Wednesday, December 16, 2009

 

Attitudes towards Murderers


From the December 7 HT (I need to update this to add the newspaper comments, which is what's really the point):

Blade Reed, 14, sentenced to 30 years in home invasion, attack"

Physical and sexual abuse as a toddler followed by emotional trauma, foster care placements and then adoption into a dysfunctional family marked Blade Reed’s first 14 years.

The teen will now spend the next 14 behind bars for his part in a brutal attack against elderly neighbors last year that left 84-year- old Richard “Dude” Voland dead and his wife of almost six decades shot and stabbed. A judge sentenced him today to 30 years in jail, of which he will serve half; he gets credit for nine months spent in jail since his arrest. ...

The Reed brothers rode their bicycles a mile or so to the Volands’ Helmsburg home in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2008, intending to steal beer. The two took along a .25 caliber handgun stolen from another neighbor. They knocked on the door and asked to use the phone. When Bennie Reed pointed his gun at Dude Voland and said “no one needs to get hurt,” the 50-year National Rifle Association member drew his own weapon. Reed tried to knock it from the man’s hand, and a bullet fired from the gun hit him in the arm. The teen then fired back, and a bullet from the stolen gun struck the man in the head.

Bennie Reed then shot Mary Voland in the stomach with her husband’s handgun after she came out of the bedroom and provided medical care to her husband and also to Reed.

As the boys were leaving the house, without beer and wearing bloody clothes, Bennie Reed told his brother to cut the woman’s throat since she had witnessed her husband’s shooting. The then-13-year-old admitted he sawed back and forth on the woman’s neck with a kitchen knife.

This afternoon, he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and robbery resulting in serious injury. ...

During a previous hearing back in November, Brown Circuit Judge Judith Stewart determined that despite an agreement between the prosecutor and defense attorney that Blade Reed should spend the time until his 18th birthday not in prison but at the Indiana School for Boys with other offenders his age, the law does not allow that placement. So Reed will be incarcerated with other youthful violent offenders in a special housing unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Carlisle.

Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver said justice was served. “This plea was justice. He committed an adult crime and he has received adult consequences,” Oliver said in a written statement. “Blade Reed pled guilty to what he agreed with his brother to do that night, which was to commit an armed robbery. He received the maximum disposition for his attack on Mrs. Voland.”

Cited among aggravating circumstances at the sentencing hearing was the recognition that the boys played on Richard Voland’s kindness to gain entry to his home that night. Oliver listed three mitigating circumstances: the boy’s age, that he didn’t intend for anyone to get hurt and his accepting responsibility for his actions....

This is the front line of the Culture Wars. We have Tim Bayly and we have Dawn Johnsen, to name two of our citizens with national (if specialized) reputations. Massachusetts and Idaho are safe territory for each side, but not Bloomington.

A joke:

Two social workers were walking through a rough part of the town in the evening. They heard moans and muted cries for help from a back lane. Upon investigation, they found a semi-conscious man in a pool of blood."Help me-I've been mugged and viciously beaten" he pleaded. The two social workers turned and walked away. One remarked to her colleague:"You know the person that did this really needs help".

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