Sunday, July 27, 2008

Love And Death In The USA

First, here's a story about love. Well, sex, anyway.

It's from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution :

Wendy Whitaker's name may be on Georgia's sex offender registry, but her offense suggests she is no predator.

At age 17, while a high school sophomore, Whitaker had oral sex with a 15-year-old male classmate. In 1997, she pleaded guilty to sodomy and got five years' probation.

Whitaker, 28, has moved twice because of the sex offender law's restrictions that say an offender cannot live within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate. Whitaker was recently told by a sheriff she must move again because her home is within 1,000 feet of a church.

I'm thinking - she pleaded guilty to what?

I found the story via the excellent Echidne of the Snakes blog. And the death story is from there as well. Here's a news report from Louisiana:

WINNFIELD, La., July 23 (UPI) -- Louisiana authorities are awaiting the results of a state police report before deciding whether to file criminal charges in the Taser death of a handcuffed man.

Baron "Scooter" Pikes, 21, was shocked nine times by officer Scott Nugent after being arrested on a cocaine charge in Winnfield earlier this year, CNN reported Wednesday.

Nugent, who was fired as a result of the incident, may face criminal charges now that Pikes' death has been ruled a homicide.

Winn Parish Coroner Randolph Williams says Pikes was jolted so many times with the 50,000-volt Taser that he might have been dead before the last two shocks were delivered.

Williams said Pikes was handcuffed and on the ground when the stun gun use began.

Nugent's lawyer says his client followed proper procedure in subduing a man who weighed 247 pounds.

I don't imagine that "Scooter" Pikes was a nice chap. But to die at 21 like this? I don't think there are more painful ways to die than by electrocution. Let's try and ensure that when tasers are used in the UK, they save lives rather than end them.


Jock Coats said...

It's quite common for "sodomy laws" to mean all sorts of "sexual deviance". In fact it did here too. I understand that in some states, and Georgia is a prime example, it can more or less mean any sexual act that isn't the heterosexual missionary position!

I always feel a bit sorry for the poor beknighted folk of Sodom. After all there is absolutely not one single scrap of evidence, biblical or otherwise, that they did anything wrong!

Anonymous said...

Not that two data points make a trend, but this is still disturbing:

Chris Black said...

Thanks anonymous - that links relates to a 16 year old being tasered...

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