Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just a Drunken Stoner?

A man charged with murder for beating his girlfriend's two year old daughter to death told his social network on MySpace that he was misunderstood and that society was to blame. While he was at it, he stated: "It's just a C felony. I can beat this."

After his conviction and sentence to life without parole, he appealed on grounds that the evidence of his character lifted from his MySpace page should have been excluded. The Indiana Supreme Court held that because he testified at trial that his actions were only reckless not intentional, he opened the door for evidence of his character.

The opinion is here. I don't think they'll have MySpace where this guy is going.


David Hutchinson said...

It seems a great many bad acts can be placed at the feet of alcohol. But not this act.

Marie T. Reilly said...

I stumbled on this news item, followed the link through to the opinion and there confronted evil.

I couldn't shake it all day. Still can't.

David Hutchinson said...

When Hannah Arendt wrote of the banality of evil, she had in mind the idea that normal people, quite apart from, for example, psychopaths, can be moved to do great evils as a sort of matter of course. She had specifically in mind the character of Eichmann and other functionaries in the Nazi killing machine.

Arent's 'banality of evil' phrase has been since vulgarized into a concept that calls evil as such banal. But I think that's right. What happened to this girl is unspeakable; why it happened is indeed banal.