One way or another, it was going to come back to him...
February 2, 2004 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Dad Kills Known Sex Offender Dad's in-law is caught in a possible compromising situation with 2 year old daughter, and having a history of sex abuse, dad immediately beats the registered sex offender up, and kicks him out. Takes girl to hospital, no penetration. Later on, he decides to gun the man down in the street with 9 bullets. Vigilante justice? Karma? Two wrongs don't make a right?
posted by Keyser Soze (111 comments total)
 
The issue here is
A: Why would they allow him to babysit his daughter? Gross negligence is the only way to explain that action.

B: He didn't penetrate her, but he was purportedly rubbing her genitalia. Rather sick either way; But no grounds to shoot a man. Or is it?
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2004


Or is it?

It is.
posted by majcher at 10:17 PM on February 2, 2004


It is?

Just because it's not your job to enforce the Fifth Amendment doesn't mean we get to piss all over it when emotionally convenient.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:25 PM on February 2, 2004


he should have shot him right off the bat.
posted by MrLint at 10:33 PM on February 2, 2004


Well, PrinceValium, of course its not emotionally convenient. But would you, as a father, care? I dont want to seem ignorant, but I would be proud to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone that sexually abused one of my future children.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:53 PM on February 2, 2004


Um, beat the crapola outa this guy? sure. Kill him? No. Trite as it is, thats what the law is for. Domestically, I prefer to think of this country as being based on the law and a fair trial. Not vigilance. If you read the article, it says the dad THOUGHT the sex-offender had sexually assaulted his daughter, but the police said is was not sexual assault but "inappropriate conduct" which I don't think deems being killed for (a nice sit in prison? Yes). I thought thats what the law was for...Sorting out these kind of things out.
Also, Torres (the daughter's father) has a history of violent criminal acts. What if Torres was wrong and the guy did nothing? Yes, I know the guy did something (as I already mentioned), but the fact it wasn't sexual assault is EXACTLY why killing someone else isn't right. People get caught up in the heat of the moment, facts get mixed up and people take things too far. And people die.
posted by jmd82 at 11:00 PM on February 2, 2004


Can we jail all the surviving adults involved and give the poor kid to a nice married gay couple? Please?
posted by nicwolff at 11:04 PM on February 2, 2004


while i don't know how id react in the situation... my reational mind tells me it would be better for my kid if i was there to help him/her work through the trama, rather than in a cell.

'your daddy killed him' is a small comfort to a child without a father.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:08 PM on February 2, 2004


Hey I just watched an old episode of The Sopranos about this. How timely.

Do what Tony Soprano would do. Yeah.
posted by xmutex at 11:10 PM on February 2, 2004


But yeah, so now the father might spend life behind bars and not see his daughter grow up. Brilliant move.
posted by xmutex at 11:11 PM on February 2, 2004


This guy would have been killed (or worse) in jail anyway, once the other inmates found out why he was there. And they would find out.
posted by CrayDrygu at 11:13 PM on February 2, 2004


One last thought before I go to bed...How do we even know that Torres killed this dude because he did something to her. For all we know, it was Torres who did something to her and this other dude did something to piss Torres off so he knocked the other dude off saying it was because of sexually assaulting his daughter. Dang me and my conspiracy theories and I'm not even a Democrat.
Oh, and A Time to Kill, anyone?
posted by jmd82 at 11:25 PM on February 2, 2004


I'm not sure we're reading the same article here. According to a medical exam, Tunley did not assault his niece. The allegation of "inappropriate conduct" (is that even a crime?) was made by the police commissioner, who did not elaborate. The only detailed description of what Tunley might have done comes from his sister, who says he was basically treating diaper rash when Torres walked in.

Yes, Tunley is a convicted rapist, but his victim was 13 years old, probably pubescent or post-pubescent, and not even close to two. Sex offender != pedophile, but that's what a lot of people think, and Joshua Torres may well be one of them. So when Torres ("who has a history of violent criminal acts") sees Tunley, his sex-offender brother-in-law, touching his daughter's genitals, he goes ballistic. I can understand that, and can even forgive it to some extent, even though it's illegal. He's enraged, he lost control of himself.

But then, after Tunley has left the scene and he has had time to think about it, Torres decides to kill him, and that's where he crosses the line into deliberate murder. Complete with a lynch mob. Which some Mefites, I am sorry to say, would have been happy to join, or at least cheer on as they drove slowly down their street looking for someone to shoot down like a dog, even though no child actually got assaulted. This is why we have trials, people. This is why we have a presumption of innocence. This is why we have a system of justice, instead of half-blind, haphazard vigilante justice carried out by people you probably wouldn't want babysitting your kids either.

on preview: what jmd82 and nicwolff said.
posted by skoosh at 11:26 PM on February 2, 2004


Just because it's not your job to enforce the Fifth Amendment doesn't mean we get to piss all over it when emotionally convenient.

I'm sure fifth amendment flashed through the fathers mind as he killed him.

Piss on it? In this case I'd shit on it too but then I'm just emotional that way.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:33 PM on February 2, 2004


Vigilante justice? Karma? Two wrongs don't make a right?

Crap post.
posted by y2karl at 11:35 PM on February 2, 2004


But would you, as a father, care?

Probably not. But that's why you, as a father, are a piss-poor judge of what's appropriate punishment / treatment for a pedophile. It's one thing to admit that you'd fly off the handle in an emotional, irrational, killing tantrum, but it's something disturbing to me to actually claim ugly animal rage as more virtuous than boring rational sanity. Most decisions are better made by calm reason than pissed-off emotion.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:41 PM on February 2, 2004


Shooting a man for molesting your two-year-old daughter may not be morally, legally, or logically the right thing to do.

Would I, as a responsible gun owner - and witness to pedophilia in the past - do so? Of course not.

Would I say that someone else was absolutely right to do so? Maybe, maybe not.

Would I say that someone who did shoot down the sick bastard like a dog in the street had "grounds" to do so? Hell yeah.
posted by majcher at 11:56 PM on February 2, 2004


I'm sure fifth amendment flashed through the fathers mind as he killed him.

Yes, but it will be there waiting for him at his murder trial. Funny how it works that way.
posted by PrinceValium at 11:59 PM on February 2, 2004


Do you think that criminals should be tried in a court of law? If not, please fuck off to some backward country and beat the shit out of each other please, and evolve for a few hundred years. If you think sex offenders (paedophiles specifically) aren't entitled to live, then lobby for it, preferably without using violence.

It's okay taking the law into your own hands. Hell, if you don't want someone to be convicted of something, just beat the shit out of them and increase their chances of getting off.

...what ROU_Xenophobe said.
posted by boneybaloney at 12:04 AM on February 3, 2004


majcher: And if the guy was wrong about the molestation, and you happened to be the "dog in the street", would you be just as eager to absolve your murderer?

The hysteria we've built up over child molestation has created a seriously dangerous mood in this country, one that's going to end up destroying just as many lives as child molestation itself does. I'm as happy as anyone to see pedophiles get their punishment, but make no mistake about it - the more we excuse vigilante acts like this one, the more likely it is that one of us innocents is going to end up on the wrong end of the witch-hunt. If that's all right with you, then feel free to cheer as the vigilantes go about their business... but chances are you'll change your tune when they come around to you.
posted by vorfeed at 12:30 AM on February 3, 2004


he should have shot him right off the bat.

I would be proud to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone that sexually abused one of my future children.

Would I say that someone who did shoot down the sick bastard like a dog in the street had "grounds" to do so? Hell yeah.

Comments like these are the reason I spend less and less time on Metafilter.
posted by Jairus at 1:34 AM on February 3, 2004


I agree with you there Jairus. Do you guys have any faith in your criminal justice system whatsoever?

Anyway, the guy is guilty of murder, simple as that.
posted by derbs at 1:43 AM on February 3, 2004


I'm not a member of this lynch mob, since I agree with you that this guy is a murderer, not some sort of vigilante folk hero. In fact, I'm alarmed at how ill-informed and itchy-fingered the lynch mob seems to be. The murderer, at least, appears to have simply jumped to a probably-incorrect conclusion in defense of his child.

But....

"...faith in your criminal justice system whatsoever?"

What planet are you from, again? You mean that criminal justice system that lets crooked executives bag billions of dollars with which to cut the deal that allows them to walk, puts a guy away for life for stealing a TV plus an offense of which he is not accused, assigns over a decade of imprisonment to a kid for what amounts to having gay sex, jails a man for a mere 100 days for drunkenly killing someone with his car, and gives every indication of preferring disproportional punishment for small-time offenses over controlling serious violent crime?

I'll admit that this broken system is better than nothing at all -- in the manner of something being better than a poke in the eye with a stick -- but asking for faith in a system so brazenly corrupt, broken, and out of control is a little bit rich, isn't it?
posted by majick at 2:28 AM on February 3, 2004


I'll admit that this broken system is better than nothing at all

Or is it?
posted by internook at 2:36 AM on February 3, 2004


I do have faith in my criminal justice system, then again i'm from the UK...

However just because your system is 'broken', is no excuse for what this man did.
posted by derbs at 2:48 AM on February 3, 2004


I would be proud to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone that sexually abused one of my future children.

I've always wondered why pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins.

And speaking of faith: part of faith in the system includes errors and correction. Just as vigilante justice will have errors, so will a system with roots in measured judgement by peers and qualified appointees. The question is: does our system have the necessary checks and balances to constantly adjust to errors?
posted by Dick Paris at 2:56 AM on February 3, 2004


Metafilter: More addictive than crack.

Or is it?
posted by emelenjr at 2:56 AM on February 3, 2004


No comment other than that diaper rash doesn't develop instantaneously, as Tunley tried to pass it off. It doesn't take a CJ degree to know what the guy was doing. The rest of the story doesn't merit my consideration.
posted by pineapple at 3:09 AM on February 3, 2004


"I would be proud to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone that..."

I can't imagine any conscionable way to end that sentence.

It's sad that there are people who would take pride in murder, even murderous revenge. :-(
posted by monkey-mind at 3:09 AM on February 3, 2004


Cold-blooded murder, no question.

I can't think of any situation where a vigilante mob is preferable to getting the law involved.
posted by salmacis at 3:16 AM on February 3, 2004


Murder is a crime which is morally superior to paedophilia.

Discuss.

</Flamebait>
posted by Blue Stone at 3:25 AM on February 3, 2004


IANA father, but who seriously believes that being one entitles you to kill, for any reason whatever? There are some sick people out there, and some of them happen to frequent MetaFilter.
posted by cbrody at 3:49 AM on February 3, 2004


The Stupid is strong in this thread.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:59 AM on February 3, 2004


so true, so true.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:43 AM on February 3, 2004


So, the father left his two-year-old daughter in charge of a convicted sex offender who was also a habitual drug user and then wonders that things go wrong? Now, if I had walked in on someone assaulting my daughter (as mentioned above, nappy rash does not suddenly appear), I would have probably beat them to a bloody pulp without a qualm and thought about it later. But I wonder if this father had some guilt over leaving his child in an obviously inappropriate situation and took it out on someone else? The father is, in a way, even more guilty as he is the parent in this situation. So many people seem to forget that being a parent means you are responsible for the welfare of your children - something which seems so simple, yet so poorly understood. No mention of where the mother was at the time, I notice.

Everywhere we hear calls for more stringent laws on who can own a gun, you need a license to go fishing or drive a car, but any fuckwit can be a parent - probably the most important and difficult thing a person can undertake.

... faith in your criminal justice system whatsoever?
No. None whatsoever.
posted by dg at 4:50 AM on February 3, 2004


Moral considerations apart, I wonder if any of the wise guys seeing some justification for Torres act have ever taken care of a baby and, in the process of doing so, changed a diaper. Because anyone who has ever changed a diaper knows that you must not only touch, but vigorously spread some cream throughout the baby's genitals both to treat and prevent rash or worse skin problems. The victim's sister consideration is perfectly reasonable.

so now the father might spend life behind bars and not see his daughter grow up

I think the daughter is clearly better off away from a violent criminal (and now a murderer) who probably has never even cared so much as to pay attention to her (or else he would know the difference between molestation and basic hygiene).
posted by nkyad at 5:02 AM on February 3, 2004


I dunno. I know that people taking up arms and becoming judge, jury, and executioner can't be a good thing. But at the same time, people close to me have been victims of these creeps and I sure as hell understand why this guy would do this and I 'd be lying if I said I didn't think he had it coming.
posted by jonmc at 5:15 AM on February 3, 2004


It doesn't take a CJ degree to know what the guy was doing..

No, it takes a jury.
posted by jpoulos at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2004


I prefer to think of this country as being based on the law and a fair trial

Ok. The guy raped a 13 year old and got TWO YEARS in prison. Some justice.
posted by glenwood at 5:49 AM on February 3, 2004


Would I say that someone who did shoot down the sick bastard like a dog in the street had "grounds" to do so? Hell yeah.

Everyone in the country has "grounds" to shoot someone. As long as they understand the police then have "grounds" to arrest you.

Shorter FPP: man commits assault, followed by first-degree murder. There's supposed to be an argument here?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:04 AM on February 3, 2004


Shorter FPP: man commits assault, followed by first-degree murder. There's supposed to be an argument here?

More like second degree murder or maybe even manslaughter. "Extreme Emotional Disturbance" is a mitigating circumstance in homicide cases I believe, and catching some perv fiddling with your child certainly qualifies.

And as far ass the ass-kicking goes, I'd quite franly just let that slide. To expect a man to be calm and reasonable when he catches some guy messing with his child is asking him to be something more than human. I mean, come on, would you be able to show restraint at a moment like that? I don't know too many people who would.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 AM on February 3, 2004


Metafilter: Or is it?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2004


The pervert should have been made to suffer. Killing him was going too easy on him.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2004


More like second degree murder or maybe even manslaughter.

If he had killed him on the spot, it's second-degree or manslaughter. IANAL, but I think going out later with a gun makes it premeditated and first-degree.
posted by jpoulos at 6:25 AM on February 3, 2004


I mean, come on, would you be able to show restraint at a moment like that?

Of course not, but I would expect to go to jail.
posted by jpoulos at 6:26 AM on February 3, 2004


A Vietnam veteran who is a former crack addict does some time for raping a girl. For all we know, his family draws the line there and does their best to make sure he goes straight from there on out. Frankly, people aren't prone to making the best decisions while on crack, and Vietnam vets aren't known for being the most mentally stable.

Now, we've been told that this man was not charged by the police, since there was an adequate explanation. There is nothing in the article to lead us to believe he was doing anything other than treating diaper rash, nor that he was a pedophile. Note that most pedophiles are repeat offenders, while this man was convicted of raping a (possibly post-pubescent) 13 year old.

With this much information, you think it's logical to shoot him down in the streets? We could argue that Tunley had repeated convictions and it's probably that he is prone to further crimes, but from the same evidence, we could argue that Torres is a hothead who regularly attacks people.
posted by mikeh at 6:29 AM on February 3, 2004


Why do you people hate America so much?
posted by jpoulos at 6:33 AM on February 3, 2004


To expect a man to be calm and reasonable when he catches some guy messing with his child is asking him to be something more than human.

He wasn't calm and reasonable - he beat the shit out of the guy, and then let him go. At that point, one would assume that his blood lust had been satisfied, or else why let him go? Why not kill him then? But after letting the guy go, he made the choice to go after him and finish the job. He gathered up a posse and he methodically tracked the guy down. That's not extreme emotional disturbance, that's premeditation. Something tells me there's more to the story than was reported in that article.
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:38 AM on February 3, 2004


jonmc: stopping, waiting, then seeking out a specific person and firing nine bullets into them is first-degree murder.

Despite many's suggestion that this was "acceptable reaction," and from the more monsterous users that feel this "wasn't enough," Daddy's most likely going to have to practice his exceptional fathering from behind a glass wall for the rest of his (and her) life.

So tell me, does the daughter get the best outcome now? Or did a lot of you just stop on the satisfaction that a pedophile is dead?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2004


mikeh: and on the top of that, he was babysitting the baby. He had not kidnapped her or something like that. When the baby wet the diapers, what was he supposed to do, let her crying there until a parent came home? Also, if you ask someone to take care of your baby daughter, I have to presume you trust that person.

Just a minor point: he didn't had to be treating an existing rash - when you change diapers, you should always use a cream or something to prevent diapers. It is "standard procedure" and anyone who has ever changed a diaper should know that.
posted by nkyad at 6:42 AM on February 3, 2004


Sorry, that should read "prevent rashs".
posted by nkyad at 6:43 AM on February 3, 2004


He wasn't calm and reasonable - he beat the shit out of the guy, and then let him go. At that point, one would assume that his blood lust had been satisfied, or else why let him go?

That's basically what I argued: that beating him up was reasonable (or at the very least understandable), but that shooting him crossed the line.

Although first degree murder is stretching it. In New York, first degree is usually charged only in cop killings, torture murders, and murder for hire. And you'd have trouble making that stick, because a lot of the jury would sympatize with Torres.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on February 3, 2004


With this much information, you think it's logical to shoot him down in the streets?

It is, of course, entirely possible that there's more to the story. Pure conjecture, but in that the piece suggests that the assailant was preparing to penetrate the child, what was it exactly that the father saw? And might a father who has treated diaper rash recognize a rather, shall we say, funny way of going about the task?

The fact that this guy hunted down and murdered the assailant is absolutely troubling, and must be punished - though any parent who says the thought wouldn't at least enter their mind is lying.
posted by kgasmart at 6:46 AM on February 3, 2004


Reminds me of Mystic River, to some extent.

"Justice" is only as effective as the system in which it is expressed. Mob Justice may be effective some of the time, for some of the people. The Justice System certainly has a greater probability of being effective because it has safeguards and standards of proof that must be met.

I'm sure most people would prefer to be judged by the latter, even though they may make passionate conclusions based upon the former.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:59 AM on February 3, 2004


the piece suggests that the assailant was preparing to penetrate the child

kgasmart: Just to keep it straight, the article says "it is very likely that he was preparing to assault the child," the commissioner said.. And our only problem now is that the said commissioner's only witness is a murderer with "a history of violent criminal acts".
posted by nkyad at 7:03 AM on February 3, 2004


What an odd thread.

This is so simple it boggles the mind why there is any debate at all. Firstly, Tunley commited no crime. What they have is the statement of a violent criminal who has an explanation for why he and his crimies murdered someone. Sure, Tunley may have been preparing to assault the child (I'd go as far as to say, considering his history, that this is likely) however the only real fact is that the doctors say the child was not assaulted.

Secondly, Torres was a gangbanger who rounded up his crew and gunned down someone. No, I don't know this for a fact but it seems probable -- regular old guys don't usually have four friends willing to participate in a murder. To those who say Tunley got what he had coming, unless you have been in the same position you don't have a fucking clue how you would react. If it was the heat of the moment I could understand, it wouldn't excuse the murder, but it would add some mitigating circumstances and make it a human act. To go get your gun, track down your buddies and search for the guy and then pump nine rounds into him kinda hurts the 'heat of the moment' defense and crosses the line into pre-meditated murder.

The only upside I can see to this is with any luck at all the little girl will have a chance at a decent life now that her rapist brother in law and felonious father are out of the picture. In this case I have no doubt that she is better off with Dad safely tucked away upstate. This applies to all who ask, "Will the child be better off without a father," the answer is, if the father is capable of premeditated murder, yes. The child is better off without a father.

I also wanted to touch on some of the opinions stated about the judicial system. I don't know how to break it to you guys, but it actually works pretty well. What we read about are the incidents when it fails and considering the number of people involved that percentage is not particularly high. As someone who has been on both sides of the wall and currently works inside the system, I can say without fear of error that the vast majority of people incarcerated belong right where they are. In my expierience, bordering on twenty years and spanning jurisdictions ranging from Queens County to Syracuse all the way up to the backwoods, I can count on one hand the number of innocent people I have seen placed in the system.

When the system fails it is almost always due to legislation that ties the hands of those trained (often with an impressive list of acronyms after their names) to enforce the law. The overwhelming majority of law enforcement professionals are dedicated public servants doing a distasteful job to the best of their abilities. The fault lies with civilian policy makers (both beaurocratic and elected) who establish absurd mandatory minimum sentences, paralyzed parole systems where inaction is rewarded and covering your ass beomes policy and archaic criminal codes that disproportionately punish those who pose the least risk to society while rewarding career criminals who understand how to manipulate the system.

Oh yeah, there is the whole gun thing, but that's another rant.
posted by cedar at 7:13 AM on February 3, 2004


In New York, first degree is usually charged only in cop killings, torture murders, and murder for hire.

Where the heck do you get that particular stat? If it's true, it's likely only because most murders are performed in the heat of the moment--not hours later, in cold blood.
posted by jpoulos at 7:23 AM on February 3, 2004


What Jairus said.
posted by tranquileye at 7:34 AM on February 3, 2004


I also wanted to touch on some of the opinions stated about the judicial system. I don't know how to break it to you guys, but it actually works pretty well.

Maybe it works okay in your view. It'seven concievable you are correct - in every system except for family court anyway. Family court is COMPLETELY broken the world 'round.

But the best quote I heard recently to describe how our judicial system is working is: "Tommy Chong is in jail for selling a pipe on the internet while Kenneth Lay walks around free." 'Nuff said.

With respect to the article, though, cedar, you were right on. No crime was committed. The lynch mob took over.
posted by hurkle at 7:45 AM on February 3, 2004


i find it stunning that the fear-filled, sexually aghast, one-stop-justice crew here make no distinction between a toddler and a 13 year old, and think nobody else, including child molesters, do either. i don't like you people. at all. know why? because you're dumbasses.
posted by quonsar at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2004


What cedar said.

Some basic common sense:
1. If you have a kid, don't let a sex offender baby sit.
2. If you're a sex offender, don't volunteer to baby sit.

The facts are unknown here. There was some inappropriate behavior, or there was some diaper changing,
and if there hadn't been a murder, the kid would not
have been emotionally scarred in any way, most likely.
Now she gets to be reminded for the rest of her life that
she is in a family of creeps. Thanks, Dad! She probably
would have figured it out eventually, though. Someone revoke the parenting license in this case.
posted by Slagman at 8:06 AM on February 3, 2004


But at least she's sure better off in this extended family of murderers, pedophiles and out 'n' out lunatics than she'd be with a coupla icky icky ikcy homoseckshuls, huh?! Wouldn't want them preverts getting their manicured fingers on a real live baby, now would ya?
posted by JollyWanker at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2004


The only real fact is that the doctors say the child was not assaulted.

I didn't realize inappropriate sexual activity, or for that matter sexual assault, was limited to penetration with a penis. Silly me.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:27 AM on February 3, 2004


"I didn't realize inappropriate sexual activity, or for that matter sexual assault, was limited to penetration with a penis."

All saw was, 'inappropriate conduct'. Hell, that could be just about anything. Unless we're reading different stories I don't see any corroboration that anything of a sexual nature occured.

"Silly me."

Yes, you are. On the other hand, when have silly little details like facts or evidence ever slowed a mob? Maybe I'm the silly one, you know, doubting the word of a violent armed criminal about why he shot someone nine times.
posted by cedar at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2004


Watch it America, you’re sailing dangerously close to the winds before which the UK is currently running.

Trust me, you do not want to fan the flames of a society which lives in unthinking, paranoid fear of child sex crime.
posted by dmt at 9:14 AM on February 3, 2004


Cedar, get a grip. I didn't say anything sexual happened, or that the father should have shot the guy, or anything else about the case at hand. You said there was no assault as long as there was no evidence of penetration, therefore all is well. That's a giant leap and I called you on it.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:29 AM on February 3, 2004


To label another person stupid only because their opinion differs is rather contradictory.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:38 AM on February 3, 2004


When the system fails it is almost always due to legislation that ties the hands of those trained (often with an impressive list of acronyms after their names) to enforce the law. The overwhelming majority of law enforcement professionals are dedicated public servants doing a distasteful job to the best of their abilities.

Very well put, in my opinion. For an example, ask a cop what they think about arresting middle-aged parents for small amounts of marijuana, and then ask a Senator the same question. The problem isn't the system so much as what is asked to do.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:41 AM on February 3, 2004


Hildegarde: "You said there was no assault as long as there was no evidence of penetration, therefore all is well. That's a giant leap and I called you on it."

That is explicitly what I did not say. What I said was, "Sure, Tunley may have been preparing to assault the child (I'd go as far as to say, considering his history, that this is likely) however the only real fact is that the doctors say the child was not assaulted." That's not exactly the same thing as saying there was no assault. Considering I wasn't there and never got around to obtaining a medical degree I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with the doctors statement.

As far as penetration goes, the story reads "While a medical exam revealed the girl hadn't been sexually assaulted," that covers a somewhat wider range than penetration.

Anything else is pure supposition. Unfortunately, there won't be any clarification since the only guy who knows for sure ain't talking and the only witness has about as much credibility as the Weekly World News or your notion that you can 'call me' on something I never said.
posted by cedar at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2004


As an afterthought: When i said I would proudly kill someone if they raped one of my future children, I meant it that I personaly witnessed them physically penetrating that child. To walk in and see someone rubbing genitalia would result in a very severe beating and police enforcement.

The law has strict and understandable ways to deal with child molestation, and when you side with the law on matters like these, you always win. (say that about marijuana criminalization, ha.)

In regards to the offenders prior convictions: As far as we mefites know he has not been jailed for more than sex with a minor. The murderer has been jailed multiple times for violent acts. The proverbial term "eye for an eye" does not work here; The act was taken from understandable (beating him up) to overdone and wrong (murder).
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:07 AM on February 3, 2004


(puts on 1L hat)

First-degree murder is statutory terminology. It does not mean the same thing in every state. Many states have only one "degree" of murder. What is considered first-degree murder in New York, for example, is called "capital felony" in Connecticut. The more serious charge, which carries the death penalty, is based only on attendant circumstances and not the degree of intent or malice in the act. So if you happen to kill a police officer, two or more people at the same time, or a child, you get upgraded to this "capital felony." But you could be Hitler and Charles Manson rolled into one, the incarnation of pure evil, and not get this capital felony charge if you merely kill one civilian adult in the course of your violent rampage.

Homicide without purpose or intent is manslaughter, but in the common law is sometimes referred to as "reckless murder" which makes things all the more confusing. Most manslaughter crimes are committed unintentionally, but nonetheless in "extreme indifference of human life." Picture a guy playing catch with his friend using a submachine gun in a shopping mall. Again, you would need to refer to the statutes of the particular state to get the terminology right.

As jonmc said, extreme emotional disturbance can reduce murder to manslaughter because the lack of mental stability or "clear-headedness" negates pure criminal intent. There is caselaw in several jurisdictions that supports the view that extreme emotional disturbance can last hours, days, or more. Even the most "cold-blooded" homicides are not slam dunk murder convictions. Thus while the fact that the defendant beat up the victim, then came back later on to finish him off certainly hurts his case, it does not preclude an EED defense. Indeed, defense attorneys will plead EED on all homicides where the person who pulled the trigger is not in dispute. The theory is that anyone who commits intentional homicide is pretty messed up to begin with.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:23 AM on February 3, 2004


Do you guys have any faith in your criminal justice system whatsoever?

I have no faith whatsoever in the criminal justice system as it currently stands, and yet I still would like to see all vigilante thugs put in prison. There's a reason for the precept "innocent till proven guilty" despite those (like Mr. Bush) who would dispense with it for a quicker, more blood-lust-satisfying "justice."
posted by rushmc at 10:35 AM on February 3, 2004


But at least she's sure better off in this extended family of murderers, pedophiles and out 'n' out lunatics than she'd be with a coupla icky icky ikcy homoseckshuls, huh?! Wouldn't want them preverts getting their manicured fingers on a real live baby, now would ya?

Because EVERYONE knows that homosexuals NEVER, EVER commit acts of domestic violence or NEVER, EVER become sex offenders, right? It's only heterosexuals who have those problems, right?

Give me a break. Just because you're a homo doesn't mean you'll be a better or worse parent and it doesn't mean you won't be a pedophile either. Geez. All it means is that you'll never be able to make babies with your partner without outside assistance of some sort. Anything else you're implying is utterly foolish.
posted by hurkle at 11:31 AM on February 3, 2004


hurkle: the only way to make it more obvious would be to have the text in bold, red, 20 point letters. And yet you went for it.

As tradition mandates, YHBT.YHL.HAND.
posted by nkyad at 11:35 AM on February 3, 2004


Boondock Saints anyone?
posted by banished at 11:53 AM on February 3, 2004


To label another person stupid only because their opinion differs is rather contradictory.

Doesn't that rather depend on the opinion being held?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:00 PM on February 3, 2004


Murder is a crime which is morally superior to paedophilia.
Discuss. (Flamebait)

(Bait taken)
Agreed. Why murder is a capital crime and paedophilia is not is positively mind boggling. Can any of you legal types explain how capital crimes are determined?

That said, I still can't support vigilantism. No, I don't have much faith in the CJ system either, but it's still the best we got.
posted by badstone at 12:13 PM on February 3, 2004


The proverbial term "eye for an eye" does not work here
Huh?!, it does work here showing the father was wrong. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth": molestation does not equal murder.

This article trolls big time with this tale. As the author sides with the father, telling you the murdered man's past and then what may have happened which leads you to believe it was fact. Notice the article is ironic in its conclusion which is like the murdered man's life. At the end do we know evidential truth that the disease may have been innocent. Since he was touching the child because of a diaper rash which was also collaborated by the child's aunt. Wait, how would she know as she's not the mom but the man's sister whom he called and gave his alibi too. But why does the author tell this part of the story at it's ending where many readers fail reading? Beause the murderer, the author and some readers share similarities: jumping to conclusions with out full evidencial facts.

So the only thing I would argue here is how poorly this article paints the truth(s). Then how or why it may be degrading our judicial system. Impaired evidence being spread as facts and stories not being told accurately or read fully.

When reading the comments you can tell the article was slopped together. Look at the babysitting part. The murdered man, was sitting for his sister not the child's father and makes you assumes the sister is the child's mother. Why some have commented about the father being a poor parent. Yet, it was the mother whom left the child in his care. Point out, late at night.
Also knowing this, may have added reasons why the father was upset with the man he murdered when he found his child in his care.

He and four other people drove to Tunley's sister, Leandra DeGree, who told them her brother, a recovering crack addict, often bought drugs on Riverdale Avenue.
Where did drugs come into play here? If anything the father's rage showed he may have been on something, yet there were no charges regarding that. Also, Tunley's sister mentioned above, is she the same sister at the article's introduction? Or, is that another sister whom is maybe the child's mother, or another aunt?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:21 PM on February 3, 2004


hurkle, you are a humorless little twit and, more than likely considering that deficiency, a closet homoseckshul.
posted by JollyWanker at 12:47 PM on February 3, 2004


badstone: I believe the relevant decision is Coker v. Georgia. Brief summary here.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2004


not a jury in the country that would convict him of murder one. He'll plead out on manslaughter and spend a few years in the pen. He'll be home by the time his daughter starts first grade.
posted by pejamo at 1:31 PM on February 3, 2004


I'm not sure what the confusion here is.

Is it wrong to shoot someone who is not directly about to bring lethal harm upon you or a loved one? Absolutely.

Should proper legal channels - tragically flawed as they may be - be used to bring a suspected pedophile to justice? Of course.

Is it at all understandable that a father (even a "gang banger" of whatever ill repute) might want to put some holes in a guy that he caught fingering his infant daughter? It sure is.

I'm not saying that he was right to do so, but I am saying that I'm finding it really hard to believe that any non-sociopathic human would not have a flash of "kill the fucker" go through their mind when presented with such a scenario.

(For the record, I think that murder is a much worse crime than any sexual assualt - molestation just screws up someone's life; killing ends it.)
posted by majcher at 1:43 PM on February 3, 2004


pejamo: " not a jury in the country that would convict him of murder one."

That's not the way it works in NY. He will be charged with whatever the DA's office chooses to charge him with -- the jury will have a yes or no decision to make.

As far as copping a plea goes, it's a near certainty. However, with the lack of mitigating circumstances it'll be more along the lines of murder two. The sentence can vary a great deal and will be in a large part based upon the pre-sentencing report which in this case is going to be pretty bad -- he'll do (as a minimum) the better part of a decade and depending on his history possibly much longer.

As far as a jury goes, providing the case goes that far (unlikely) you may be surprised. The victims prior history is likely inadmissable and this business of beating him up and then hunting him down to kill him isn't going to go over well. His peers in Yonkers are tired of violence and gunplay, he's not going to make a great impression and his priors will be brought into play. You cannot assume a jury is in this guys best interests and his attorney is going to fight tooth and nail to see that it never gets that far.
posted by cedar at 1:48 PM on February 3, 2004


I'm not saying that he was right to do so, but I am saying that I'm finding it really hard to believe that any non-sociopathic human would not have a flash of "kill the fucker" go through their mind when presented with such a scenario.

Please point to the comment where someone in this thread says they wouldn't get medieval on this guy. The question isn't whether it's natural to want to kill someone who molested one's child. The question is whether such a person should be cheered for doing so. It's the whole death-penalty straw man all over again. Of course I'd want to kill the guy who hurt my child. I might even do so. But I would also expect to go to jail like any other killer.
posted by jpoulos at 1:53 PM on February 3, 2004


At the end do we know evidential truth that the disease may have been innocent. Must have f'd it in spell check, wanted deceased.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:01 PM on February 3, 2004


The question isn't whether it's natural to want to kill someone who molested one's child.

Sure, but we don't even know that this is what happened, from what we know at this point, it sounds like the father assumed that this was what happened (after so sensibly and responsibly leaving his kid in the care of someone he clearly didn't trust) and took things from there. I'm finding it pretty amazing how so many people in this thread are jumping to conclusions - the kid must have been molested in the first place, the guy was convicted of assaulting a 13 year old therefore he must also lust after babies, there couldn't possibly be any explanation for why he was touching the kid's genitals (like putting anti-rash cream on before finishing a diaper change). People are oh so understanding of the murderer in this case, and oh so condemning of his victim, it's creepy.
posted by biscotti at 2:18 PM on February 3, 2004


cedar - not trying to get too lawyerly, or I'll get nailed for practicing without a license - but - You say the victim's prior record would be inadmissible, but doesn't that prior record have an impact on the defendant's state of mind during the crime? Doesn't that make it relevant? That's the argument I'd make. Also, if I were the DA, I would want to keep this thing out of the courtroom, and not put it to a jury. It would be just too hard predict what a jury would do with this case. Knowing that, a good defense counsel would have some traction in going for a manslaughter plea.
posted by pejamo at 2:39 PM on February 3, 2004


pejamo: Both good points, but it seems to me that (and this is entirely anecdotal) in most cases the victims past is somewhat sancrosant in the sense nobody wants to give the impression of putting a victim on trial. In terms of it contributing to the defendants state of mind although perfectly logical it would have to be established that he had prior knowledge of the victims history, in which case the whole "... why'd they leave the kid with him in the first place?" can of worms is opened.

Manslaughter would have worked fine if he had done it right away, it's not going fly hours later after rounding up his buddies.

But like you say, who the hell knows. It'll be interesting to see how they handle this. I haven't noticed anything in the national media but this has the potential to make (or break) a few careers. Gonna be some good Court TV, providing they catch the guy and he doesn't pull a suicide by cop and deprive us of our misery based entertainment.
posted by cedar at 2:53 PM on February 3, 2004


I am saying that I'm finding it really hard to believe that any non-sociopathic human would not have a flash of "kill the fucker" go through their mind when presented with such a scenario.

Interesting...in your world, murderous impulses are a sign of sanity and a commitment to law and order a sign of sociopathology?
posted by rushmc at 3:01 PM on February 3, 2004


in your world, murderous impulses are a sign of sanity and a commitment to law and order a sign of sociopathology?

Have I fallen into some bizarro universe where people put lithium on their breakfast cereal every day? Are you some kind of robot, or are you just trolling me to see if you can activate one of those murderous impulses?

Which one of my statements lead you to believe that I think that a commitment to law and order is a sign of sociopathy? When I said it was wrong to shoot someone who wasn't about to kill you? When I said that proper legal procedures should be used when dealing with pedophiles?

Normal, sane people have various kinds of automatic, emotional impulses to extreme situations. We're monkeys made of meat, and that's just how it works. Unless you are mentally ill, or perhaps highly trained in some legendary badass Zen warrior way, you will experience violent, maybe even murderous impulses when someone does something terrible to a loved one. I'm not saying it's okay to act on those impulses, I'm just saying that they exist, and that you're pretty broken in some fundamental way if you don't get that.

As for the "cheering on", well, it's a lot easier to call for someone (who may or may not be guilty) to get strung up, when you're not the one going to jail...
posted by majcher at 4:06 PM on February 3, 2004


when you side with the law on matters like these, you always win.

stunning naivete.
posted by quonsar at 4:07 PM on February 3, 2004


Interesting talking point, even if we have little background info on what really happened ; fine details would help here.

There are a few striking points :

For instace, how in the hell did the "family" decide to leave their kid to an unknow person (woman or man doesn't matter) without _at least_ a background-check and I mean a criminal records one. I'd rather babysit myself then give my kid to a stranger who may do exactly everything (including, but not necessarily assaulting) with the kid.

Also, let's assume that there was enough evidence to declare him an assaulter (sexual or not sexual, assault is use of physical violence which makes the assaulter a danger for societies that condemn violence). What criteria were used to decide he was no longer violent, who decided that ? But most importantly, what criteria are used ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:17 PM on February 3, 2004


thanks mr_roboto!

From the summary:
Because rape did not involve the taking of another human life, the Court found the death penalty excessive "in its severity and revocability."

So, the court's ruling was that since murder is a capital crime, and rape is not murder, rape therefore can't be a capital crime. I thought you had to know a little bit of simple logic to study law? Anyway, I still consider rape - and pedophelia in particular, the above is actually an adut case - to be the worst crime a human can inflict on another human, but that's just me.
posted by badstone at 4:55 PM on February 3, 2004


elpapacito: "For instace, how in the hell did the "family" decide to leave their kid to an unknow person (woman or man doesn't matter) without _at least_ a background-check and I mean a criminal records one."

Uh, have you read the thread or the linked article? How many people do background checks on relatives?

"What criteria were used to decide he was no longer violent, who decided that?"

Who, what, when?
posted by cedar at 5:06 PM on February 3, 2004


I'm not saying it's okay to act on those impulses, I'm just saying that they exist, and that you're pretty broken in some fundamental way if you don't get that.

Yeah, that's the part I'm disputing.
posted by rushmc at 5:32 PM on February 3, 2004


Anyway, I still consider rape...to be the worst crime a human can inflict on another human, but that's just me.

Well, technically, it's not just you, as there are many who would agree. But you are all mistaken.
posted by rushmc at 5:34 PM on February 3, 2004


I don't know if anybody else picked up on this, but....nine rounds expended for one lousy baby-raper? Jeez, doesn't anybody teach basic marksmanship anymore? Bullets are expensive; I wouldn't want to use more than one on swine like that.
posted by alumshubby at 6:17 PM on February 3, 2004


Just a minor point: he didn't had to be treating an existing rash - when you change diapers, you should always use a cream or something to prevent diapers. It is "standard procedure" and anyone who has ever changed a diaper should know that.

Just a minor quibble with your minor point: I changed most of my daughter's diapers, and we only used diaper rash cream when an actual rash was evident (quite rarely). Yes, I am aware that some people use such creams every single time, rash or no. I would just like to make you aware that there are competent diaper-changers who do not follow that philosophy.
posted by beth at 7:05 PM on February 3, 2004


I gotta back beth up on this one. We also only use such things when there is an active irritation present.

[/striking one more blow against what "everyone knows"]
posted by Irontom at 7:12 PM on February 3, 2004


The user named 'keyser soze' says: "As an afterthought: When i said I would proudly kill someone if they raped one of my future children, I meant it that I personaly witnessed them physically penetrating that child. To walk in and see someone rubbing genitalia would result in a very severe beating and police enforcement."

I repeat my previous statement: I can't imagine any conscionable way to end the sentence "I would be proud to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone that..."

Setting up a personal heirarchy of offenses in no way justifies vigilantism, and it certainly doesn't justify pride in that vigilante murder.
posted by monkey-mind at 7:15 PM on February 3, 2004


I respect your opinion monkey-mind, and you sharing it is what makes mefi so great.

I wrote that post at work. Allow me to reiterate to Quonsar:

when you side with the law on matters like these, you always win.

That quote is quite incorrect, as I now notice. When I say "you always win", I was viewing it in regards to this specific situation. If the murderer called the cops instead, he wouldnt be spending quality time away from his daughter in jail. You win, heres the coke.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:28 PM on February 3, 2004


We may be monkeys, but it is not a given that our thoughts first turn to murder in response to an assault or a violation.

But looking at the world today, it would seem that a lot of people are closer to the monkey view of things than the civilized one. I will take my chances in a court of law, with lawyers, rules and a reasonable cooling off period. Mobs and monkeys do not make partiicularly rational decisions. It would not make me less of a man to not have the immediate violent emotion in this situation. It would make me more of a man -- and less of a monkey -- to accept this evil among all the evils.

As your spiritual doctor, I prescribe 20 minutes of sitting meditation a day for any monkey minds in this thread. Calm yourselves. Learn a new path. Rewire your monkey brains.

p.s. Speaking as a survivor of child sexual abuse, with the perpetrator still out there living happily ever after, I can assure you: It's awful at the time but it is not the worst thing that can happen to you and one gets on with life. Should you find yourself being beaten, raped, abused, you can be sure that the paramount thought, hope, wish in your mind will be: "I can survive this, just don't kill me. Please don't kill me." For that is what matters.

And as for this case, even a complete scumbag should be allowed to argue for his life, not be shot like a dog in the street without due process of law. Or why have laws after all?
posted by Slagman at 9:49 PM on February 3, 2004


Well, I'm glad we're all so enlightened, sitting safely behind out computer screens. Let's have a big group hug.

And, after the "just don't kill me, just don't kill me", after the danger is past, comes the "I wish you were dead, so that you can never do this to anyone else again". But he didn't die, and he did it again to someone else, and again to someone else, and as far as I know, is still doing it to this day.
posted by majcher at 10:28 PM on February 3, 2004


beth and Irontom: Sorry, I think I was unclear (and, in an effort of memory 13 years after the last time I did it, plain wrong). Forget the "anti-rash cream" bit. I meant to say you can't change diapers without touching the genitals of the baby - be it to spread cream or just to clean him/her (with a piece of wet cotton or something). You don't just take a dirty diaper out and put in a clean one, because this will certainly cause the rashes.
posted by nkyad at 7:02 AM on February 4, 2004



and he did it again to someone else, and again to someone else, and as far as I know, is still doing it to this day.

No -- not in this case, though I'll skip the details.

In any event, the point stands. Monkeys spend a lot of their time masturbating in public and having what we would consider inappropriate sex, so I suppose that's a good idea for people too? Nonsense. Choose civilization.
posted by Slagman at 7:10 AM on February 4, 2004


specifically to majcher -- for many of us, a violent fantasy or impulse is not automatic in a case like this, anymore than we drop our drawers when we see some who is physically attractive. It is true that our culture encourages and glorifies these impulses in the movies or such, but it's mostly a learned response. You can unlearn it, and probably should.
We've probably been slandering monkeys. I bet they are violent in immediate self-defense, but would be surprised if they ever dish out revenge hours later in cold blood. There's nothing "natural" about the kind of violence you claim to "understand" (without advocating, of course -- never that.)
posted by Slagman at 7:20 AM on February 4, 2004


Thanks for the whiff of sanity in an otherwise disturbing thread, Slagman.
posted by rushmc at 8:44 AM on February 4, 2004


No -- not in this case

Actually, I wasn't talking about your case.

You seem to be firmly determined to misunderstand me, so I guess we'll just leave it there. Impulse does not equal action.

There's just no talking to some people.
posted by majcher at 8:55 AM on February 4, 2004


You seem to be firmly determined to misunderstand me.

Actually, I think he pretty much 0wnz0r3d you.
posted by jpoulos at 2:52 PM on February 4, 2004


Actually, I think he pretty much 0wnz0r3d you.

Actually, I think he - and you - pretty much ignored what I said. But I'm guessing that no amount of banging away here is going to make anyone think otherwise, so.
posted by majcher at 4:33 PM on February 4, 2004


majcher

Even if you weren't referring to my example, I felt the need to clarify that point with reference to what I wrote. As for "impulse does not equal action" -- I get what you are saying, but I and others in this thread have rejected the idea that this kind of impulse is universal or natural (whether one acts or not). I am sure quite a few in our society have murderous impulses when attacked or threatened, but not everyone does. In other words, we got your point, but you obtusely refuse to address ours.
posted by Slagman at 5:34 PM on February 4, 2004


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