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View Diary: Lee Malvo: Human Being or Monster (47 comments)

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  •  I live in Annapolis, MD and I lived through those (4+ / 0-)
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    Villanova Rhodes, Wee Mama, arodb, G2geek

    horrific, nightmarish and terrifying three weeks in October of 2002. I have a large extended family and circle of friends who live in the surburban Maryland and Northern Virginia (extending all the way to Richmond) area. One of the first shootings in Montgomery County occurred directly across the street from my aunt and uncle's house and the shooting of a 13 year old middle school student (who miraculously survived) occurred less than 15 miles from my house and less than a mile from my oldest brother's house.

    I have never seen Lee Malvo as anything other than a human being, John Allen Muhammed took advantage of a young boy's desperation to have a family and over an extended period, brainwashed this poor kid into becoming a monsterous mass murderer all to cover up the murder of his sole intended victim, his ex-wife.

    Now, don't get me wrong, Lee Malvo, although manipulated and coerced by Muhammed, knew what he was doing was wrong. He was rightfully held accontable for his actions. Do I believe that life w/o the possibilty of parole was an appropriate sentence? No, I do not. For several reasons. One, but for John Allen Muhammed, Lee Malvo would never have become a killer. That is a fact that all the psycologists and investigators that worked Malvo for months and years (including the FBI) agree with unequivocally. Two, there is nothing to indicate that he would present a further danger to society. Should he spend 20, 25 years in prison? I wouldn't disagree with that, the difference with Lee Malvo is that he has had extensive psycotherapy since he was apprehended. He first had to be, basically, deprogrammed. That took a very long time. And once he was, he has shown enormous and continued remorse for what he did. He testified honestly and unhesitatingly against Muhammed at both trials (Virginia and Maryland). Luckily, they were apprehended in Maryland, not Virginia. We were able to pretty much  strong arm them into accepting a plea deal for a life sentence and his time was to be served in Maryland, not Virginia. He has continued to recieve extensive counseling since the trials. And all of his counselor's and most of the investigator's involved truly care about him. And feel compassion for him, because the bottom line is that he was a victim of both his mother and John Allen Muhammed too.

    And lastly, I feel compelled to disclose that I am a family member of a murder victim. And the reason I feel compelled to disclose that information is that it gives my analysis of Lee Malvo a bit more weight. I am against the death penalty and in certain cases, I have absolutely no problem with life w/o parole, My cousin's murderer just died of natural causes in prison this past March, almost 34 years after the murder. And life w/o parole for him was appropriate, based on the crime he committed against my cousin and his past record. But not all murders are the same and we must consider mitigating circumstances and the future potential of being a danger to society. It's called the justice system after all, not the vengenance system.  

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by mindara on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:01:48 PM PDT

    •  The pendulum has swung too far... (2+ / 0-)
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      G2geek, mindara

      Most states allow any youth to be tried as an adult, seemingly based on nothing more than public pressure.  I'm in California where I wrote publically against a more punitive bill for sex offenders.

      While it was porportedly to apply to the worst of the worst, the first person tried was a mentally damaged older person who exposed himself to young boys who he thought were his grandsons.

      The judge threw out the case, but it shows the degree of rage and how it grows into crevices we would never imagine.

      Sorry about the loss of your cousin, and glad it has not made you so bitter that you can no longer feel compassion.

      •  Thank you, Arodb...in fact the loss of my cousin (1+ / 0-)
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        arodb

        has made me more compassionate, not less. And my cousin's late mother (she died in 2006) is directly responsible for that. She was what I call my "mother of the soul". We were very close and she fought ferociously to obtain justice for her 12 year old son and once we had obtained that, she fought just as ferociously to change the system to prevent other children from being harmed and to obtain rights for victim's of violent crime. It is due to her efforts along with a group of other parents of murdered children that the state of Maryland was the first state in the country to pass Victim's Rights Legislation. But she was not at all of the mindset that believed in swinging the pendelum to the opposite end of the spectrum that you mentioned. And the most offensive change to the criminal justice system has been the ever increasing move nationwide to prosecute juveniles as adults and impose life sentences w/o possibilty of parole. While there was an absolute need for changes in the juvenile justice system with regard to the most serious and violent crimes, this was not the answer.

        "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by mindara on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:35:10 AM PDT

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