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Death Penalty Blues

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Death Penalty Blues

We usually don't write on Fridays, because Tom Pitts says we already write too much and he has a hard enough time keeping up with the blog with four posts a week, so five would really be too much, and we don't want to overwhelm Tom. He's already probably all worked up about reading tomorrow.  And as a final, last-minute plug:

Now as Duane "Who Resides In But Is Not from TX" S. can attest, Candy & Cigarettes does its best to avoid the controversial.  I don't hide the fact that I am a radicalliberalnihilist (in theory), but I also find talking about shit like abortion or politics or the death penalty to be entirely pointless, especially in this forum, whose primary goal is to shamelessly self-promote while entertaining with my boundless wit. Everyone already has their opinions, and I have mine, and I ain't looking to change yours, because you ain't changing mine.  There are crusaders out there fighting the good fight, and God bless them.  I am not one of them.

Still, a couple recent news' stories caught my attention, and after the decidedly light, whimsical fluff and silliness of yesterday's post, I felt like I should at least throw them out there, since they offer such compelling examples of two sides of the same delightfully controversial coin.  And maybe, without hyperbole or incendiary rhetoric, we can open a dialogue that, in some microscopic way, can contribute to examinging humanity's plight, decoding the human condition, and making Tom Pitts nervous by posting more blog.

Yesterday, I learned from six hundred Facebook status updates by my Connecticut friends that the verdict had come down in the Joshua Komisarjevsky trial.  Even if you don't live in CT, you might've heard of this case.  Komisarjevsky, along with Steven Hayes, participated in a particularly gruesome home invasion in CT back in 2007.  

Joshua Komisarjevsky found guilty in Connecticut home invasion case

From Brian Vitagliano and Deborah Feyerick, CNN
October 13, 2011 5:26 p.m. EDT
Joshua Komisarjevsky's was convicted Thursday for his involvement in the 2007 home invastion killings.
New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) -- Joshua Komisarjevsky, the second man to be tried in connection with a deadly 2007 Connecticut home invasion, was found guilty on all counts during the second day of deliberations Thursday in a case that drew worldwide attention and sparked broader discussions about safety in the home.

You can read the whole story here:  I mean, if you want. It's not the most pleasant paper-and-coffee way to start the day.  If you don't know what this/these monster(s) did, it involved burglary, rape, and lighting people on fire.

Leaning left, I don't think there will be any secret about where I stand on the Death Penalty, but I think even Ghandi would have a tough time defending why this douchebag shouldn't die, and die very very slowly and painfully.  There doesn't seem to be any dispute over his (or Hayes's) guilt, and the horror they inflicted on a family deserves the angriest hand from the angriest god.

Not wanting to get all worked up, because I really hate getting affected by this shit, I surfed over to where I am most comfortable, sports and  And I saw this.

Wrongfully convicted Bozella readies for pro boxing debut at 52

Dewey Bozella, 52, will make his professional boxing debut Saturday on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight.

I think you can make the connection, see where I am going with this.  My friend, Laura, actually sent me a link to this story the other day, because as you may know, at 41, I still entertain thoughts of one day getting a professional fight (  Then I read the article.  Which you can find in its entirety here:  And like the Komisarjevsky case, I, found myself incensed all over again. 

I suppose here I have a bit of insider's knowledge, and no I am not talking about the boxing.  Having lived among addicts, lowlifes, criminals--and, yes, minorities--I saw the police do some fucked-up shit.  Whereas I was merely roused and pushed around (and, yeah, I probably deserved it), I encountered firsthand cases where police planted evidence and abused, stole, lied, and did all that rotten shit people do to each other.  I am not talking in the abstract when I say Bozella probably isn't the first man to be set up, framed, falsely imprisoned; and only the most delusional is going to say his race doesn't play just a wee bit of a factor.  The man lost 26 years of his life, and even when prosecutors couldn't defend the ruse anymore and offered him a deal if he'd only admit guilt to the crime he didn't commit, Bozella held strong.  And for that, he got the privilege of a couple more decades of free room and board and all that color TV coddled inmates enjoy at the expense of the taxpayer.  No, Bozella didn't receive the Death Penalty, but it's not much of a stretch to see how he might've and how many more like him do.

And I'm stopping here.  I am not trying to make any grand declaration, and the soapbox is already crowded enough.  I wasn't even planning on fucking writing today.  But I found the juxtaposition and timing of these two stories too uncanny not to.

I'll close with this.  It'd be lovely if we could find a way to execute the monsters like Komisarjevsky, while ensuring men like Bozella don't have nearly a third of their life stolen from them by corrupt officials.  And if you succeed in doing this, please let me know. 


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