very sure that we stand, as a united society, firmly against such crimes, in the most direct and unflinching manner possible.

But though I am an athiest, I don't believe that many Christians think this man's actions were even remotely appropriate, regardless of his rather fatuous and obviously self-serving and self-declared religious sanction.
posted by UncleFes at 12:44 PM on November 15, 2001


Where do you get "loving and caring parent" from?

It's an undeniable weakpoint of mine that I tend to let my anger escape in the form of sarcasm. I apologise if you took it too literally. Despite that, and despite the various specifics of newtonian physics, if you've ever been unfortunate enough to spill a large man's drink in a pub you'll know that bigger generally means harder. Whether they mean it or not. This is the problem: the average man doesn't have the finesse to dose out controlled pain as a form of punishment. Especially if they're pissed off because they tripped over their wife's panties. So in this state of mind, a stronger man - and bear in mind that most fully grown men are a fair degree stronger than the average 12 year old girl - can really do a lot of damage. Hence better not to hit at all, at least unless you can control your emotions. And who can do that?
posted by dlewis at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2001


Where exactly does one get a 3/4 inch electrical 'cord'? I've never seen one that size in a hardware store.
posted by HTuttle at 1:09 PM on November 15, 2001


I am guessing from the clothes dryer plug in.

I spanked my kids. lightly. (not any more, they are way too old as teens.) I was spanked as a child.
With a belt.

This was no spanking. This was a murder. This guy was a violent sadist hiding behind his religion. The whole rest of the family including the wife was probably scared spitless of him.

I would be happy to pull the switch on this guy, no problem.

But putting him in the main part of a prison and letting the other inmates know what he did would be.....interesting.
posted by bunnyfire at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2001


No child horror story can compare to Truddi Chase. She now has 92 personalities brought on by forced beastiality, being watched by holes in the wall and any lurid thing you can think of. The Opera show she was on (1990) was extremely disturbing and graphic. She explained what her father did to her in graphic detail at a very young age.
posted by geoff. at 2:02 PM on November 15, 2001


geoff, thanks for the link and info.. very interesting (albeit sickening) stuff.
posted by lotsofno at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2001


Stories like this always cause me to reconsider my views on capital punishment (I'm against it). But then I realize that some anonymous person pulling a switch or administering an injection wouldn't do a damn thing to make me feel any better.

However, I would feel better if every person who is angry about this (and I would guess that's just about everyone) had the chance to spend five minutes with the guy. Strap the fat fuck down and let everyone come by and take a whack at him. If he starts dying, get a crane to flip his fat ass over and everyone can start on the other side. Then do the same to his wife.
posted by briandame at 3:06 PM on November 15, 2001


another heinous crime directly attributable to the most dangerous, degrading pornography ever conceived by the mind of men - the 'holy' bible.
posted by quonsar at 3:29 PM on November 15, 2001


This guy was a violent sadist hiding behind his religion.
no. this was a violent sadist supported and encouraged  by his religion.
posted by quonsar at 3:34 PM on November 15, 2001


If he starts dying, get a crane to flip his fat ass over and everyone can start on the other side. Then do the same to his wife.

Yes, I can see that might make you feel better. But how does it help other kids in the same situation? Will it make them feel any better? Will it help prevent them being a future Laree? Sixty four comments, and the only creative thing that's come out of this is new and interesting ways to make a fat man suffer. Seems like we're all sadists at heart.
posted by dlewis at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2001


Indeed dlewis, your point has be mentioned numerous times in this thread and lord knows (notice: lord has no capital as I care not for thee, but use thy name as religious slang) I agree with you. For those that would like some redemption, why not make it productive for society. For example, we can use this Larry as a human guinee pig with ---ologists (e.g. psychologist) for the rest of his life. He will be analysed and reanalysed after various stimuli have been administered, and the results can help understand this type of behaviour.
posted by HoldenCaulfield at 4:02 PM on November 15, 2001


quonsar: the bible was a crutch for this miserable piece of trash. I'm no religious person, but blaming the bible for this is like blaming Islam for Bin Laden. People like this are just like that, they just use the bible as their justification (see Hitler, Adolph). It could have been UFOs inspiring him, he would still be a sicky sick-o anyway.
posted by owillis at 4:03 PM on November 15, 2001


dlewis sez: Why don't we talk about corporal punishment, which is the reason for this whole mess in the first place.
Does anyone know if electrical flex is a legitimate option available to parents wishing to discipline their child?


FWIW, in Washington state, RCW 9A.16.100 "Use of force on children" states, in part:

"[...] the physical discipline of a child is not unlawful when it is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent, teacher, or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child.

[...] The following actions are presumed unreasonable when used to correct or restrain a child:
(1) Throwing, kicking, burning or cutting a child;
(2) Striking a child with a closed fist;
(3) Shaking a child under age three;
(4) Interfering with a child's breathing;
(5) Threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or
(6) Doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks."

So, the question isn't whether the cord is a legitimate instrument (since it's not a deadly weapon per se), but how it is applied.

By my reading of the law, and pretending for the moment that they're in WA and not IL, what they've done is most likely "Homicide by Abuse" (RCW 9A.32.055, a class A felony), since there appears to be no intent to cause death. If they can show intent and premeditiation, then this would become aggravated 1st degree murder (per RCW 9A.32.030 and 10.95.020), which (again, in WA) is the only death penalty crime.

-J
posted by doorsnake at 4:05 PM on November 15, 2001


Thanks for the legal pointers, doorsnake. Perhaps we need a national campaign for information on what the limits of corporal punishment are. And not just for the parents. If the brothers involved in this case were educated at school about this, they may have been less compliant. Kids can be extremely brave in the face of fear if they feel they are breaching their own moral code. It's not a complete solution, but at least its a start.
posted by dlewis at 4:17 PM on November 15, 2001


The causes for this kind of behavior are well-documented. Read this, then this and then watch this film.
posted by Eloquence at 4:39 PM on November 15, 2001


dlewis, i regret to tell you i think they were homeschooled.....

I am so sick of people taking the path of homeschooling just so they can hide their evil.....

people, please don't blame God or the Bible for this sick crap - what more evil twisted pleasure could the devil get than to see his evil personified and then blamed on the Lord?

You do know that in the Bible the one group of people that Jesus had extremely harsh words for were the "religionists" aka Pharisees......evil is no less evil -actually MORE evil when cloaked in religion.

I am no Jehovah Witness (i think they are a cult) but even the JW'S I have known or seen would not countenance this evil!
posted by bunnyfire at 7:39 PM on November 15, 2001


Put this guy in the general prison population and see how long he lasts.

Prisoners have a hierarchy -- and child molesters and child murderers are at the very bottom. They often have to be put in solitary because other prisoners try to kill them on a daily basis.

Let him get a few severe beatings and live in fear for his own life. Much worse punishment than the Big Nap.
posted by shauna at 4:26 AM on November 16, 2001


thanks Eloquence.
I take the unpopular view that society is to blame. Working within the framework we exist in leaves very few alternatives for action. As some have commented; why was this not picked up by the social group in which these people existed?
just as an aside, i find the style of the (top of thread) linked article to be almost pornograpic. possibly this says more about me than i need to reveal at this stage...
but, i have seen similar coverage in the daily sport, a down-market porn-baron's newspaper (read soft-porn, advertising for hardcore and right-wing drivel masquerading as the one page of 'news'), which has a page entitled 'at the courts'. This feature consistently focuses on cases regarding sexual conduct, especially on those cases where the judge concludes (colludes?) that no crime has taken place (she was asking for it, m'lord). These articles are always filled with lurid, and unnesseccary, details of the events. It is hard to explain using my limited vocabulary, but i find the style dwells on details that are not pertinent, whilst not including any details of the case for the prosecution.
This type of coverage is part of the problem in my opinion.
posted by asok at 8:29 AM on November 16, 2001


I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses. This behavior is in no way encouraged or condoned by our religion or it's members. Reading those two articles absolutely sicken me.

One point stands out as incorrect, either as a representation of our beliefs by these criminals or by the media.

The '40 lashes less one' is an ancient jewish tradition, to exceed 40 blows was considered excessive and cause for guilt in case of death of the one recieving the beating (Jewish Mishnah - Makkot 3:12-14, 10; translated by H. Danby.) In no way is this taught or even mentioned as a method of punishment to a child, in fact, the opposite is pointed out as the example of the suffering that Paul went through at the hands of the Jewish people (2 Corinthians 11:22-27)

A recent Watchtower magazine article dealt with this issue (Discipline of Children), in fact it was studied in Jehovah Witness congregations Sunday November 11th, apparantly the very day it happened. "The word 'Discipline' as used in the Bible does not imply any kind of abuse or cruelty. The Greek word for 'discipline' primarily relates to instruction, education, correction and at times, firm but loving chastisement." The article goes on to discuss sections on love, communication with children, reasonableness and family discussion. Nowhere does it advocate beatings, '40 strokes less one' or anything of the sort. (Watchtower October 1, 2001)

Congregation leaders are encouraged to know the people within the congregation, to guide them and know enough to at least prevent this horrid thing. They will not protect such people from the police or child protective services.

I'm not sure what else I can say about this. I'm truly disgusted.
posted by mutagen at 8:07 PM on November 16, 2001


I'm very late to this thread but here goes:
"Larry and Constance Slack, described by neighbors as devoutly religious"
In my cynical world, that reads as 'the neighbours all knew they were crackpots'.

I can't be brought to see that a society establishes the death penalty as a just punishment. It is pest-control. The evil in it is when it becomes a spectacle, or an emotional satisfaction for people.
posted by Catch at 12:59 PM on November 18, 2001


« Older Were you ever a member of AVS, the Adult...   |   Microsoft gets Xbox tunes for a song. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post