Friday, February 06, 2004


Say good-bye to another innocent.

I know I pitched some kind of petulant, metaphysical snit over the case of Amber Farrell, the woman killed by the freakily falling tree, but I now admit this really is worse. At least trees knoweth not what they do, but someone looked at this angel and saw in the killing of her a source of great pleasure. There had better be a God.

Update (Nov. 10, 2005): Now that the man who did it (the father of three daughters, by the way) has finally been brought to trial, here's an updated news link to CNN. The above link is dead.

On television I saw a report in which it was stated that Mr. Smith told his brother (shortly after the crime) to relay to his mother his regret at having done something really bad, that he just wasn't thinking clearly. And yet, after all this time, his conscience thinks it not so bad that he ought to throw himself on the mercy of the state. For he has pled 'not guilty.' His DNA (from semen) was found on Carlie's shirt, the only other item of clothing, except for a sock, found on her body. The coroner couldn't prove rape, because she had been fed on by insects and animals. His brother testified (with apparent great reluctance) in court yesterday that Mr. Smith had admitted to subjecting the girl to what he called "rough sex." What a man.

You'd think he'd want to pay for it by now, but the fact is that he doesn't, and you and I will never be able to figure out why.


There had better be a God, but there had also better be a State.
I wonder whether those who find Florida's death penalty "cruel and unusual" punishment ever had Carlie's last gasps in mind.
-Having scraped the depths of my soul and finding no pity for her killer.
Posted by Julie email at February 7, 2004 11:00 AM

How awful.
And here in our area, an older lady was abducted from the grocery store parking lot, asphyxiated by having her head wrapped in duct tape, and her body thrown out in a field in OK. Because these jerks wanted her car and $2600 from her cash card. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And too small and weak to defend herself.
God help us.
Posted by Terry email at February 7, 2004 02:08 PM

That poor child...this story really breaks my heart. The thing is, if this guy would have been in jail (because of parole violations) where he belonged, instead of being set free, Carlie would still be alive. Also, apparently this monster tried to abduct another girl several years ago, and she almost got hit by a car trying to escape from him. The jury failed to convict him. If they had convicted him, again, Carlie would still be alive.
Stuff like this really makes me hate people and makes me angry at God.
Posted by susan b. email at February 7, 2004 06:51 PM

It appears the fact that he was out of jail might turn into a source of some scandal. Let us hope so. Anger at God is, I guess, understandable, even as we know it accomplishes absolutely zero.Julie - We still haven't heard all that he probably did to her.
Posted by William Luse email at February 7, 2004 07:53 PM

Too bad this isn't in Texas instead of Florida.
Posted by Elena email at February 8, 2004 06:41 PM

Next: watch all the Catholics go crazy in protestantion when this monster gets the death penalty.
Posted by email at February 14, 2004 01:36 PM

Not all of them.
Posted by William Luse email at February 14, 2004 04:32 PM

ok, not all. But only the orthodox ones who feel bound by papel teaching.
Posted by email at February 14, 2004 05:27 PM
That would include me: orthodox, bound by Papal teaching, and happy to see Carlie's killer put to death.
Posted by William Luse email at February 15, 2004 03:29 AM

The death penalty is allowed in extreme cases--that is, where it is clear that there is no other way that society could be protected.
As it is, our prisons tend not to reform people, especially those with real psychological problems. How could they? What are they? Human warehouses! If inmates stay quiet, they'll get an extra snack or learn to manufacture things.
You can see it's a band-aid on cancer.
How could a human warehouse even begin to address the combination of illness, secret habit, and evil that come from a mind like Smith's?
Maybe there is hope in a faith-based prison like the sort that is opening in FL; but as it stands, the penal system does not provide (or even endorse) the kind of radical soul-piercing, overhaul, constant man-to-man accountability, and possibly even medical care that every case like Smith's suggests.
The best we can do is lock him up for life--but if he's quiet and doesn't carve swastikas into his forehead, they might let him out again in 30 years!
In what way would he be changed, except to have become even harder, more isolated from normal human sensibilities?
Perhaps for both society's sake and for his own, the death penalty would be a "severe mercy."
(Note: I grant you, miracles are possible. But even Pranzini's repentance, for which Therese of Lisieux prayed so fervently, came only at the moment before the guillotine was released!)
It is often the case that people are sorry--TRULY SORRY--yet unable to alter lifelong patterns of sinful behavior. Add psychosis to the mix and it's hopeless!
Isaiah 57:1-2 is an interesting passage:
"The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace; They rest in their beds, {Each one} who walked in his upright way."
When a man--any man--honestly repents, confesses, and is washed clean by the blood of Jesus, he IS clean.
For the moment. Might it not be a mercy for a bent and twisted mind, at the moment of relief and peace, to be restored to His Lord before he can fall away and do damage that might be irreparable not only to society, but also to his own soul?
Posted by KTC email at February 15, 2004 07:12 AM

Thanks, KTC.
Posted by William Luse email at February 16, 2004 02:33 AM

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