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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The anti-capital punishment crusader

This request for pen pals is from Death Row inmate Spencer Brasure:

http://www.deathrowinmate.org/penpal-classifieds/spencer-brasure-sqsp

His first paragraph:

My name is Spencer, I am a single God-Loving father of one, in my early 40's, writing to you as a co-founder of this very venue, encouraging your participation and membership as we push for reform, aggressively stimulating global opposition to capital punishment while working to dispel societal stigma.


There are plenty of very decent people who are against the death penalty, and some actively campaign toward that end. But for someone who's on Death Row to support the cause seems, well, a little self-serving. Especially since people don't usually end up on Death Row unless they've practiced a little capital punishment themselves.

Also, exactly what "societal stigma" is Brasure trying to dispel? The stigma against the types of crimes which land people on Death Row? Does anybody else believe it would be a good idea to de-stigmatize murder?

There are evidently only two types of people pretentious enough to use "societal" rather than "social": college professors and Death Row inmates.

Not that I would say any of these things to his face. Brasure looks pretty scary in his photographs. He even manages to look threatening while cuddling his daughter, which is a real accomplishment.

At the end of his letter, Brasure writes:

Ponder this: "An eye for an eye, results in a blind society"

Okay, now ponder this excerpt from an LA Times article describing what Brasure did to his kidnap victim before dousing him with gasoline and burning him to death:

"Brasure burned Guest's face with a torch, stapled wood to his head and broke glass in his mouth. He also burned the man with a makeshift electrical device."

We know that Brasure has taken the humane anti-capital punishment position.

One has to wonder if he is now morally opposed to torture as well.

8 comments:

Pete said...

People in prison must be the most religious people on the planet if all these self-descriptions can be taken seriously. I guess people on the outside are all sinners, the good holy ones being on the inside.
The guy uses a kid as a prop, a real nice touch. He seems to think he's the aggrieved party in all this, using phrases like "rising up in the name of justice" and taking up "the stand". His thinking is obviously delusional as he has cast himself as the victim in all this and sees himself as a crusader against the injustice that brought him to where he is. This shows him to be a doubly dangerous individual who should be isolated, even from other convicts. Good thing he's not on the outside walking around somewhere.

John Craig said...

Pete --
Amen. You've just described sociopaths perfectly. They always manage to see themselves as the victims, no matter how guilty they are. They are the ultimate narcissists, twisting everything around to suit their purposes.

As Richard Pryor once said after visiting some "brothers" in jail, thank God for penitentiaries.

Paavo said...

I think religion ( at least the christian variety) has a strong appeal to people who either feel nothing but shame or no shame at all.

Spencer did his crime in 1996. He probably doesn't have the longest time horizon so it is a long time. For crime deterrent purposes a swifter punishment would be a lot more efficient. An immediate electric shock when the impulse hits would be ideal.

John Craig said...

Paavo --
Good point, and the people who feel no shame basically use religion (all religions, in my opinion) to post as the kind of moral people who do feel shame.

Yes, an electric shock would be ideal, with the amperage jacked up if they take action on that impulse.

Anonymous said...

With guys like him, I'm for the death penalty - pure evil.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
He really is.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm Italian, so you might think I should just mind my own business and not care how the US deals with crime punishment. But I will take the opportunity that you offer to give my point of view. I read what this guy did and no doubt he's done dreadful dreadful things. No question about it. Now, it seems to me that a healthy mind could not even conceive of doing such things. No sound mind could ever do what he did. So you agree with me the guy is mentally ill. Shouldn't mentally ill people be put in mental institutions (this guy forever), not death row? I cannot just stop at what he did and not investigate on his past, what's caused him to get to this point of madness and seriosly criminal behaviour. I would like to understand, what causes you to get to this point? What triggers the kind of illness that he has? How can it be prevented in the future? Sorry, just my opinion here.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You don't have to apologize for giving your opinion, that's what we all do here.

Brasure isn't mentally ill in the sense that he's crazy, which is what the "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea implies. Brasure is simply a sociopath: perfectly sane, but evil. There are some people who are simply without conscience, and he's one of them. I write about that pretty extensively on this blog; go to the subject bar at the top of the bar and type in "sociopath alert," and a lot of posts will come up explaining their behavior.