The Power of Conscience

Kronk

We all have an inner voice with a moral bent. It talks to us and we talk back, usually in our heads but sometimes out loud. The Bible calls this conscience. Here is an example of this conversation from a bizarre story that is stranger than fiction. It is from a Forbes article documenting how the uber rich do not escape the hardships of life.

“One of the strangest and disturbing tragedies involves a billionaire heir, Robert Durst who was arrested in 2015, after implicating himself in the suspected murders of three people in HBO’s documentary “The Jinx.” Durst, who is a member of the New York real estate family worth $4.4 billion, had long been suspected to have killed his first wife Kathleen, who went missing in 1982. After leaving an on-camera interview for the documentary, his lapel microphone was still on, and Durst said to himself: “What the hell did I do? Killed ’em all, of course.” And humiliated a family that once had the world in their palm.”

Romans 2:14-15 “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them…”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001. Print.

Source: Aubrey McClendon’s Sad Death And 8 Other Tragic Stories Involving The Super Rich – Forbes

Why drivers in China intentionally kill the pedestrians they hit: China’s laws have encouraged the hit to kill phenomenon.

 

Whenever cars hit pedestrians, it is bad news. In California where I live, there is a problem with people fleeing the scene of an accident to avoid prosecution (sometimes because they have been drinking). That is frustrating.

But in China, a different layer of evil has grown up around this situation. When a driver hits a pedestrian on the road, evidently many of them deliberately hit the person a second time to make sure they do not survive.  The thinking seems to be, it is better for the driver if the person is dead than if they are only injured.  A handful of these incidents have even been caught on video.

Why does this happen? Drivers do this because of several perverse laws in that country. First, it is considerably cheaper to face a lawsuit for killing someone than for simply injuring them.  Simply maiming someone is expensive.  Second, it is very unlikely that you will be convicted for murder if you do this. What a tragedy.

Those with cars in China are often the rich, and this is an example of the laws protecting the money of the powerful above the lives of the rest.  Whether or not these laws were intended to do this is a separate question.  This is the effect.  And given China’s track record on protecting the common person, it is not surprising.

This whole story is stranger than fiction and sounds like some kind of B-rated dystopian novel.

“Double-hit cases” have been around for decades. I first heard of the “hit-to-kill” phenomenon in Taiwan in the mid-1990s when I was working there as an English teacher. A fellow teacher would drive us to classes. After one near-miss of a motorcyclist, he said, “If I hit someone, I’ll hit him again and make sure he’s dead.” Enjoying my shock, he explained that in Taiwan, if you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person’s care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you “only have to pay once, like a burial fee.” He insisted he was serious—and that this was common.”

Source: Why drivers in China intentionally kill the pedestrians they hit: China’s laws have encouraged the hit to kill phenomenon.

The Mixed Story of Racism: A Black Judge’s Sentencing Speech to 3 White Murderers

U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves, for the Southern District of Mississippi. Courtesy of cleoinc.org

 

A Black Mississippi Judge’s Breathtaking Speech To 3 White Murderers : Code Switch : NPR.

Wow.

This is worth your time to read. 3 white men in Mississippi were sentenced for the brutal and racially motivated killing of 48 year old James Anderson.  These men were involved in an escalating pattern of violence that echoes the “ni&&er hunts” that have punctuated this state’s past.  Beware the article does use the “N” word a number of times in reflecting on the evils of racism and the troubled history of that state.

“In Without Sanctuary, historian Leon Litwack writes that between 1882 and 1968 an estimated 4,742 blacks met their deaths at the hands of lynch mobs”

According to the judge, these acts were committed by young men who were described by others, ‘as “a fine young man,” “a caring person,” “a well mannered man” who is truly remorseful and wants to move on with his life … a very respectful … a good man … a good person … a lovable, kindhearted teddy bear who stands in front of bullies…’  The men were incriminated by video evidence and their own guilty pleas.

The events themselves reveal that there is more need for progress.  The end of the speech shows that change has been on the march and this is encouraging.  There is a satisfying irony in this, that only enhances the justice of the proceedings.

“Today, though, the criminal justice system (state and federal) has proceeded methodically, patiently and deliberately seeking justice. Today we learned the identities of the persons unknown … they stand here publicly today. The sadness of this day also has an element of irony to it: Each defendant was escorted into court by agents of an African-American United States Marshal, having been prosecuted by a team of lawyers which includes an African-American AUSA from an office headed by an African-American U.S. attorney — all under the direction of an African-American attorney general, for sentencing before a judge who is African-American, whose final act will be to turn over the care and custody of these individuals to the BOP [Federal Bureau of Prisons] — an agency headed by an African-American.

“Today we take another step away from Mississippi’s tortured past … we move farther away from the abyss.”