Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, June 05, 2016

The Passion of Grief and Outrage

"Right now, I guess in our hearts we're supposed to forgive this clown ... who has touched our families, taken my child."
I was thinking about how he mutilated my child, how you cut my child and you did all this while my child was still alive so you caused my baby great pain."
"I don't know if I thought about leaping [to attack the smirking killer of his 18-year-old daughter] or thought about what have you, I just know I wanted him [to suffer as his child did, the victim of a horrible atrocity]."
Van Terry, East Cleveland, Ohio courtroom

Society's psychopaths give the rest of social community nightmares. Genetic inheritance missed a vital function in human beings when something bypassed the process of forming a complete human being with a natural inclination to empathize with others, to instinctively wish to avoid causing emotional harm to others, and to respond with compassion when other people are in need of comfort and assurance.

These are the conscienceless monsters walking among those in society who have no reason to suspect that someone who appears normal is in reality a threat to either them or someone vulnerable, incapable of imagining what the future may hold in store for them through some connection by chance to a man like Michael Madison who preyed on young women, mutilating, torturing and killing them.

His trial defence called upon the torment inflicted on him as a child as a mitigating factor in his behaviour. Such an excuse is no comfort to anyone; few people who are abused as children feel this is justification for them to abuse others. Perhaps the reverse can be said, that having suffered abuse as a child, that person as an adult can understand the pain inflicted on others and sympathize, not become an abuser themselves.

Victim Shetisha Sheeley
Victim Angela Deskins
The bodies of 38-year-old Angela Deskins (right), 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley (left) were also found in July 2013 near the East Cleveland apartment building where Madison lived

Mr. Terry's teenage daughter Shirellda Terry was one of the women whose life ended in a macabre manner, stalked and murdered by this man who sat in the courtroom in East Cleveland and felt immensely amused at the obvious anguish being expressed by the father of one of his victims. The provocation of facing such a demon, with no compunction over having deprived three women -- including 38year-old Angela Deskins and 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley of their lives drove this distraught father to attempt to attack the prisoner.

The lawyer defending the killer who felt no remorse over his unspeakable brutality defended his client with the insistence that he had slaughtered the women without prior plans, that since premeditation was out of the picture, the death penalty should not be applied. Despite that the women had been tortured, mutilated and strangled, and one of the women had been raped. He had been inspired, said the killer, by someone he admired, another serial killer who had murdered 11 women.

Shirellda Terry (above), 18, was killed by Michael Madison and her body was found in July 2013
Shirellda Terry, 18

When confronted in the courtroom as he made his impact statement, by the taunting smirk of the killer mocking Mr. Terry, the father of 18-year-old Shirellda was unable to contain himself. In a fury of grief and rage he launched himself into a dash to leap over impediments in the intention to assault, and possibly choke his tormentor to death. Sheriff's deputies intercepted Mr. Terry as he leaped toward the killer, and detained him.

This is, however, a punishment that the presiding judge, Cuyahoga Country Common Pleas Judge Nancy McDonnell chose to accept from the recommendation by the jury hearing the case, that the death penalty be applied for this 38-year-old murderer, rather than sentencing him to life in prison without parole.  This man's proclivity for sexual violence did not come out of nowhere; he had earlier been classified in 2002 as a sex offender and sentenced to four years imprisonment for attempted rape.

It will now be up to the Ohio Supreme Court whether his conviction and sentence is to be upheld.

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