I guess it is a stretch to tie this blog in with farming. I can only say that in my conversations with farmers and my non farming relatives in the UK, I found one of the many things we have in common is our problems with crime. I have blogged earlier about our "trial of the century" here in my home county. Of the 1000 potential jurors who reported a week ago, I am now told they have a pool of nearly 30, they need 45 before narrowing it to 12. The mother of the suspect is now in jail herself for threatening potential jurors. Apparently he is not denying that he shot our Sheriff, his defense is he was high on meth and did not know what he was doing, therefore it cannot have been premeditated so he should not be executed. For many others this question would be academic, but in a situation where almost all of us know either the victim or the shooter, and many of us know both, it is now a little harder to answer the question of when do you become not responsible for you own actions? On one hand, the young man accused did indeed live a troubled home life. I don't know that he ever had any contact with his real father, his extended family had numerous brushes with the law. He was in trouble from an early age. On the other hand, numerous people did try very hard to help him get on the right path in life, including the man he shot to death. For my part, I guess that in my heart I believe that when you make the decision to use something that impairs your judgement, you need to be willing to accept the consequences of what you do while impaired.
Each morning after my wife is done with the computer I have a pretty steady routine, I check the weather, my email, the Fox news site for American news, the BBC for your news, and FWi. This morning several things caught my eye tied into this. One is a week old deal where the EU wanted a common statement on the death penalty(against it) but Poland held out. The Europeans commonly criticize the USA for capital punishment, saying it is cruel and unusual punishment. The next story that caught my eye on the Fox site was that a Florida man had been sentenced to death for beating a girl and her mother and then leaving them for alligators to eat. The third involved a story that surfaced a week or 10 days ago about a man who brutally raped a 3 year old girl and video taped it. The tape was "discovered" and turned over to police. The police went all out to find the girl, which they did successfully, and the focus had been on finding the rapist, which they now have. I believe with all my heart this man should be executed. Not as a deterent, but because anyone who would rape a 3 year old girl does not deserve to live. I think most of my countrymen agree with me, and we are very offended when Europe tries to paint us in the same picture with China and Iran who also use the death penalty, sometimes for the same reasons we do but often for very different reasons. While I admit that in some cases where the death penalty is asked for perhaps it is not warranted, and I actually am not certain in our local case I could vote for it if I was on the jury, in the latter 2 cases I mention I cannot imagine how a rational person could argue against putting those two men to death, and think the EU shows remarkable arrogance in criticizing our nation for doing so.