“On Death Row”

I’m currently watching On Death Row on Netflix and find it to be pretty compelling so far.

Werner Herzog On Death Row
Werner Herzog – filmmaker and narrator of “On Death Row”

I’m hoping to do a paper on capital punishment but to sum it up, I’m against it. There are many reasons why including it’s existence for retribution (as it is not an effective deterrent), innocent people being on death row, and the fact that, as a Christian, I cannot accept the Old Testament declaration of “eye for an eye” at a human level. God wants revenge, fine. He can have it. As humans capable of mistakes, I don’t find it’s within my power to declare who should live and who should not. There are other issues and I will cover them later. Take a moment to watch On Death Row and see if it challenges what you know of the death penalty in the United States.

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Man Accused Of Skinning, Baking Pet Cat With Onions « CBS Minnesota

Man Accused Of Skinning, Baking Pet Cat With Onions « CBS Minnesota.

So basically according to this article, a man kills, skins, and roasts his own cat and then was arrested for animal cruelty. I really don’t see how this is going to hold up in court. What’s next? Arresting farmers? How about hunters? I don’t eat cats but others do. Others eat dogs. Others eat horses. The list goes on. Cats are not an endangered species so this charge is weak at best. Also if they try to claim torture because he killed and skinned it, then they need to start arresting factory farmers that mistreat animals their entire lives and give them a torturous death. This is the perfect case for jury nullification if it goes to court. I have yet to introduce that concept on this site and will work on that this weekend.

via Man Accused Of Skinning, Baking Pet Cat With Onions « CBS Minnesota.

Regeneration from 2013 to 2014

Good afternoon to you all! I wanted to take a moment to reflect and consider who I am and what I want to do in this lifetime. Anyone that knows me in person knows I’m a Whovian (Dr. Who fan) and I often find myself cheering his philosophies of peace and nonviolence. I’m no pacifist; however, peace is the only way we can achieve the greatness that humans can potentially be. And peace does NOT come by force. In the episode “The Rings of Akhaten”, there comes a moment where a little girl believes she has to sacrifice herself to save her people and her entire solar system, as it turns out their “god” is actually their sun, a creature that feeds on souls – which are described as memories and stories. The Doctor then relays something very important to the girl, Merry, and it struck a cord with me:

Doctor Who, Rings of Akhaten, quote, speech, monologue
Doctor Who: Rings of Akhaten

He then looks at the creature wanting the sacrifice and says, “Getting rid of that existence isn’t a sacrifice, it is a waste!” Waste indeed. I have been trying to forge my own philosophy, my own tagline if you will. The  more I learn in life as well as in my studies in criminal justice and social sciences the more I know how precious life is. Once it is gone, that is it. This isn’t a statement about whether or not there is a Heaven or Hell or purgatory. This isn’t about that life or if that life exists. This is about THIS life. Irregardless of your beliefs the truth is that while we are here in this form on this earth, we have great potential. Every person has the potential for greatness, but that greatness can so easily slip away.

It has been heartbreaking to learn the truths that I have learned, particularly in regards to the current criminal justice system. The supposed “Land of the Free” has the highest incarceration rate of any other country on this planet and has a sickeningly high recidivism rate. These people have been locked away, a lot of them for nothing truly criminal, nothing Malum in se. It’s about criminalizing personal behaviors, personal choices. So what happens to those that are not violent but are then thrown into an environment where violence may be a valuable survival trait? What happens after they are released? Jail is not a deterrent for prohibited actions. So what are we loosing, not just as a country, but as human beings, when we lock up people that are not violent? We create waste in ourselves when we do this.

From National Geographic's "Lockdown"
From National Geographic’s “Lockdown”

We must reconsider everything. We must try again. We cannot give up. That is why I started this journey into criminal justice. It is a sad waste how things are dealt with right now. But we can change that.

I hope to see 2014 become a time marked with change and with people working towards real peace and real freedom. A time where people can understand that each and every person on this planet has something amazing to contribute to this existence. We must aim to be the peacemakers while we are here and we must put much thought, consideration, and introspection into how to achieve greatness and how to achieve peace. There is hope and it is in within us to gain true enlightenment and move forward in our journeys on this planet and in this time. Imagine what we can do together when we set aside our preconceptions and prejudices!

I see a great and wonderful future. I hope you do as well. Have a wonderful New Year and make it great!

Texas man who lost wife and daughter to rich kid drunk driver fuming over sentence | The Raw Story

Texas man who lost wife and daughter to rich kid drunk driver fuming over sentence | The Raw Story.

This is a situation where justice is very hard to define since there were lives lost. Transformative justice would likely be the best option; however, since the victims and surviving families of those that died have no part in this process, they have been left out and are feeling incomplete. They do not feel that justice has been served and have no way of knowing via first hand interactions if this kid has truly been rehabbed and has learned empathy over entitlement. That being said, there is seriously now a mental condition for being an entitled brat? “Affluenza”? That’s… just… okay, whatever. Sounds more like a strain of influenza but that’s just me I guess.

I pray these families can find peace and hope that the teen will truly be rehabbed and learn the value of all life.

via Texas man who lost wife and daughter to rich kid drunk driver fuming over sentence | The Raw Story.

9 things everyone should know about the drug Molly – CNN.com

9 things everyone should know about the drug Molly – CNN.com.

Synthetic drugs are big news lately. Some call them zombie drugs because the user may have a psychotic break and actually eat living creatures, including humans (I prefer the term Reavers since zombies are dead people and Reavers are not. If you don’t know what Reavers are, get to Netflix and watch Firefly – you will not regret it!). A lot of people are curious about why synthetics are so popular and so dangerous and the answer is actually quite simple: they are cheaper and easier to acquire. Synthetic drugs are the response to the failed Drug War. You want Ecstasy but can\’t get it? Here! Try a Molly! But the dealers won\’t tell you they are not really Ecstasy and are really a bunch of chemicals (mostly from China). Or they do and you don\’t care. Next thing you know you are imprisoned for yanking your girlfriend\’s stomach out of her rear. Not kidding, that really did happen: Dreamin\’ Demon – “Man HIgh on Molly Pulled Pieace of Woman\’s Stomach out of her ass”.

I posted some information and a video about krokodil a while back on my Facebook page. People were asking why people would take something so dangerous. In that case, people that were hooked on heroin suddenly couldn’t get it. Krokodil was the drug that filled that gap. When you have an addiction, prohibition will not stop it. If there is a demand, a supply will be generated. That\’s basic economics right there. Here is the video on krokodil:

Three Hundred Inmates Released Thanks to Chemist Who Faked Evidence

Three Hundred Inmates Released Thanks to Chemist Who Faked Evidence.

I included this case in my research paper on forensics fraud (which will be published here in December after this semester ends). It’s an aberration that she faked evidence to “seem like a good worker”.

Just because science and technology has advanced the potential to prove or disprove someone’s involvement in a crime doesn’t mean it is fraud-proof. It is so very important that we stick to the scientific method when processing evidence. In my forthcoming research paper, I discuss methods that other professionals in the field recommend to make it further fraud resistant such as double blind tests and even an “evidence line up” where the forensic examiner is presented with several items, only one of which is truly evidence from a crime scene. The examiner would then have to test all objects, not knowing which is real evidence, and falsify each item to reveal the evidence.

Brent Turvey has a textbook on forensics fraud and I’m tempted to add it to my library even though it isn’t for any of my classes. He authored my criminal profiling class textbook and I loved it. It’s very different and applies a scientific method, denouncing the organized/disorganized dichotomy that is currently employed in that field.

State Rep. Smashes Homeless Peoples’ Stuff With a Sledgehammer | Alternet

State Rep. Smashes Homeless Peoples\’ Stuff With a Sledgehammer | Alternet.

As one of my fav Clutter Cleaners Matt Paxton has said, “We are all just five decisions away from shitting in a bucket.” No one is immune and Mister-Smash-And-Grab may find himself homeless one day.

I was homeless for a short time in my late teens. I had my car, clothes and my toolbox in the trunk, a loaf of bread and a can of tangerines. A good night’s sleep was something that had become foreign to me, trying to sleep in the car in a bad area of town just outside the property line of an industrial/port business that my ex worked security for. In the daytime, we had to keep moving to not get in trouble for “loitering” but I had to be careful not to use up too much gas. That was after we had hopped from house to house of various family and friends and wearing out our welcomes. It was an awful time in my life and I cannot imagine loosing what I had then. I know that it is entirely possible to end up there again. It was a humbling experience that I turned into a life lesson.

I used to volunteer at a homeless shelter way back when. I really should make time to do so again. I do offer money when I have it and have even taken someone asking for money to get some food when I don’t carry cash. I know a lot of people (I used to be one of them) don’t like giving cash for fear of it going to a vice but I had a change of heart. If they use drugs or alcohol to cope, that is their business. Also, if they cannot get a fix, especially with alcohol, there is always a risk that withdrawal could kill them.

What do YOU do to help homeless people? What are some ways that can help the issue of homelessness?