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Darwin Award, Family Edition

 

Charles Darwin (Everett Historical/Shutterstock [1])

Oh good grief: [2]

Janique Walker knows the cost of a split second.

Her younger brother, 17-year-old Charles Macklin, was killed while trying to steal a Jeep from a Chicago fire lieutenant on the West Side last August. The lieutenant had left the Jeep running, and Macklin jumped behind the wheel.

The lieutenant ran in front of the Jeep and shouted, “Get out,” according to a police report. When Macklin began pulling away, the lieutenant drew his gun and fired through the open driver’s side window, hitting the teen in the chest.

Macklin’s last words were, “Sorry, bro,” according to the police report. The teen died on the pavement. He did not have a gun on him.

That’s a sad situation. But Janique Walker seems to believe that her no-good brother was done wrong:

Walker, 20, has organized protests, started a Facebook page and launched a hashtag on Twitter. She says she hasn’t given up hope of getting justice for her brother.

She believes her brother was found guilty by one man with a gun. Walker said her brother should be alive to stand before a judge and take responsibility for his actions.

“When has it ever become legal to shoot someone because they’re pulling off in your car?” she asked. “Even if (Macklin) did that, if he did steal the car. You’ve got insurance — let him go to jail. I would’ve rather had to get a call to go bail him out of jail than to get a phone call that he’s dead.”

“When has it ever become legal to shoot someone because they’re pulling off in your car?” Oh boy. Janique Walker is something else, isn’t she?

Here are a crazy set of ideas:

  1. Don’t steal cars
  2. If you are stealing a car, and the owner of the car pulls a gun on you and tells you to stop, then stop.
  3. If your brother gets shot dead stealing another man’s car and not stopping when that man points a gun and tells him to stop, you need to reflect on whether or not your no-good brother deserved what he got. 

The problem here is not the gun owner. You know that, right?

UPDATE: Exactly no one in the comments section agrees with me. I don’t expect they will after I explain where I’m coming from either. But I’m going to do that.

From my reading of the story, the firefighter was a Darwin Award candidate himself for leaving his car running. What we don’t know is if he was on a call. In any case, he was stupid. But when he saw what was happening, he stood in front of the car and told the thief to get out. The thief apparently tried to run over him, which is what prompted him to shoot.

He did not have to shoot. He did. A thief died. It would have been better for all had the thief been caught and forced to stand trial. But honestly, I don’t care that this happened to the thief.

A couple of decades ago, I had a car stolen from me while I was at work. The thieves got into the car and cracked the useless lock I had on the steering wheel. I didn’t know what had happened until I came out to the parking lot, and it was gone. Cops recovered it a few days later, abandoned in a slum. They told me that based on evidence left behind in the car, it was a bunch of teenagers out for a joyride.

I was lucky. I had an insurance policy that rented a replacement for me while cops searched for my car, and the body shop fixed it (it was pretty banged up). And the insurance paid for the $7,000 in repairs. Those joyriders, they didn’t know anything about the owner of the car. For all they knew, its owner was someone for whom that car was a lifeline to a job (mine was for me), and the owner did not have anything more than basic liability insurance, meaning that their night of fun could have left the owner without a car, and without the money to fix the car he or she needed to get to work to feed his or her family. None of that mattered to them. They took an honest person’s property — and you know well that an automobile is a lot more important to someone’s daily life in our society than a mobile phone or a wallet — and used it to have fun. They left it trashed and banged up on the side of the road.

I hope that I wouldn’t have shot these guys if I had had a gun, and saw them stealing my car — but only because I wouldn’t have wanted to go to jail. I have no sympathy for criminals like that. It would have been better had the Chicago fire lieutenant not shot and killed that thief. But I don’t really care that he did. My sympathies lie with ordinary working people who are preyed on by criminals like Charles Macklin.

UPDATE.2: Reader MH posted the original report about the shooting [3]. It states pretty clearly why the fire lieutenant wasn’t charged. Emphasis mine:

An off-duty Chicago Fire Department lieutenant shot and killed a 17-year-old boy who tried to run him over after stealing his car Monday morning in the North Austin neighborhood, police and fire officials said.

Police said, around 9:30 a.m., a 45-year-old man left his vehicle running in the 1400 block of North Lock, and a 17-year-old boy got into the car. When the man tried to stop him, the teen tried to run the man over, and the man shot him in the chest.

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219 Comments To "Darwin Award, Family Edition"

#1 Comment By Turmarion On June 19, 2018 @ 8:03 pm

JonF: I think there is a point at which all of us look at some malefactor coming to grief and think “You made your bed– have a nice nap”. And maybe that does make us bad Christians….

I said I was leaving it, but I’ll return just than this, because you make thoughtful remarks, JonF, and won’t take me amiss. In answer to your question, yes, it does make us bad Christians. Of course, we’re all bad Christians for various reasons.

You mentioned on another thread about how the Church had to adapt and make compromises with the world–e.g., allowing warfare (though the earliest military saints became saints for refusing to fight), allowing divorce (despite what the founder said), and suchlike.

The church, at its best, as you’ve pointed out, realizes that sometimes what we have to do in this world is still the least bad of a bunch of bad options. That’s why, as you probably know, St. Basil (I think it was him) said that while just warfare is not murder, soldiers ought to refrain from communion for three years. Likewise, marriages after the first in the Orthodox Church are permitted, but celebrated in a penitential theme.

Thus, as I often say, it’s not either-or, but both-and. Christianity is not pacifist, and yet even just war is sinful. Taking a life in self-defense is legitimate and a horrible, awful thing, that, I would contend, is sinful on some level. Divorce and remarriage (in an Orthodox context) is permitted and yet it’s also a failure. And so on.

So, yes, we should feel at least some pity for even Timothy McVeigh, and maybe say at least a prayer or two for his soul. As the Fátima prayer says, we are to implore Jesus to “lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy”.

Do I live up to this standard myself? I make no such claims–read my post above. If someone harmed my loved ones I’d want to kill them myself, and would perhaps do so if I could. That doesn’t make it right–I agree with Fran for once in that followers of Christ are called to a higher standard. My point is that there’s a difference between realizing that one’s failure of mercy does make one a bad Christian (as, I repeat, are we all); but thinking mercy is optional or can be dispensed with is, to me, a huge problem, and not representative of Christ’s teaching.

#2 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 19, 2018 @ 8:55 pm

I agree with everything in Turmarion’s response to JonF. A pastor I am acquainted with who is a Biblical literalist once explained that if he saw a man attempting to rape his wife, and killed the man to prevent it, the killing would be justified, but it would still be a sin that he had killed a man. I recall a prison pastor of the same church who recounted a woman asking “Do you really think Jeffrey Dahmer can be saved?” A colleague in the same ministry asked, “Well, can you?”

#3 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 20, 2018 @ 7:53 am

@Fran Macadam:

So, when a person who decides to steal something claims he can’t be stopped because he’s unarmed, do you think the police must let him go because no force can be used? Or do the police have a special exemption?

This has been legislated and litigated up the wazoo. Every police department has rules about it, presumably drawn up in line with the relevant federal, state and local laws and court decisions. There are variations around the country, but in general, police do have a “special exemption” but nonetheless are allowed to use deadly force only in a restricted and well-defined range of circumstances, not just anytime they have an urge to.

That doesn’t mean that outside those circumstances they “must let [a thief] go,” but it might mean that they can’t stop him at that moment and instead have to try to apprehend him later or in some other way based on, y’know, that laborious business known as “police work.” It also means that clearly unjustified deadly force can get them charged with a crime, up to and including first-degree murder, as in the Laquan McDonald case. McDonald, too, was a reported / suspected thief at the moment the cops drilled him with 16 rounds. But it’s been charged as murder because he otherwise plainly posed no threat (although the cops originally lied egregiously about this).

@Phillip:

I and many others strongly feel that the “thugs” ARE actually the legalists because we perceive that now the law only protects them, not us. That’s why we lack sympathy for them.

Thanks for the comment, which does provide a helpful perspective on some of these attitudes. To me, though, that claim seems wildly exaggerated. The law only protects the thugs? Look, in Chicago, the city where the Macklin shooting happened, the police made over 400 arrests for vehicular hijacking from 2014-2017, and nearly three thousand arrests for possessing or trafficking in stolen vehicles:

[4]

There were also probably huge numbers of arrests for auto theft (although I don’t know how that category is broken out from other thefts in the data at that link). And again, that’s just in Chicago.

Now you can say that even this isn’t aggressive enough, that the thieves and thugs still get too many breaks, etc. But the idea that the law protects “only” them, when in fact it’s arresting a bunch of them every single day and in every city, is — well, let’s just say, it’s a bit startling.

If it comes out that this young man had an extensive juvenile record (as I suspect), will you extend the same concern to his victims as you extend to him?

Of course I have concern for his (supposed) earlier victims. But I’ve seen no report that Macklin had any criminal record. Maybe a juvenile record that’s sealed, but I’d be surprised if that fact (if not the details) hadn’t leaked by now. Anyway, to turn your question around: if it turns out that he didn’t have a record, then is he still just a “thug” deserving of no sympathy, in your view?

Turmarion:

For months afterwards I would have rage fantasies about the death of the kids (the cops never caught them, but strongly believed they were teens or early twenty-somethings), or wishing that I had caught them and shot them down. Not related to that, but there are two other people in my adult life who did me very, very dirty, about whom I had similar fantasies.

Interesting. I get that you’re not defending that reaction. It is different from mine, though. The consequences I imagine, and at times have actively sought, for the people who have wronged me don’t involve doing them violence, but bringing down the force of the law on them, either by having them arrested (in the case of robbery) or (in the case of torts) suing their sorry butts. Maybe that’s a different sort of temperament, or perhaps I remain more of a believer in legal processes as they currently function even in our very imperfect society.

@Raskolnik:

You and your ilk just want Christians to disarm themselves and never engage in self-defense, based on your selective and willful misinterpretation of the handful of Bible verses that support your selective and willful misinterpretations.

I don’t know if I can speak for my entire “ilk,” but I think the biblical passages in question are at least as clear as those on which, for instance, traditionalists have hung their opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage. And no, I hardly think that Christians should oppose all use of force, although I think the proper way to defend a community is through lawful processes and professional, well-funded policing, not individual armed vigilantism with all its attendant dangers.

JonF:

I think there is a point at which all of us look at some malefactor coming to grief and think “You made your bed– have a nice nap”. And maybe that does make us bad Christians– I would be interested to hear what people have to say there– but not in a “gotcha” vein.

I wouldn’t say it makes a person a bad Christian in general. But depending on the pitilessness of a given judgment, I might say that at the moment the person making it is simply absenting himself from Christianity, treating it temporarily as an irrelevance — as I am temporarily taking leave of the world of English speakers, for instance, on the rare occasions when I try to struggle through a conversation in German.

Now, if a person consistently and continuously judges others pitilessly and with little or no sustained evidence of Christian charity, then I might question what that person takes to be “Christianity” and in what sense he/she makes a claim to following it. I don’t know if that’s the same thing as calling the person a “bad Christian,” but, you know, if the shoe fits.

But let me repeat what startles me the most about the responses here of some self-identified Christian traditionalists. It is incoherent to argue, first, that kids are very influence by the conditions and models they’re exposed to while being raised — to the point that they should be denied smartphones, maybe pulled from public schools and, if possible, raised in BenOp type communities — and, simultaneously, that we know from one single (if bad) mistake on the part of a 17-year-old, the particulars of whose background and rearing we know nothing about, that he was clearly an irredeemable “thug” deserving of no pity. It’s saying in the one case that childhood and teenage influences are all-important, and in the other that they count for nothing. It’s intellectually dishonest, a way of justifying any conclusion and therefore any social policy you happen to want. As Dana Carvey’s censorious “Church Lady” used to put it, “How conveeeeeenient.”

#4 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 20, 2018 @ 8:13 am

@Turmarion:

Thinking further about the different reaction I mentioned above: to me, the idea of people who wronged me getting killed doesn’t feel very satisfying. I’d much rather have them confronted with some kind of authoritative judgment that says they were wrong, that the community and its laws reject their selfish and stupid way of thinking. Maybe they’ll never agree, but at least they’d be forced to hear this. If they’re just killed, then they won’t be.

#5 Comment By JonF On June 20, 2018 @ 8:41 am

Re: A pastor I am acquainted with who is a Biblical literalist once explained that if he saw a man attempting to rape his wife, and killed the man to prevent it, the killing would be justified, but it would still be a sin that he had killed a man.

I don’t disagree with this at all. My comment above was about emotions not intellect: I find it hard to work up any outrage on behalf of certain malefactors who come to a bad end. As an aside I may be accepting the shooter’s story because of the Baltimore incident I mentioned above, though of course the two have no direct connection.

#6 Comment By Fran Macadam On June 20, 2018 @ 11:50 am

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a reasoning that unleashes any physical constraint against those who commit crimes in a society unmoored from Christian conscience.

I would say this reflects a dysfunctional “Death Wish,” and if the societal norm, encourages untrammeled criminality. It is not without consequence, for the reaction is just like that of Charles Bronson’s Paul Kersey in “Death Wish,” a liberal until his wife and daughter were raped.

#7 Comment By craig On June 20, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

“My point is that there’s a difference between realizing that one’s failure of mercy does make one a bad Christian (as, I repeat, are we all); but thinking mercy is optional or can be dispensed with is, to me, a huge problem, and not representative of Christ’s teaching.”

Justice is what is due to the innocent and the guilty alike. So many Christians today treat mercy as if it were a new-and-improved brand of justice, and in doing so they necessarily slide into universalism.

Because if mercy is owed to everyone, then the Old Testament Law is necessarily unjust, and Final Judgment and hell are simply vengeful and mean. This idea also implicitly denies that the Father and the Son are one; while attempting to elevate Jesus’ moral teaching, it ends up making the Father ‘bad cop’ to the Son’s ‘good cop’.

Genuine mercy is different. Christians are called to it, most explicitly in the Our Father, and can fail at it, but in the end mercy is a ‘should’ not a ‘must’ (those who read and write contract requirements will understand this distinction). Mercy is a free gift toward the trespasser by the one trespassed against, but it is gratuitous, and cannot be mandatory or else it is not mercy at all but must be subsumed under justice.

#8 Comment By Raskolnik On June 20, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

Every moment that we have not yet achieved Theosis, that our intentions have not yet been perfected, that our actions of body and speech and mind are still in some way impure, is sinful.

This has basically sweet F.A. to do with the morality of self-defense. We are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. You can’t do that if you’re dead or your society no longer exists.

#9 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 20, 2018 @ 2:59 pm

@Fran Macadam:

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a reasoning that unleashes any physical constraint against those who commit crimes in a society unmoored from Christian conscience.

I think maybe you’ve garbled this sentence so it doesn’t mean what you intended. If you mean “a reasoning that leashes (or prevents) any physical constraint,” then you’re right, but you’re arguing with a total straw man. See my response to Phillip above: the Chicago police have made thousands of arrests for vehicular thefts and hijackings just in the last few years alone, and presumably the same is true in other jurisdictions throughout the country. They’ve made many more thousands of arrests for other crimes as well. We may live in a society “unmoored from Christian conscience” as you define it, but the idea that we’ve removed “any physical constraint” against criminals is not an analysis of reality, it’s some kind of paranoid persecution complex.

#10 Comment By Phillip On June 20, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

“Thanks for the comment, which does provide a helpful perspective on some of these attitudes. To me, though, that claim seems wildly exaggerated. The law only protects the thugs? Look, in Chicago, the city where the Macklin shooting happened, the police made over 400 arrests for vehicular hijacking from 2014-2017, and nearly three thousand arrests for possessing or trafficking in stolen vehicles. . .But the idea that the law protects “only” them, when in fact it’s arresting a bunch of them every single day and in every city, is — well, let’s just say, it’s a bit startling.”

@Jefferson Smith

I think you’re glossing over my deliberate use of “feel” a bit quickly because I’m focusing on perception which fuels reactions. There have been protests, marches, and much media coverage over this incident.

But turn the situation around. The young man shot and killed a fire fighter driving a car. “Tragic”, pro forma statements about crime, his surviving family, etc. And it’s gone. And all the other arrests don’t receive much attention at all.

Can you see how this difference feeds the perception that Only Criminal Lives Matter?

“Anyway, to turn your question around: if it turns out that he didn’t have a record, then is he still just a ‘thug’ deserving of no sympathy, in your view?”

I am sympathetic that many people in prison are not evil but hung out with the wrong crowd or have poor impulse control. I don’t know if he was trying to get away or commit murder, but I hope that God has mercy on the young man’s soul and receives him into Heaven.

But I have no sympathy for his choice to commit a serious crime (a fact no one contests, merely which crime), a choice that happened to result in his death, like riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 20, 2018 @ 9:51 pm

Can you see how this difference feeds the perception that Only Criminal Lives Matter?

No. Because anyone who reads the local daily paper is aware that young men who kill city building inspectors during an attempted carjacking, lead police on a high speed chase in which an officer is killed, hunt down witnesses to previous crimes and kill them, shoot ten year old girls on playgrounds, etc. etc. etc. are arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to many years in prison.

#12 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 20, 2018 @ 10:39 pm

@Phillip:

There have been protests, marches, and much media coverage over this incident.

But turn the situation around. The young man shot and killed a fire fighter driving a car. “Tragic”, pro forma statements about crime, his surviving family, etc. And it’s gone. And all the other arrests don’t receive much attention at all.

Can you see how this difference feeds the perception that Only Criminal Lives Matter?

I suppose I can see why someone might have that “perception,” but it requires ignoring a lot of context. If the kid had shot the firefighter, he would have been arrested and charged, probably with felony murder if he’d also been trying to steal the jeep. We don’t, as a society, ignore such crimes; we address them, but through long-established institutions and processes involving whole classes of professionals whose entire job, day in and day out, is to suppress crime and to catch and punish criminals. Perhaps that makes society’s response to a given murder seem, in a way, invisible compared to public protests and marches, but that doesn’t mean we’re ignoring it or that there is no response.

There were marches and the like in this case because that established system did not intervene over Macklin’s death in what seemed to some citizens like the expected or appropriate way. That’s also the phenomenon that led to the protests that became Black Lives Matter. If people were confident that wrongful deaths at the hands of police, or in this case at the hands of a vigilante with ties to the city’s institutions, were receiving their diligent due investigation and response, they would leave it at that and wouldn’t go out protesting. Hence there would not be the media coverage you’re referring to, because most of that follows and is generated by the protests.

Now you may think the protesters who took issue with the official, institutional responses to the Macklin case, or to the cases in Ferguson and elsewhere that BLM has highlighted, are wrong — that in fact the prosecutors and others in these cases did respond appropriately given all the facts, particularly the fact that the people killed were usually involved in some sort of crime, albeit sometimes only petty crime. OK, well, that’s a political debate we can have, then. In a free country, those protesters can take to the streets and protest if they choose to, arguing that the institutions are operating on a set of embedded assumptions that are arguably racist and need to be rooted out. And you or anyone else who sees things differently can do the same but with a different message, if you feel strongly enough about it. There would be media coverage of your protests too. (The media do not cover only the left, as is clear from the attention given to the “Tea Party” a few years ago, or to Trump supporters and rallies nowadays. Trump’s rallies were being carried live on cable news networks even when he was only one of many early candidates in the last election cycle.)

In short, the perception you’re referring to is the creation of the citizens themselves — of who chooses to protest and who doesn’t. If you and your fellow citizens choose not to go public and to generate media coverage for your firm belief that “Law-Abiding Lives Matter Too,” well, fine, but then that’s the choice you’re making.

But I have no sympathy for his choice to commit a serious crime….

I don’t think anyone has sympathy for that particular choice. That was never the question at issue in this discussion, as far as I can tell.

#13 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 20, 2018 @ 10:49 pm

I see that Siarlys made a point similar to mine while I was writing my comment. I endorse it and also salute its succinctness. Again, I would just add that you, Phillip, and whoever else “perceives” that the levels of attention are imbalanced, have options for redressing this if you feel strongly enough about it.

#14 Comment By Phillip On June 21, 2018 @ 9:57 am

Hi Siarlys,

My local reporting generally only covers a tiny fraction of crimes, often believed to be so because of pressure from City Hall to avoid making the city look bad. I turn to Next Door for the actual criminal activity.

So, no, I don’t read the same thing as you do in the paper every day. And I’ve been personally threatened for reporting a crime. I reported the threat. Nothing was done, but fortunately I didn’t get killed.

#15 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 21, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

Phillip, I have no doubt that the personal experiences you relate are real, and are part of any accurate comprehensive overview. In addition to the prosecutions I have related, I am also aware of people who HAVE been killed for reporting a crime and being available as witnesses for the prosecution. In fact I mentioned that as one of the types of prosecution I see reported — A kills B, then kills C because C saw A kill B, but eventually A is convicted in the killing of C. Its a very serious concern in the are I live, which police and prosecutors take seriously.

On the other hand, there is the case of the officer who saw a young black man who had parked late at night across two reserved parking spaces, and instead of writing him a ticket, swaggered around saying “I own this, OK?” Then he called for back up, and the unresisting man was talked, tased, and all charges dropped. Which is the sort of incident that lends substance to the whole Black Lives Matter line of protest.

In my opinion, the officer first on the scene, and the two sergeants, should all be fired. There is a good deal of video to document that the man was not resisting in any way, and, that after realizing what a bad position they had put themselves in, officers called for an investigative team to protect themselves from the way this might blow up in the media — which it did anyway.

#16 Comment By JonF On June 22, 2018 @ 6:50 am

Re: My local reporting generally only covers a tiny fraction of crimes

News is more than just news about crime, and both print and broadcast media have restrictions of space and time. Still, “It bleeds it leads” is very much a truth and especially spectacular or gruesome crimes will be be featured prominently. The death of the policewoman who was run over by burglars here was very much a leading story in all out media. Minor crimes, like car break-ins, not so much. Still, any crime that is reported is available in public record.

#17 Comment By Phillip On June 22, 2018 @ 11:34 am

Jefferson, Siarlys, and JonF,

I do appreciate all of your comments and actually agree with what you’re saying.

My point has simply been to respond to “Why are so many people unsympathetic to the young man’s death?”.

Of course media can’t report everything, but that means that we all fill in the blanks with our own experiences and those of our family and friends.

I absolutely understand why many people get worked up about apparent racial bias by police. Because they’ve experienced it first-hand. And that makes other accounts easier to believe, even if statistics don’t necessarily back it up. Shaun King had to apologize and delete tweets after some body cam footage came out because the initial but deceptive account of the incident was perceived to be credible.

The question is: “If this type of incident is so rare, why does it keep happening to me and people I know?”

And when there is no visible consequence for the villain, then it becomes that much worse. And then when people come out in defense of the villain, it’s salt in the wound.

But that principle applies across the board. My feeling that the deck is stacked against me because the system failed is the same as someone else who saw a cop get away with a genuine abuse of power.

Our perceptions are formed more by our emotions than our reason. I aspire to be a completely rational decision maker, but it’s a work in progress.

(Media bias is its own separate issue. I’ve a got a media vs. the Tea Party story too.)

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 22, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

Shaun King had to apologize and delete tweets after some body cam footage came out because the initial but deceptive account of the incident was perceived to be credible.

I will stipulate that black thugs and white police officers each have their own penchant for whipping up a self-serving story like this. In the long run camera footage will help to root out both.

I just read a post shared by a good friend and church brother who is African American, comparing a one year nine month sentence for a “white” man and a 5 year sentence for a “black” man. Well, that is one difference. The other was the difference between “possession with intent to sell” and “manufacturing and distributing.” The latter fully explains the discrepancy in sentences.

For that matter, black police officers can be just as blatantly abusive as white ones.

#19 Comment By Jefferson Smith On June 22, 2018 @ 4:46 pm

@Phillip:

Our perceptions are formed more by our emotions than our reason. I aspire to be a completely rational decision maker, but it’s a work in progress.

I appreciate this, so I don’t mean to naysay it. In a sense, I was agreeing with you about it in an early comment on this thread, when I pointed out that my sainted father was a teacher who spent his career trying to help emotionally disturbed and troubled young people find productive lives and stay out of trouble with the law. That experience and perspective undoubtedly color my own response to people dismissing a kid who messed up as a mere “thug” and suggesting that he deserved to die.

By the same token, though, I would say that emotion and reason can’t neatly be separated, and perhaps we shouldn’t try to. Emotions include sympathies (or lack thereof), which affect our sense of which facts are or should be relevant to our rational calculus and in what ways. In a case like this one, for instance, what value do we assign in our logical equations to the lost 60 years or so of the life of person whose ultimate adult identity and value system were still in formation? That’s not a question, I’m guessing you would agree, that reason by itself can really answer.