Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Serial Killer Art Raises Free Speech Debate

Serial Killer Art Raises Free Speech Debate

I'm a writer and the family member of a person who was murdered.

People guilty and imprisoned for violent crimes lose their right to freedom, and that should include the right or freedom to sell their "art." Crime has cost society enough, and it's time the perpetrators of crime were slapped back into the position/understanding that society merely tolerates their presence, hindered and cut-off as it is. My opinion centers only on those guilty of violence, not those who have committed non-violent crimes.

If a person guilty of assault or murder writes a book, fuck his right to publish it. If a person guilty of assault or murder paints a picture, fuck his right to sell it.

Marjorie Heins, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said freedom of expression extends to prisoners even if it causes emotional distress or offense to the victim's families.

That needs to change.

Our society does not tolerate "cruel and unusual" treatment of incarcerated criminals, and I think the handlers and decision-makers for criminals must re-awaken to the fact that society will not tolerate cruel and unusual assaults upon its psyche. Its more than enough that people who assault and kill are allowed to live, despite the lives they have mangled. Their rights begin and end with their right to draw oxygen. They are provided lodging, clothing, food, even legal counsel. They may not intentionally or unintentionally prey upon the families of their victims with their right to free speech.


Ascendantlive said...

I'm sorry about your family member Matt. And you're correct about prisoners rights. Every person has certain rights, until society decides they are undeserving of said rights. I think if a con is trying to make ammends and even in some small way attempting to fix some of the damage he/she caused, then publishing should be given consideration, depending on the circumstances of the person and the crime committed. But if we're talking movie rights for the story of heinous crimes, no way should the con get anything.
I think sometimes lawyers fighting for rights get lost in the ideal and the specific letter of law. If they spent a couple days in a cell with these people they'd probably come out in support of the death penalty.

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Thank you. The 11th anniversary passed not long ago.

I'm well-familiar with the concept of the "slippery slope" when talking of taking rights away from people. However, I believe if a person's argument has traction, they have nothing to fear of slippery slopes.

As for giving lawyers the opportunities to observe the habits and inner lives of rapists and murderers I really think they ought to be given some privacy and comfort. I propose that they not spend time in a jail cell with the cons -- I'd put them out in a wilderness cabin... just beyond the range of a call for help and cellphone signals.