Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Now It's Deadly?


All during the eighties in this country, HIV/AIDS wasn't even mentioned by the heartless bastard in the White House at the time (Reagan). Now they're putting someone to death for possibly infecting people with it.

Death Penalty For Soliciting A Minor
I know some of you (especially the folks that have children) might think that soliciting a fifteen year old for sex is worthy of the death penalty.

A man in Texas, who is infected with HIV, was brought to trial for soliciting sex with a 15 year old boy. As part of the case, the prosecution showed hours of videotape, that the accused had filmed, of unprotected sex with other guys. He had also been previously convicted of two other felonies, and the jury used the three-strikes rule to give him the death penalty.

Don't get me wrong, I think having unprotected sex when you're HIV positive is awful. I think soliciting a fifteen year old for sex is awful. And both of them are worthy of legal punishments.

But it seems the penalty imposed is clearly one of discrimination because the man was gay.

If the man had been convicted of attempted murder for knowingly exposing others to HIV, I might have understood the penalty. I honestly can't understand how the videotapes were relevant to the case of soliciting a minor for sex. If he had actually had sex with the minor, it would have been worse, but not necessarily worth the death penalty. If it had been a woman who had solicited the boy, she might have been given the "Mrs. Robinson Award" for her efforts, instead of jail or the death penalty.

I can only think the jury and the court where the man was tried, had a visceral reaction to the man for being gay, being a "predator" and having HIV. I'm sure they were also quite pissed that he was potentially infecting sex partners without revealing his HIV status.

I know all these issues are distasteful, but I want to be clear that I'm not defending what the man did. I do think he should be punished. But I also think he should have a trial that tries him for his crimes, as opposed to his morals.

If we put people to death for their morals, the pharmaceutical firms would have a lot of employees and CEO's on death row for much of the same things this man was sentenced for.

Current Knitting
I was able to get some more work done on the colorblock cardigan sleeve.



You can see I have less than two rows of blocks left, and the knitting part of this sweater will be complete (except for the button band and collar).

New Vogue Knitting
The Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting is out on stands.


I'm assuming this is their regular reminder issue to have women do breast cance self examinations. I'm surprised it didn't have a pink colored theme.

Well, even if inadvertant, please take this as your reminder to do a breast-cancer self-examination. You know it's important.

Overall, this issue is not too bad. It seems that this is a continuation of the VK trend of getting back to a fashion knitting magazine, and trying things that may not be trendy or liked by all, but have a certain fashion flair.

I loved the section on lace ("Eyelet Candy"), and many of the garments in that section.

There is an absolutely garish design for a baby/child by Annie Modesitt. It's an Elvis-like pantsuit in off-white, with so much embroidered "embellishment", that a matador would feel silly wearing it. Overall, however, I'd consider it one of the only Spring/Summer issues that I've purchased in a while that I'm glad to have bought.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding morels (not morals), Angie asks, "I am wondering if you dry these and if so it increases the flovour?"

Many experts will tell you that a dried morel is more flavorful (flavourful?) than a fresh one. I don't agree. I think they both have about the same density of taste. Typically, Thaddeus will dry morels if he has enough to store, otherwise, we'll just eat them fresh.

Marilyn writes, "If you guys were up in Andover, I'll bitch-slap ya for not stopping by to say hello. I'm not all that far from your morel-hunting fields, ya know. Sure, morel hunting was just an excuse to go to Hotdog Johnny's, wasn't it?"

Actually, we were up in your neck of the woods, but I wouldn't be caught dead dropping in on someone in our mushroom-foraging clothes. As for Hot Dog Johnny's, we stopped there both last weekend and this weekend. Given the number of mushrooms we found, it was, in fact, just an excuse.

14 comments:

Cynthia said...

The death penalty is just wrong. It is solving problems using violence. That is not something I want to be part of.

Texas is a horrific place. They regularly murder in the name of the law. Brutal murders and hate crimes (race, gender, sexual orientation) are not uncommon.

This is simply another horrible case of Texas justice. I would guess you are correct--putting someone to death when they have not committed a violent crime, what could possibly be the reason other than hate. How does this serve society.

Vanessa said...

As an RN, I think all men should be aware that it's just as important for men to do breast self exams on a monthly basis as it is for women. Breast cancer rates for men are on the rise and most men are not aware that breast cancer can be an issue for them. Pick a day once per month and feel yourself up!

Marilyn said...

If the death penalty is right for this guy, then what about the other Texan guilty of war crimes and human rights violations?

Sweetie, that issue of VK has been out for a while. At least a month. But I agree with your assessments. Especially the sorry, fugly Modesitt crapola baby outfit.

You can always call--I might be home and more than happy to provide coffee and yucks.

Lynne E. said...

It sounds to me like the man received the death penalty because he (1) solicited sex with a 15-year-old, (2) repeatedly engaged in unprotected sex despite being HIV-positive, and (3) already had two strikes. It doesn't sound like gay discrimination per se to me. However, I agree with you that it's hard to see why the highly prejudicial evidence regarding unprotected sex was allowed into a trial regarding solicitation of a minor. Apparently Texas law allows it, unless the judge made a mistake. It's especially scary to learn that Texas law allows the imposition of a death sentence for a third felony that doesn't appear to be a violent one.

M-H said...

That AnnieMod thing in Vogue is a joke - I'm sure that no-one would actually knit it and put it on a child. We both laughed out loud when we saw it. She's getting worse, it seems to me. Once her designs were out there but interesting; now they're just silly.

Cara said...

At first I thought the guy deserved a harsh sentence for knowing he was HIV pos. and soliciting sex with a minor and having unprotected sex with others, but after a short contemplation I realized, no, its cause he's gay AND doing those things. There are repeat child molesters, and even child murderers, who don't get such a harsh sentence. There was a man in the NE some years back who, despite knowing he was HIV positive, had unprotected sex with over a dozen women, several who developed HIV subsequently, and just got a couple of years in prison, as I recall.

I was going to remind all male readers to do breast cancer checks (did you see / read Fight Club?) but Vanessa got that, so the other reminder is to do testicular cancer checks as well.

angie Cox said...

Having just been utterly depressed by watching "Dance with a Stranger" the death sentance is on my mind. I am so glad we don't have it . The reasoning that you have a right to kill someone for killing someoneelse is beyond my understanding . My mind isn't what it was but we watched a drama recently in which the main character is so obbsessed with the hanging of Ruth Ellis that he plays a dangerous game ( he's a child ) . Children hear the news , hear that a man has been executed and I wonder what on earth message they get from that . Holly and I have been reading the auto-biography of someone who willingly got into a car for sex at the age of around 15 . He is not a fool , he was a boy but a precocious boy . In other cultures sex is legal at 15 . It should be the responsibility of older men and women to care for younger minds but desire , sex etc seem so much more complicated than that . My 15 year old was desperate to try out something that is so exciting , luckily we got past that phase with a lot of talking and she is now ready to wait for love it seems. She could now sleep with a heterosexual with aids and even if her partner had not told her and she caught it I don't see how his death would help in any way .

JoVE said...

I agree with your assessment of this case. In general, cases where men sexually abuse children receive more public (negative) attention and higher sentences. It seems that male abuse of boys is also what comes to mind for many people when child sexual abuse is mentioned. This despite the fact that the vast majority of such abuse is men abusing girls. I can think of no explanation other than homophobia why this might be the case (oh, and an ongoing devaluing of girls).

Elizabeth said...

Hey, two morels are better than none! As far as drying to improve flavor, I really think the only 'shrooms for which it counts are the Boletes.

Elizabeth said...

PS: Here in AK, the age of consent is 16! The sad thing is, AK is also VERRRRY homophobic- and I am surprised that a similar case hasn't occured here just yet

You are right on about the double standards in the justice system when it comes to soliciting minors for sex. If a female seduces an underage male (or female) she is not given the same kind of stigma that a man is for doing the same thing- especially if the man in question is gay.

Seanna Lea said...

None of the things he was convicted for would be a death penalty level crime in any state (that I can think of) including Texas. Definitely discriminatory. I'm not sure what punishment would be appropriate. I don't really have a lot of faith in the prison system, so that doesn't always feel like a good option to me.

Cara said...

I reread my post and it doesn't sound the way I meant -- the sentence seems to have been given because of sexual orientation, and it is likely he would not have had a harsh sentence had it been sex with women, not men.

As for mushroom hunting -- I'll start digging for fungi when truffles start growing in my backyard.

Barb B. said...

Thanks for the VK review. I don't even look at it on the stands anymore, so much ugly crap has been in it over the last few years. The lace though is just what I have been looking for (perfect Mom of the groom top) and will show off my shawl too.

The whole Texas thing just boggles the mind. On about 100 levels.

I realize it's been said above twice, but I figured I'd go for 3. My brother is a fortunate breast cancer survivor. He almost wasn't because it is so rarely mentioned that men can develop it too.
Barb B.

bjrest@aol.com said...

I live in Netcong and I'm not sure where those mushrooms grow but we used to pick watercress so if they would grow in that area I would be happy to show you were we found it... Email me at bjrest@aol.com if your interested. btw Netcong is by Andover.