Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2009

Justice in Philadelphia

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:21 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Philadelphia police have a suspect in custody in connection with Monday’s brutal rape of an 11-year-old girl abducted on her way to school. The suspect, Jose Carrasquillo, was apprehended after angry neighbors recognized him from a police photo listing him as a person of interest in the girl’s rape:

“About a dozen neighborhood residents flew into a rage yesterday afternoon when they cornered Jose Carrasquillo, who police said they had linked through physical evidence to the heinous Monday-morning rape of Reynolds’ daughter.

The justice-seeking mob rained fists, feet and wooden sticks upon Carrasquillo, 26, for several minutes until police intervened at Front and Clearfield streets.

When the dust cleared, Carrasquillo, whose last known address was Orkney Street near York, was in critical condition at a local hospital, and police officials were thanking the locals for helping them catch a man they had pursued feverishly but identified only as “a person of interest.”

Carrasquillo remains hospitalized with head injuries and is being investigated in connection with other unsolved rapes. However, it appears he won’t be classified as the victim of an assault because the police will not charge his attackers:

“Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city’s West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.

Ramsey added that he doesn’t condone violence.”

The Mayor also refuses to condemn vigilante justice.

— DRJ

80 Responses to “Justice in Philadelphia”

  1. If any of my five children, even those now adults, were assualted as was this poor girl, I would happily serve the rest of my life in prison for death that would result.

    highpockets (4d6731)

  2. Since it seems that our current iteration of a “Criminal Justice” system does not deter crime all that well, perhaps it requires the insertion of elements of earlier systems that – like the proverbial 2 X 4 when getting the attention of a Missouri mule – will make the criminally inclined think about what they are about to attempt, and what the consequences might be.
    I would think that when this POG wakes up, the DA will be able to get a comprehensive confession from him by doing nothing more than remarking to an associate in his presence that absent any confession, they’ll just have to release him back onto the streets.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1f03ac)

  3. Does this qualify as terrorism like Tiller’s killer?

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  4. Is anyone else thoroughly disgusted by this?

    We have a dozen people beating a man practically to death for the crime of….what, exactly? Having the police want to talk to him?

    And the police refuse to file charges. Of course they refuse, they can now close the rape case without any further investigation, right?

    Let’s hope the police in your community don’t name you a person of interest in a rape case, regardless of your innocence.

    Steverino (69d941)

  5. Does this city give medals to drug-dealers who murder other drug-dealers? I mean, they’re just killing bad people after all.

    Newtons.bit (a67c58)

  6. Like the Pharmacist, he should be considered “innocent” until proven guilty. Unlike the Pharmacist, there is DNA evidence that will help settle this one. Whether or not the DNA clears him, charges of assault should have been considered. I think the police know more than they are telling us. I think they consider pursuing the assault charges to be a non-winner.

    Thomas (a3c869)

  7. Hey, lynching is as American as apple pie.

    David Ehrenstein (41ea29)

  8. who police said they had linked through physical evidence

    A little more detail on that particular bit of information would clear up a lot regarding the anger of the mob, along with the details of his ‘cornering’.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  9. The main problem is that the crowd forgot to put on their Bat-costumes. They must have been in a hurry.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  10. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Condemning_violence_should_be_a_bare_minimum_for_Philly_leaders.html

    We can all agree. And Philly’s mayor is Atrios’ “Wanker of the day”

    bored again christian (56163a)

  11. A little more detail on that particular bit of information would clear up a lot regarding the anger of the mob, along with the details of his ‘cornering’.

    Even if the police had DNA, photos from 15 different angles, and 2 dozen eyewitnesses with impeccable eyesight and memory, it still wouldn’t have justified the crowd beating the guy to within an inch of his life. And it definitely doesn’t justify the police failing to file assault charges.

    Steverino (69d941)

  12. In the famous words of Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message.” We might debate over the specific involvement and appropriate response by the community to Jose Carrasquillo, but is there one among us who doesn’t understand why the raped little girl’s assembled neighbors might fail to regard the US legal system as willing and able to bring such persons to justice?

    Ropelight (e36d4f)

  13. Is anyone else thoroughly disgusted by this?

    Comment by Steverino — 6/4/2009 @ 12:01 pm

    *raises hand*

    Even leaving aside that pesky little “innocent until proven guilty” detail, one can’t help drawing parallels with the “punishment” of one who admits to being guilty – of shoving scissors into the backs of thousands of full term babies’ heads and sucking out their brains with a suction cannula.

    Yet the ALLEGED child rapist is nearly beaten to death with cheers and the ADMITTED child-slaughterer enjoys the full force and protection of law, with the death penalty for anyone who dares try to stop him.

    The entrenchment of the culture of death in these United States is almost complete. Just waiting for ObamaCompassionateSeniorCare to kick in, then we’ll be done!

    no one you know (65b7aa)

  14. but is there one among us who doesn’t understand why the raped little girl’s assembled neighbors might fail to regard the US legal system as willing and able to bring such persons to justice?

    I don’t. I don’t see how the crowd could have possibly known the target of their rampage was guilty. And I refuse to even try to understand why a crowd would beat a man to death when they didn’t know whether he was guilty.

    Steverino (69d941)

  15. The neighborhood was probably egged on by Community Organizers.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1f03ac)

  16. Stevie apparently would behave the same way if his daughter were raped. How humane of him.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  17. “Capt. John Darby said Monday’s assault was “about as bad as you get.” Commissioner Ramsey said there are other sex assault cases they have to take a strong look at to see if Carrasquillo is connected. Carrasquillo has a long criminal history including an attempted rape charge that was thrown out in 2002. He was convicted of 17 other prior charges (11 as an adult) including drug possession, assault and driving under the influence, according to court records.”

    Sounds like an unprovoked mob attack against a model citizen.

    “And I refuse to even try to understand why a crowd would beat a man to death”

    He’s made an amazing recovery from death…

    “Carrasquillo, who spent more than a day in critical condition, was released from the hospital Thursday and into police custody.”

    Somehow, I don’t think his condition was all that critical.

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/11-Year-Old-Girl-Raped.html

    Dave Surls (f584ed)

  18. Crown Heights

    quasimodo (4af144)

  19. as long as they got the right guy. if they didn’t…

    JEA (9231a4)

  20. 1. Was this guy already known as a bad apple and a threat throughout the area?

    2. Did it make a diff – re the subsequent forgiveness of the beating as no big deal – that it was a black mob vs a Hispanic victim? If in Philly it had been a white mob and a black suspect, would the reaction have been the same?

    3. Anyone who doesn’t feel a twinge of satisfaction that the bastard got what he deserved is faking it.

    4. Anyone who doesn’t also worry about the slippery slope and the danger of this being repeated against an innocent person is also faking it.

    How’s that old expression go? The law must look in two directions at once: back at the case in hand in order to get justice, and forward to the precedent set, in order to ensure it.

    The two can be in conflict and anyway the human norm is to look back, cuz that’s where the real people are, instead of forward, where the people are mere abstractions. And so the downstream consequences often get short shrift.

    ras (20bd5b)

  21. I don’t condone mob violence in any form – but as we’re seeing here in Chicago with the ineptitude of the police in preventing the gang violence from spinning out of control, when local law enforcement is seen as ineffective in keeping law – abiding citizens safe, the inevitable vigilantism will result. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the most likely reason why the police aren’t pursuing the prosecution here is that they’re well aware of the underlying causes for this type of action.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  22. We have a dozen people beating a man practically to death for the crime of….what, exactly? Having the police want to talk to him?

    The thought occurred to me, but hey, he raped an 11-year-old girl. So, you know, my disgust-o-meter was thoroughly petered out before we got to the daring Citizen’s Arrest.

    He can still sue them for Assault and Battery, and maybe False Imprisonment . . .

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  23. “as long as they got the right guy. if they didn’t…”

    I think that pretty well sums it up in one sentence.

    Dave Surls (f584ed)

  24. “Innocent until proven guilty” applies to the government only. Unless these neighbors were all judges and prosecutors, it has no application to this situation. As for the rest, not enough information. Roughly what Dave said–if they got the right guy AND had very good reason to know he was the right guy (and not just dumb luck), then I’m not gonna get too worked up about it.

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  25. What you have here is a little Darfur where little girls being raped and “persons of interest” being lynched go hand in hand. Inseparably from each other. It cannot be related to the America we live in.

    nk (157acd)

  26. Stevie apparently would behave the same way if his daughter were raped. How humane of him.

    I would want justice. In fact, I would support capital punishment for rape. But I don’t support a lynching, and that’s what this was.

    The thought occurred to me, but hey, he raped an 11-year-old girl. So, you know, my disgust-o-meter was thoroughly petered out before we got to the daring Citizen’s Arrest.

    We don’t know what he did. He hasn’t even been accused of it. Seriously, if your name were released by the police as a person-of-interest in a crime you didn’t commit, would you want your neighbors beating the shit out of you?

    as long as they got the right guy. if they didn’t

    That’s the whole point to this. NOBODY knows whether this guy is the right guy. He wasn’t charged with the crime. There was no arrest warrant for him. He was just a person-of-interest. The crowd didn’t even wait for a trial, they just beat up someone for no good reason.

    Sorry, but if you all think it’s okay to lynch a guy who hasn’t been arrested or charged with any crimes, then you are all dead wrong.

    Steverino (69d941)

  27. He can still sue them for Assault and Battery, and maybe False Imprisonment . . .

    You mean, “if he lives”

    For God’s sake, you are condoning the battering of a man who hasn’t been accused of any crime

    I’m sure you’d all be just as non-chalant if this happened to your brother. (Since someone here thinks I’d react the same if my daughter were raped…if y’all are gonna give me cheap shots, I’ll take a few back.)

    Steverino (69d941)

  28. #15 — Comment by Thomas Jackson — 6/4/2009 @ 1:00 pm

    A bit disingenuous, eh, Mr. Jackson?

    When our blood-kin is harmed, the desire to kill is human nature. We all know that, and it is not what is in dispute.

    What was being alluded to was the idea of vigilantism. Is this the kind of society that we wish to hand our children (like Darfur — as later mentioned)?

    Why the need for such a base cheap-shot (invoking an image of horrid violence to the loved-one of a fellow blogger)?

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  29. When people ignore justice and indeed ignore evil and seek to attribute the courts with the patinna of all that is noble then we demonstrate the immense ability to ignore justice, to ignore evil. Our society has demonstrated its ability to confuse legal with just. It has demonstrated its ability to ignore evil, to not even be able to recognize it.

    Cheap shot when you have someone invoke someone who is caught by his neighbors and stating “when he wasn’t accused of any crime.” No doubt his neighbors acted without evidence correct? His neighbors just happened to vent their rage on some innocent?

    That the police refused to act because these people were wrong?

    You define cheap shot and ignorance. Worse you serve as an example of those who would stand byand make Kitty Genoveese an example for our textbooks.

    Better these people then the neighbors of this poor woman. Better these people than the people who stand by and do nothing. Better these people than those who bray “cheap shot.”

    Indeed these words are the maxim of the ACLU and why our streets are a jungle.

    Those who tell us to compromise with evil are not only to be feared by despised.

    What fertilizer. And do tell us if this had been your daughter. Oh yes, you’d bray “he wasn’t even accused of a crime.”

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  30. Under the Hate Crimes laws sponsored by Alcee Hastings, the purported rapist would have been able to file discrimination claims against the crowd because Carrasquillo’s sexual orientation and philia was as a child rapist-pedophilia, and the crowd discriminated against him because of his sexual tendencies, therefor they must pay for their sinful conduct. The perp will be lucky if he gets confined to a 23 hour max security prison; prisoners don’t take too kindly to alleged child rapist murderers.
    Other tangential topic, is the perp an illegal alien?

    eaglewingz08 (e40a12)

  31. ““Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city’s West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.”

    Are they gonna charge the lynch mob that beat up the wrong guy?

    imdw (b00991)

  32. ““Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city’s West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.”

    Now I wonder if they’ll charge the lynch mob that beat up the wrong guy.

    “Under the Hate Crimes laws sponsored by Alcee Hastings, the purported rapist would have been able to file discrimination claims against the crowd because Carrasquillo’s sexual orientation and philia was as a child rapist-pedophilia, and the crowd discriminated against him because of his sexual tendencies, therefor they must pay for their sinful conduct.”

    He ought to be able to get something from the crowd.

    imdw (bf1e1b)

  33. but as we’re seeing here in Chicago with the ineptitude of the police in preventing the gang violence from spinning out of control, when local law enforcement is seen as ineffective in keeping law – abiding citizens safe, the inevitable vigilantism will result.

    In Chicago, local law enforcement is part of the problem.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  34. ““Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Thursday that no charges will be filed against the group of about a dozen residents of the city’s West Kensington section who attacked 26-year-old Jose Carrasquillo.”

    Now I wonder if they’ll charge the lynch mob that beat up the wrong guy.

    “Under the Hate Crimes laws sponsored by Alcee Hastings, the purported rapist would have been able to file discrimination claims against the crowd because Carrasquillo’s sexual orientation and philia was as a child rapist-pedophilia, and the crowd discriminated against him because of his sexual tendencies, therefor they must pay for their sinful conduct.”

    He ought to be able to get something from the crowd..

    imdw (e93c43)

  35. When people ignore justice and indeed ignore evil and seek to attribute the courts with the patinna of all that is noble then we demonstrate the immense ability to ignore justice, to ignore evil. Our society has demonstrated its ability to confuse legal with just. It has demonstrated its ability to ignore evil, to not even be able to recognize it.

    Hogwash. You are using fancy prose to rationalize vigilante justice. Dress it up any way you want, it’s still wrong.

    Cheap shot when you have someone invoke someone who is caught by his neighbors and stating “when he wasn’t accused of any crime.” No doubt his neighbors acted without evidence correct? His neighbors just happened to vent their rage on some innocent?

    He wasn’t caught by his neighbors committing any crime. He was cornered by his neighbors when they recognized him as someone the police were looking for. There’s a big difference between the two acts, and the fact that you are trying to whitewash over that difference tells me you aren’t interested in an honest discussion.

    You define cheap shot and ignorance. Worse you serve as an example of those who would stand byand make Kitty Genoveese an example for our textbooks

    Another intellectually dishonest argument. There is a world of difference between not calling the police when you see or hear a violent crime taking place and recognizing someone on the street from a police photo and beating the crap out of him. If you’re going to pull this kind of argument, try it against someone who can’t read.

    What fertilizer. And do tell us if this had been your daughter. Oh yes, you’d bray “he wasn’t even accused of a crime”

    If my daughter were indeed raped, I would not hunt down and kill someone just because the police said he was a person-of-interest.

    Those who tell us to compromise with evil are not only to be feared by despised.

    I’m not telling anyone to compromise with evil. What I’m saying is this guy (a) wasn’t committing a crime at the time his neighbors assaulted him (b) may not have been the guy who committed the crime in the first place and (c) was only a person-of-interest and not charged with anything. If you’re going to condone a lynchmob assaulting someone under that set of circumstances, I submit you are the evil one.

    Let me make myself perfectly clear, Mr. Jackson, because you seem to have trouble with logic:

    1. Rape is a heinous crime, so heinous that I would support making it punishable by death in most cases.

    2. I support capital punishment as it is applied in this country: a lengthy appeals process and a long wait between sentencing and imposition to be sure that we aren’t executing the wrong guy.

    3. If I saw someone committing a violent act, I would do everything in my power to stop it, including using lethal force. But that’s not what happened here.

    4. It is wrong beyond all explanation to beat the crap out of someone simply because the police were looking for him.

    5. There is a difference between catching someone in an act of violence and spotting someone on the street who hasn’t been accused of any crime and beating him with sticks.

    6. Even if the guy turns out to be guilty, the crowd was not justified in assaulting him. They had no knowledge of his guilt when they undertook to assault him. All the semantics in the world doesn’t change the fact that this was a lynching.

    7. The fact that the guy will survive and is out of the hospital doesn’t exonerate the mob.

    8. The fact that the police aren’t pressing charges against the mob doesn’t exonerate them, and it sure doesn’t mean they did the right thing. In fact, it’s a sign that the police themselves are lazy and corrupt.

    9. The fact that the guy was wanted for questioning in the rape of an 11-year-old girl doesn’t justify the crowd putting him in the hospital. Unless you want to allow the police to shoot everyone wanted for questioning.

    Steverino (69d941)

  36. The fact that the police aren’t pressing charges against the mob doesn’t exonerate them, and it sure doesn’t mean they did the right thing. In fact, it’s a sign that the police themselves are lazy and corrupt.

    I agree. Like I said before, this guy getting beaten up and the little girl being raped are part and parcel of the same package. No law. No order. No safety. For anyone.

    nk (157acd)

  37. It occurs to me that when the police announced that this individual was a “Person of Interest” it was because of his background, and probably a hefty dose of circumstantial evidence – which is sometimes the best kind.
    Those in the neighborhood probably have a pretty fair inkling of this guys character and reputation, and they were just tired of having him around causing trouble.
    So, they roughed him up.
    If he is guilty of the child-rape, the crowds actions are only upsetting to the perp.
    If this was one crime he wasn’t guilty of, he would get the message that his presence within the neighborhood wasn’t desired any longer, and he should look for new environs to infect.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1f03ac)

  38. If they roughed up the wrong guy, it’s a problem.

    If they roughed up a guy who raped a little girl and injured her so badly that she required surgery, then it’s not a problem.

    If you rape a little girl, and some neighbors catch you and beat the shit out of you, before handing you over to the cops, that’s your tough luck.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    Dave Surls (f584ed)

  39. “Are they gonna charge the lynch mob that beat up the wrong guy?”

    imdw – How are they going to do that if there weren’t any witnesses? I’ll bet nobody saw anything or knows anybody who was part of the mob.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  40. If a mob actually ever existed.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1f03ac)

  41. “If they roughed up the wrong guy, it’s a problem.”

    Because there was a second guy that got beat up by a different mob. That’s the problem with allowing this sort of lynch mob mentality.

    “but as we’re seeing here in Chicago with the ineptitude of the police in preventing the gang violence from spinning out of control, when local law enforcement is seen as ineffective in keeping law – abiding citizens safe, the inevitable vigilantism will result.”

    But in philly, the police WAS moving on the case.

    imdw (490521)

  42. Point you people are missing is that the mob left the guy alive. The next miscreant may not be so lucky. If charges or lawsuits against the mob that caught the right guy succeed, future mob will just kill the guy and be done with it.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  43. Hmm, they must charge the people… sentencing should be light, but you have to charge and hopefully convict them.

    Buzz Killington (3da0e1)

  44. If they roughed up the wrong guy, it’s a problem.

    Problem? No, it’s an outrage.

    If they roughed up a guy who raped a little girl and injured her so badly that she required surgery, then it’s not a problem

    If they roughed up a guy who they knew was guilty, I might agree with you. But that’s not what happened here. They roughed up a guy simply because the police named him a person-of-interest. They had no knowledge of his guilt or innocence, they just roughed him up.

    If they happened to get lucky and roughed up the guy who committed the crime, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that they beat the crap out of a guy whose guilt or innocence they had no way of knowing.

    How are they going to do that if there weren’t any witnesses? I’ll bet nobody saw anything or knows anybody who was part of the mob.

    The police broke up the mob, so I’m pretty sure somebody saw something. If the police are looking the other way, they are corrupt.

    It occurs to me that when the police announced that this individual was a “Person of Interest” it was because of his background, and probably a hefty dose of circumstantial evidence – which is sometimes the best kind.

    Think carefully what you’re supporting here: based on the word of the police that the guy was a person of interest, you think he’s guilty.

    Those in the neighborhood probably have a pretty fair inkling of this guys character and reputation, and they were just tired of having him around causing trouble.
    So, they roughed him up.

    You know, I think OJ Simpson committed two murders. And I’m tired of the fact that he got away with it. So as soon as Nevada lets him out of prison, I’m going to go rough him up.

    It doesn’t work that way in this country.

    What is it about conservatives and presumed guilt?

    Don’t paint with so wide a brush. I’m conservative, and I’m absolutely horrified by this.

    Point you people are missing is that the mob left the guy alive. The next miscreant may not be so lucky. If charges or lawsuits against the mob that caught the right guy succeed, future mob will just kill the guy and be done with it.

    The point you’re missing is that the mob didn’t know whether or not this was the right guy. They deserve to be charged and/or sued. Maybe that will deter a future mob from beating someone up just because the police want to ask him questions.

    Steverino (69d941)

  45. Steverino,

    You’re absolutely right. As emotionally satisfying it might be to think that a guilty piece of refuse got what he deserved, it’s not up to the crowd to dispense justice here. Once they had him contained they should have given him up to the police. I wonder if the guy apologized or otherwise admitted guilt and that’s why nobody in the crowd is being charged. Regardless, mob “justice” is anything but.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  46. #44, you’re on target as usual, but what if the community knew they had the right guy, and also knew the legal system was incapable of effectively preventing Carrasquillo from continuing his assaults on little girls?

    When people lose confidence the civil authorities possess the will and the means to protect them from criminals, thay have little choice but to belly up to the bar and do their own dirty work.

    Could it be some such notion movitated the community to take action? Might not that be somewhat of an inconvienient truth?

    Ropelight (e36d4f)

  47. Actually I believe it’s possible the guy could sue the people who beat him, and he could sue whether or not he’s convicted. Ain’t America wonderful?

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  48. Ropelight,

    They need to take action against the civil authorities then by insisting they do their job or be replaced. It’s too easy for the mob mentality to get it wrong. Holding the civil authorities to task will instill confidence in the justice system, not vigilante actions. Mob rule will just undermine confidence in the police even more. By ignoring the mob’s assault, the civil authorities promote the idea that they’re incompetent even further.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  49. “He fell down. Repeatedly.”

    mojo (8096f2)

  50. Steverino said:

    Even if the police had DNA, photos from 15 different angles, and 2 dozen eyewitnesses with impeccable eyesight and memory, it still wouldn’t have justified the crowd beating the guy to within an inch of his life. And it definitely doesn’t justify the police failing to file assault charges.

    Why, you think that they’d ever be able to get a conviction? Heck, the police union has said that the crowd which “apprehended” Mr Carrasquillo will get to split the reward money.

    But there’s more. In Philadelphia, the police and district attorney have been battling the “stop snitchin'” mentality for years now; there’s no way on God’s earth that they’re going to do anything about citizens apprehending, rather than protecting, a thug.

    The Dana who doesn't feel too sorry for the perp (3e4784)

  51. “If they roughed up a guy who they knew was guilty”

    They don’t know anything. They were just guessing.

    If they guessed right, then who cares? A guy who raped a little girl got roughed up a tad while he was being apprehended by an irate group of citizens.

    Boo hoo.

    If they guessed wrong, then they’ll have to pay the price, and do their 90 days or whatever.

    Such is life.

    Dave Surls (0e1f5a)

  52. Philadelphia: The Cradel of American Liberty!

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  53. Oops…”Cradle”

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  54. “By ignoring the mob’s assault, the civil authorities promote the idea that they’re incompetent even further.”

    I’d say the fact that a career scumbag with 17 prior arrests (assuming the newspapers have their facts straight), an outstanding warrant, and even a prior arrest for attempted rape, is walking around loose, and by virtue of being free, has now apparently raped a little girl (we suspect…we’ll find out for sure after he’s charged and tried) is pretty good evidence that the authorities are incompetent as hell.

    At least that’s the case if you think the idea behind the legal system is to punish criminals, and put them in a posititon where they can’t rape little girls.

    There’s two possibilities here:

    1.) This guy is a good citizen and the police keep arresting him by mistake, in which case the authorities are incompetent.

    2.) The guy is a scumbag criminal, and the legal system keeps arresting him and turning him loose in spite of the fact that he’s a scumbag criminal, in which case the authorities are incompetent.

    No matter how you slice it, the system itself is a joke, so that’s hardly the issue here.

    Dave Surls (0e1f5a)

  55. There’s more. Before the honorable Mr Carrasquillo was captured or even identified, the police — I think in the person of Commissioner Ramsey — were on television saying that the rapist was a very dangerous man who couldn’t be allowed to remain on the streets for very long. Whether they had a specific interest in Mr Carrasquillo at that time I do not know.

    The Dana who doesn't feel too sorry for the perp (3e4784)

  56. Innocent until proven guilty–however awful the crime, mob violence is always wrong. Philly needs to hang its head in shame.

    Thom Nickels (996c34)

  57. “Innocent until proven guilty”

    Yeah, that’s how it works all right, unless you point a gun at me, then I’m going to shoot you, even though you haven’t been proven guilty in a court of law yet (and, never will be if my aim is true).

    If you want to call that vigilante justice on my part…o.k. by me. Call it whatever you want.

    That’s just one example of where that principle might not apply.

    Abstract theories with noble intent are great, but sometimes real life intrudes on the abstraction.

    Dave Surls (0e1f5a)

  58. #56 — Comment by Dave Surls — 6/5/2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Yeah, that’s how it works all right, unless you point a gun at me, then I’m going to shoot you, even though you haven’t been proven guilty in a court of law yet (and, never will be if my aim is true).

    To what case are you referring? The case in this thread has absolutly nothing to do with self-defense. The police wanted this suspect. Self-defense is not even an issue.

    If you want to call that vigilante justice on my part…o.k. by me. Call it whatever you want.

    No; that would be called self-defense (as recognized under the law, btw).

    That’s just one example of where that principle might not apply.

    Abstract theories with noble intent [such as “Innocent until proven guilty”] are great, but sometimes real life intrudes on the abstraction.

    Vigilantism is a form of abstract theory as well (the idea that it works better than a legal code that is based on thousands of years of civilization and currently evolving in a fee society).

    There were times when vigilantism was needed, such as when a people have no viable legal code of law. That is not the case in this thread.

    The Bill of Rights is another collection of abstract ideals. In many ways the whole concept of civilization is an abstract ideal. Such are not perfect, but we can strive to abide by the principles upon which they are based — work to make the things better; the whole idea of a Shining City on the Hill.

    Pons Asinorum (9a2065)

  59. “To what case are you referring?”

    I was referring to a hypothetical case where someone points a gun at me.

    Dave Surls (8fc1ad)

  60. “The Bill of Rights is another collection of abstract ideals.”

    Yes, it is, and sometimes we ignore the abstract ideals in the Bill of Rights, if we think we have good enough reason to.

    The Smith Act and the First Amendment being an example.

    Dave Surls (8fc1ad)

  61. Yes, it is, and sometimes we ignore the abstract ideals in the Bill of Rights, if we think we have good enough reason to.

    Which brings us back to Tiller, and that’s not a good result. It’s hard to draw lines once you reject the rule of law.

    DRJ (180b67)

  62. Yes, it is, and sometimes we ignore the abstract ideals in the Bill of Rights, if we think we have good enough reason to.

    How about a neighborhood mob kicking a pregnant woman until she miscarries because they don’t think she should have another child?

    Such is life>

    Dave, your thought that it’s no big deal for a crowd to kick around a guy who didn’t commit a crime is utterly reprehensible.

    Steverino (69d941)

  63. Don’t worry Steverino, this guy might not have committed this crime (very small might), but he certainly has committed some crimes for which his punishment was deserved, and over-due.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b0c533)

  64. AD, quite seriously, that’s despicable. Why don’t you organize a mob to beat up anyone who walks out of a courthouse with a sentence you think is too lenient? Or stand outside the gates of the county lock-ups and assault everyone who comes out?

    And what about the next mob to beat the crap out of a person of interest? Are you going to defend that mob, too? Where does it stop?

    If you and Dave Surls and the others who defended the actions of this mob call yourselves conservatives, I’m ashamed to be a conservative.

    Steverino (69d941)

  65. Well, I don’t call myself a conservative, so you don’t have to worry about it.

    Dave Surls (8fc1ad)

  66. “Dave, your thought that it’s no big deal for a crowd to kick around a guy who didn’t commit a crime is utterly reprehensible.”

    I didn’t say that. I said:

    “If they roughed up the wrong guy, it’s a problem.”

    “If they roughed up a guy who raped a little girl and injured her so badly that she required surgery, then it’s not a problem.”

    Dave Surls (8fc1ad)

  67. It could be that these guys who knocked the suspected rapist around are trying to get their neighborhood out of the jungle. To where little girls are not raped. The process will not be perfect.

    It could be. Or it’s just a continuation of the jungle.

    nk (c788b4)

  68. There were times when vigilantism was needed, such as when a people have no viable legal code of law. That is not the case in this thread.

    You would think that would be true in the USA, PA, but you are making an assumption that is not necessarily true.

    I am not in favor of what was done, and I don’t know enough of the facts to know if the group acted only on the basis of him “being a person of interest” or if the facts of what the police and neighbors knew on the street were significantly more condemning.

    I am not agreeing with Judge Sotomayor that being a certain type of person gives one better insight, but I think we can agree that our experiences inform our opinions and factual basis for making decisions.

    First, as nk stated (and maybe others) this is not the kind of neighborhood where “civilization ‘as you usually think of it’ exists”, and probably one most of you have ever lived in.

    We lived and worked in the same area for about 10 years. It is the setting of my story “Why I Despise Some Lawyers”. I once was on jury duty, and the case was an undercover drug bust in that general area. It was an open and shut case. Should have taken 5 minutes to deliberate.

    The defense lawyer took an idea from the “dream team”, “In fact, this case is so open and shut the police must have framed him! Who would sell drugs out in the open in broad daylight?!?”

    Answer, a whole lot of people. In fact, I had a time where I had two groups leaning over each side of the front hood on my car, competing over who would get my business (supposedly). Early afternoon, a few blocks from a neighborhood retail district.

    In the same neighborhood a friend once waited for almost 45 minutes for police to answer a call for someone getting beat up by a group of people, for who knows what reason. (Any call without a gun may take a while for a response.)

    As has been said, this guy had 17 priors, more than 1 a year since he turned 18, including a sexual assault that was thrown out. Maybe there is a viable code of law, but one could argue if there is a viable justice system.

    And, as “Dana who doesn’t feel sorry…” stated, Philly cops have been trying to break the “don’t snitch” culture and get across the idea that police are enemies of criminals, not everybody.

    Not agreeing with it, don’t condone it, but understand it. If I hear more about it, will let you know.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  69. Comment by MD in Philly — 6/6/2009 @ 10:01 am

    You would think that would be true in the USA, PA, but you are making an assumption that is not necessarily true.

    True; I have never lived or even been in this neighborhood — and from your description, never will.

    Am curious though, if it is that bad, why do not the people vote for officials that will restore order to the neighborhood?

    It is one thing to live in a neighborhood of say, Somalia and feel no choice but to resort to vigilante action for the sake of societal justice. It is another to justify vigilantism in a place where one can vote for government officials.

    In this particular case, the people had no right to resort to vigilantism, because an active police and court system was operational. The neighborhood had at least 10 years (is that correct?) to vote responsibly and wisely to fix problems.

    Now if a free and empowered people consistently make bad choices, then the fault is with them. The solution is not vigilantism, but voting wisely. As American citizens, we have the right to vote and make changes, and that ought to be the intelligent response to problems of crime.

    Could not help but notice that Philly voted for Obama in the last election — quite soundly.

    Just saying.

    Pons Asinorum (9a2065)

  70. Just to let everyone know on this now-defunct thread, the Philadelphia Police have announced taht José Carrasquillo’s DNA is a match for DNA found on the 11 year old victim’s underwear, and for DNA evidence found on a 16 year old girl molested earlier that morning.

    The Dana who closes the loop (3e4784)

  71. Now if a free and empowered people consistently make bad choices, then the fault is with them.
    I agree. But if the people lack the education to tell the difference between a straw man and a tin man, or a red herring from a pickled herring, and get treated like mushrooms by the press (kept in the dark and fed manure) and are lied to by political figures who do not get called on it, then there is fault to be shared. That is why I back the Journalistic Malpractice Reformation Act (I only wish).

    Philadelphians vote according to the poster that says, “Pull the big lever marked D”. Even if they didn’t, their dead ancestors do. Remember the thread about the DOJ dropping the investigation of voter intimidation in Philly?

    People believe the lies that Republicans don’t care if your children go to bed hungry and the Democrats really care for the little guy. The local purveyor of liberal talking points, the Philly Inquirer, is on par with like minded Pravda(sorry, Pravda does tell the truth more often these days) wannabes the NYT and LAT.

    I’m quite cynical this am. We are involved in a mess with a public charter school that is outrageous, makes Tammany Hall look sweet and innocent. (Note to those who may be watching- that is my opinion, which I am entitled to under the First Amendment and does not reflect the view of the host or moderators of this web site- so SLAPP lawyers move on).

    A country that puts a tax cheat in charge of the IRS is not a well functioning country. I’m about ready to apply for a Visa when Texas, Montana, or Alaska secede, whichever one does first.

    Thanks Dana for the follow up. I know two of the people who first recognized and apprehended him shared a reward.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  72. Speaking again of a functioning system, just how is it again that justice is being done in the feds taking over GM and Chrysler and giving it to the unions???

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  73. We are involved in a mess with a public charter school that is outrageous, makes Tammany Hall look sweet and innocent.

    If Philadelphia’s charter schools are anything like Chicago’s, get your kid out of there today, MD in Philly. Charter schools are a fraud. They are created to clean up the statistics of public schools by taking the bottom half of the curve for money, while selling the idea to the gullible that they operate at the upper half of the curve.

    nk (905fe3)

  74. Thanks for the concern and suggestion, nk. Actually it is a Cyber charter school using a curriculum that we were interested in anyway, and this way we “get the education we paid for” without having to pay for it again.

    But we also have gotten an education we didn’t bargain for. I have to believe that there are some (a few,? one or two?) people doing charter schools for all of the right reasons in giving an alternative to the “typical” public school. But in PA it has been a see-saw battle between individuals trying to get rich, the legislature trying to stop that aspect, and people finding ways to get around what the legislature has done, whether by legal loophole or perhaps other methods.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  75. “Dave, your thought that it’s no big deal for a crowd to kick around a guy who didn’t commit a crime is utterly reprehensible.”

    I didn’t say that.

    What you said was damned close:

    If they guessed wrong, then they’ll have to pay the price, and do their 90 days or whatever.

    Such is life.

    You were clearly showing nonchalance about a man getting beaten. Don’t weasel out.

    As has been said, this guy had 17 priors, more than 1 a year since he turned 18, including a sexual assault that was thrown out.

    Even if we assume the crowd knew all of that, how does having 17 priors justify getting beaten? Do YOU go around beating up people with “too many” prior arrests? And if the crowd didn’t know that, would that change your view of the beating?

    José Carrasquillo’s DNA is a match for DNA found on the 11 year old victim’s underwear, and for DNA evidence found on a 16 year old girl molested earlier that morning.

    The end does not justify the means. None of this was knowable at the time Carrasquillo was beaten. If I shot a random man on the street, my action would not be any less criminal if the guy I shot turned out to be a rapist.

    Steverino (69d941)

  76. It’s only anecdotal, MD in Philly, so please take it for what it’s worth. My sister-in-law is a Vice-Principal at a Chicago Public School in the Southside of Chicago. She has parents who take their kids to school, pick them up, make them do their homework, and make sure they get a good night’s sleep. Two blocks west of her school, there is a charter school. It is for kids whose parents thought my sister-in-law’s school was not doing a good enough job for their kids.* Their kids get shot, dead, in dice games, at the charter school’s playground.

    *I know you are a bright man, but I cannot resist pointing out the obvious — the failure was not in the school but in the parents and students.

    nk (905fe3)

  77. I agree with you 100% nk. Blessings to your sister-in-law.

    Steverino- No, I don’t go around beating up people with “too many” prior arrests. And I believe I said I didn’t condone what was done, but knowing more of the situation I could understand it.
    If you are against beating up a convicted serial rapist/pedophile that has escaped from jail, then the guy’s supposed guilt or innocence doesn’t make any difference.
    If the issue is that they beat up a person who was possibly innocent then there is another issue. You are assuming the minimal facts are true. The police said they wanted to talk to this “person of interest”, the neighborhood thugs happen to see him and decide to beat a confession out of him on that bit of information alone. My point about the prior arrests was this- a 24 year old has had 11 arrests in the 6 years since he turned 18 is likely to be pretty far along on the sociopath scale. The neighborhood knows this, they probably know a lot of things he’s done that he hasn’t been arrested for. They may have known a heck of a lot more than the police knew even about the assaults themselves.

    It’s ugly anyway you look at it, and probably uglier than they news reports let on.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  78. We looked into Wharton School for my niece. We wondered how she would fare there. I asked my neighbor, a stockbroker, for his opinion. He said, “She will be with other students like her”.

    nk (386fdc)

  79. MD in Philly —

    I know we are in general agreement about this whole thing. I appreciate your explanations about the situation (had no idea how bad it is).

    Thanks also to The Dana who closes the loop. I hope there is justice in this case and my prayers for the little girl.

    Not agreeing with it, don’t condone it, but understand it.

    Agreed; perhaps we all understand the need for the lowest form of criminal-life to pay.

    Now if a free and empowered people consistently make bad choices, then the fault is with them.

    I agree. But if the people lack the education to tell the difference between a straw man and a tin man, or a red herring from a pickled herring, and get treated like mushrooms by the press (kept in the dark and fed manure) and are lied to by political figures who do not get called on it, then there is fault to be shared.

    Good points (especially the mushroom analogy!).

    That is why I back the Journalistic Malpractice Reformation Act (I only wish).

    Heh, me too!

    A country that puts a tax cheat in charge of the IRS is not a well functioning country.

    Agreed; also our Constitution is under attack, but I truly believe our Country will rally, even in Philly (I did see the movie “Invincible” — the pride was unmistakable; they will figure it out).

    I’m about ready to apply for a Visa when Texas, Montana, or Alaska secede, whichever one does first.

    I am from Montana originally, and have some land there — ironically, there is even a vigilante incident (positive one) in our family history. Can’t wait to return (succession or otherwise). Some of the best fly-fishing, on a secret spot on the Dearborn…

    Winters can be a little chilly though 😉

    What follows is my soapbox, so feel free to ignore, mock, or doze-off 😉

    Tens-of-thousands of years to develop civilization, thousands more to craft the idea of a free state, a couple-thousand more to craft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Each iteration building on the last, countless backslides, countless wars, a multitude of suffering and misery.

    This business of vigilantism; that’s what one resorts too, when there is no choice. We are stronger, better, and brighter than this. Today, we are building on the backs of countless human beings — most recently, the Greatest Generation.

    We owe previous and future generations a struggle to continue forward (even if we must combat our base instincts). Vigilantism is a backwards direction.

    Pons Asinorum (737506)

  80. The City of Philadelphia made the national news again. This time it was because a band of neighborhood men, mostly teens, descended on alleged rapist Jose Carrasquillo and beat him to a pulp with fists and large boards. Carrasquillo is a “person of interest” in the ugly and brutal attack on an 11-year old girl, a major crime that deserves prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. At the time of the attack on Carrasquillo, no charges had been filed against him. As a “person of interest,” he was, technically, not yet “targeted” by the District Attorney’s Office.
    Ironically, some 48 hours prior to the attack on Carrasquillo, another man was attacked by vigilantes who mistook him for the rapist of the young girl. The man was beaten to a pulp as vigilantes held him down and called police. When the police arrived, the man was released because he was not a suspect. The beaten man just happened to resemble the police sketch of the rapist. According to news reports, the man received no apology from the police for the apprehension, and the vigilantes who attacked him were not arrested.
    Shame!
    In these money-hungry, recessionary times, the $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the rapist is pretty lucrative bait. The vigilantes who attacked Carrasquillo at Front and Clearfield Streets no doubt had money in mind, but what they did was a crime, and they should have been charged with aggravated assault. Instead of beating Carrasquillo, they should have held him down until police arrived.
    Some call the vigilantes heroes for what they did but the ‘hero-labelers’ have it all wrong. The vigilantes were thugs who took the law into their own hands, men who opted to act as judge and jury. While they had every right to make a citizen’s arrest and hold Carrasquillo until police arrived, they had no right to kick or hit him with boards. They had no right to draw a crowd and turn the beating into a circus act, with neighbors cheering them on like a 19th century lynching. Philadelphia’s name is not Nathedral-town the last time I checked. The emotions of an angry mob are never to be trusted. Mob mentality is simplistic: it feeds on primal instincts that must be held in check if we are to live in a civilized society. This is why we have a court of law.
    Anyone who’s been the victim of a crime understands the emotional outrage that comes after the fact. When I had my wallet stolen recently by an anonymous thug in a local WAWA, I imagined myself giving the thief a good beating. But the “beating” took place in my mind, not in reality. In real life if I had snuck up to the thief with a weapon and inflicted some kind of violence, the end result would most likely be a legal problem. Violence has a tendency to breed violence: even a simple fistfight could end in death, as well as a murder charge.
    While having a wallet stolen in no way compares to the trauma of rape, vigilante violence is the wrong response for all crimes. Vigilante violence cannot be acceptable in some cases and unacceptable in others. It is not for a mob to decide which crimes merit greater punishment. The neighbors who gathered around the men and applauded the beating are also not blameless. Until Carrasquillo is convicted by DNA and by a court of law, his “innocence” must be presumed, however shocking the crime. Our entire legal system is built on this concept.
    This is not to minimize the brutal nature of the alleged rapists’ crime. Let’s hope that Carrasquillo, if found guilty, is prosecuted to the max, and that he gets his just deserts in prison (and we know what that is). But turning vigilantes into local heroes sets a dangerous precedent.
    Adding insult to injury, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced that no charges will be filed against the group who beat Carrasquillo.
    “It’s shocking that the police are not going to do anything in response to what is essentially mob violence against this guy,” ACLU attorney Mary Catherine Roper told the Associated Press. “This went beyond apprehending the guy.”
    It is also unfortunate that Mayor Nutter didn’t step up and acknowledge the wrongness of the vigilantes. When Mayor Nutter said, “Philadelphians care passionately about this city, about our quality of life and certainly about our children,” was he thinking about the innocent man who was beaten by vigilantes before Carrasquillo was apprehended?
    Don’t tell me that “caring passionately about a city” means that you have to be part of an unruly mob.
    Thom Nickels can be reached at ThomNickels1@aol.com

    Thom Nickels (996c34)


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