Pro-Murderer Mindset of The New York Times

A recent 7,900-word New York Times article singularly illustrates the huge gulf between victims of barbaric crime and the zealous rationalizers of their victimizers.  Strongly suggesting that a prisoner's being "sorry" for the premeditated murder of both his parents should be "enough" to free him, the article would likely repulse most survivors of violent crime, including loved ones of murder victims and others who care about them.

Repulse, but not surprise.  Pro-murderer fanatics have long manifested the views and tricks employed by the Times.  (To avoid misunderstanding or misrepresentation, "pro-murderer" is not "pro-murder."  These people do not advocate murder.  However, when murders occur, they provide solace for the clearly guilty, with none for victims.  Indeed, to protect murderers, they aggressively inflict unspeakable additional torture upon victims.)  Having long pretended merely to oppose capital punishment, their real goal is to minimize punishment for murder, period.  The Times punctuates one more time what has always been realized by capital punishment supporters: the "life without parole" alternative is a sham.  Murderer advocates seek to save not only the lives of their idols, but also their freedom.  They already have succeeded in prohibiting punishment for additional murders by select convicted murderers.

The Times' hero here, Gregory Ousley, was never sentenced to death.  But that is not "enough" for champions of his cause.  What follows is not about a commonplace anti-death penalty screed, but opposition to any further incarceration for a still young man indisputably capable of planning and committing multiple murders.

What the Times Can't Ignore  

In arguing Ousley's case, the Times cannot avoid inconvenient facts.  First, although he originally lied about his guilt, signifying consciousness of wrongdoing, he quickly confessed when confronted with his own written words; he can make no false claim of innocence, an oft-used pro-murderer ploy.  Second, although apologists have sought to excuse murderers' deeds by asserting that anyone is capable of murder ("there but for the grace of God go I"), the Times acknowledges that "instances of a child's murdering a parent ... are among the rarest of homicides."  So this is not a case of "everybody does it."  Fourteen-year-olds may be "immature," but they know that murder is wrong.  Again, Ousley knew that what he did was wrong.  Third, having "planned and carried out a crime so unthinkable, ... Ousley is an unlikely representative for sentencing reform."

Translated into honest language, "sentencing reform" means freeing murderers, heedless of the certainty that some of them will commit more murders and other violence.  Undaunted, however, the Times uses Ousley to make the case for its notion of "reform."

A Pro-Murderer Bag of Tricks

Although the tactics of murderers' advocates are well-known to active supporters of what a substantial popular majority deems appropriate punishment for murder, it is important to review, for the many who are not aware, some of the more egregious artifices made use of by the Times -- far from the first time.

First, "humanize" (n357) the perpetrator of monstrous murder.  For example, the lengthy article never refers to the murderer as "Ousley," but instead refers to him throughout as "Greg."  Just an ordinary guy.  A real pal.

Second, avoid sympathy for victims, reserving compassion for the convicted murderer.  Written from the perspective of "Greg," the article tellingly opens by inviting readers to be concerned that the double-murder "has haunted and dictated his life" because "for 19 years, [he] has sought to make sense" of it.  Lest there be any mistaking where his sympathies lie, the writer says that "I wanted to understand how a man who had served 16 years for killing his parents made sense of what he had done and what his life could still be."

It should surprise no one if crime victims and their supporters do not share the desire to "make sense" of murder.  And, as with so much of what murderer apologists say, it is again necessary to translate.  For them, to "make sense" of murder really means to rationalize, justify, and excuse it.   

Third, we should have sympathy for Ousley not only because he has been "haunted," but also because of the poor thing's "isolation": "To say that he has spent his entire adulthood behind bars doesn't begin to capture the isolation he has experienced."  Of course, it is not worth referring to the tormented, lonely isolation of those who have had their loved ones seized from them by the barbaric acts that the Times thinks can "make sense."  Some must live alone after losing a spouse, an only child, or even a whole family.  But here it is more important to stress the murderer's "isolation"!  The Times worries about what a convicted murderer's "life could still be," while showing no interest in what murder victims' lives and the lives of their lonely loved ones could have been but, in fact, can never "still be."         

Fourth, the claim is made that Ousley has been a "model inmate."  Of course, no mention is made of the innocent murder, rape, and assault victims of previously released "model inmates."  The Times proclaims flatly that Ousley "is" sorry.  If the Times were in the truth rather than the propaganda business, it would concede that the most it could say is that Ousley "says" he is sorry.  Violent inmates are often all too eager to accommodate the even more eager gullible; others have paid with their lives.  Of myriad examples, perhaps the Times, were it honest, would examine the Jack Abbott-Norman Mailer and Edgar Smith-William F. Buckley duos.

Fifth, of course, it is very common to demand expressions of remorse as a precondition for forgiveness.  Is Ousley sincere, as the Times would have us believe?  According to the article, Ousley, now 33, has "campaign[ed]" since age 30, for his premature release, which the Times avidly supports.  Alas, sometimes the truth slips out despite the worst of intentions.  Revealingly, Ousley declared: "I'm really confident it's going to happen [although] I have one aunt who might be a problem[.]"  However, Ousley magnanimously understands: "I really don't blame her for opposing my release[.]"  Incredulous victims must wonder exactly whom Ousley is to be absolving of "blame" -- a traumatized person who is "a problem" for him?  Is this a truly contrite prisoner or a self-centered, narcissistic smooth talker arrogantly thinking of himself?

Sixth, in making the case to free Ousley, the Times states that he would present "low risk of future criminality."  Yet again, let's translate this.  "Low risk" is not "no risk."  

One of the oldest demands of so-called death penalty opponents has been for absolute perfection: there must be a guarantee that no innocent person will ever be executed.  But they do not demand a perfect guarantee that released convicted murderers will not murder more law-abiding innocents.  On behalf of convicted murderers, they eagerly put true innocents at risk.  The "low risk" that a particular released convicted murderer will commit additional murder is vastly greater than the risk, under current judicial safeguards, of executing anyone wrongfully convicted.  Moreover, as noted, it is a 100% certainty that some released convicted murderers will murder again -- the Times shows no sign of caring.

Seventh, the Times leaves no doubt about its moral values: "Strong or not, Greg's case is a telling one in the national debate over just what is accomplished by sentencing juveniles to long prison sentences."  What "national debate"?  The public strongly supports severe sentences for severe crimes.  The only debate is in the minds of pro-murderer elitists who have a disproportionately dominant influence in the media and with five justices of the Supreme Court, who have defied the public by imposing their own values on everyone else in this clearly unrepresentative democracy (made more unrepresentative by Chief Justice Roberts' recent assault on self-government).  On June 25, the Court abolished mandatory life sentences for convicted premeditated murderers almost 18 years old, seven years after abolishing the death penalty for them and two years after abolishing life sentences for nearly 18-year-old non-homicide predators. 

Eighth, while lacking any genuine concern for victims, future as well as past, the Times feigns the usual pro-murderer pretense of caring: it is "better for society" to release convicted murderers in their 30s, when they "still [have] the potential of patching together a somewhat-normal life [rather than their] 40s when [their] options will be far more limited[.]"  Better for society to turn convicted murderers loose on society?  The Times omits that younger murderers pose a greater danger.

Finally, the Times demonizes those who disagree with its pro-murderer values, referring to their "thirst for punishment."  Having no such "thirst," the Times has long rejected the obvious connection between incarceration and protection of the innocent against future predations of those with a demonstrated capacity to commit brutality.  Nor does the Times recognize that its rhetoric is really disparagement of justice for victims.


Ultimately, it is a question of values when it comes to whether murderers deserve the kind of compassion showered upon a double-murderer by the Times.  All too often, the elite media and elite judges eagerly identify with brutal murderers at the expense of their long-dead victims and the tormented souls left behind.  It is safe to say that most people would consider it an obscenity to worry that a murderer might be "haunted."  Most people would have no trouble reserving the term "haunted" for murder victims' loved ones and survivors, not to mention the future victims of released individuals capable of the worst depravity.

The 2012 election will determined whether anti-victim values will be entrenched on the Supreme Court for another generation.

Lester Jackson, Ph.D., a former college political science teacher, views mainstream media suppression of the truth as essential to harmful judicial activism.  His recent articles are collected here.

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