A Good, Just Society Would Execute Pedophiles
Think back to the last time you listened to the nightly news and heard a story about an eight year old girl that was missing for two weeks, and then found in a shallow grave with evidence of having been raped. The grave turned out to be in the back yard of a “person of interest” identified within a day of the child’s disappearance. Why? Because he was a registered pedophile.
When you heard that story, did you wish our society had tried harder to help the child rapist-turned-murderer? Or did you wish we were a stronger, less tolerant society?
I believe we would improve our society by executing pedophiles.
My reasoning is simple. I’m not concerned with whether its possible to heal a pedophile and turn him into a model citizen. It isn’t. I’m not concerned with people caught in the system who are accused of being pedophiles because he was eighteen and she was seventeen. I’m not concerned with whether the death penalty deters other would-be pedophiles from committing the act. I’ve read that it doesn’t, but no matter. Lastly, I’m also not concerned with all of the good stuff that a pedophile can add to society, when he’s not busy raping children.
(That bullshit apologism for Joe Paterno really got to me. The man loved his football program more than the sexual innocence of dozens of young boys. He valued a game more than the frail innocence that was being routinely stolen in his hallowed locker-room showers. But his fans want to talk about all he accomplished, as if it’s possible to quarantine the part of Joe Paterno who passed the moral buck and was thereby an accomplice to evil. That’s akin to saying “Charles Manson, sure he’s a murderer, but…” There is no but. He’s Charles Manson. Yes, an act of pure evil wipes away all the good you did. One “oh shit” destroys a thousand “attaboys,” especially when the oh shit is ignoring a child rapist in your midst. It’s okay to judge, really–and if you lose that ability, then what separates you from evil? How do you know?)
I’m not concerned with any of the above arguments against executing pedophiles. Here’s why: did you hear about the little boy who walked along the beach throwing starfish back into the ocean, one by one? An old man called him foolish. “You can never save all of them. You can’t make a difference.”
The little boy picked up a starfish and tossed it into the water. “I made a difference to that one.”
Here’s the point about executing pedophiles. You make a difference to that one. You make it impossible for him to destroy another life.
In my novel Cold Quiet Country, several pedophiles meet a harsh form of justice. Reviewers have spoken about how emotionally charged the story is, and how brutal. None have taken issue with the end, though, and I suspect my readers agree a healthy society doesn’t tolerate pedophiles.
I wrote Cold Quiet Country because my eternal hope is that I can help foment a less tolerant society in this one regard. I don’t believe the appropriate response to a person visiting sexual evil upon a child is to try to heal the evil man. If we were a better society, we would execute him.
Evil doesn’t heal, and a just society rids itself of evil where it is found.
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Every state's got a gang of men with guns and tattered U.S. Constitutions stowed next to their dog-eared John Birch pamphlets. Bitching about government makes men happy, and in recent times, country folk have been fucking euphoric. Rumor was the boys in my neck of the woods were getting rowdy and ready to switch gears from talking to walking. I don't mind ten men at a hunting camp chucking bottles and blasting away. Any fella dumb enough to get drunk around a crew with guns half deserves a bullet. But I got a tip. One of the wives overheard talk of linking the local group with some radical faction out of Denver and marching with guns to Washington to take the country back from the jigs and the Jews. A sheriff can't truck with that, but in a county of twenty thousand, everybody knows everybody, almost. At least the men who would be of age and frame of mind to join such a group knew everyone else who might be. I didn't have anyone to put inside.
From the back cover…
Set in small town Wyoming in the 70s and unfolding in a single day, Clayton Lindemuth's debut novel,Cold Quiet Country, explores small-town corruption and the lengths some people will go to exact revenge.
With a deft hand and sinister eye, Clayton Lindemuth reminds us that the green, idyllic landscape of Middle America can suddenly become an ominous backdrop for violence and treachery.
Suspenseful, intelligent, and bold, COLD QUIET COUNTRY brings a new edge to the world of modern noir and readers will no longer be able to look upon rolling hills, pastoral fields, and picturesque barns without a sense of foreboding.
Copyright © 2013
I look at Liz. At some point she's going to decide what she wants to do. She's in the house where it all happened, the refuge that was the site of her terror, at the hands of the man whose politics maybe included her in the town's ostracism. She's a cagey creature, this girl who doesn't know how to be a girl. She glances at me and suddenly I'm in Burt Haudesert's kitchen, at the table. Jordan's at my elbow and Gwen is opposite, and she's got that same stare as Liz does now. She's looking straight at the center of the table. Her jaw is set but her brow is soft. There's concentration in her eyes, but no anger or consternation. Her heart's probably beating like a rabbit flushed from the briar, but outward she's spaced out and for the life of me I'll never understand how a man can do that to a girl.
And there's Sunday. Speak of the Devil. The man at the head of the family, defending it.
He's three steps away but ten times stronger and faster than me. But there are more guns on my side of the battlefront. And frankly I don't give a shit.
"Liz, are you going to kill him, or what?"