Monday, June 26, 2006

US Senate, Panderers, Idiots, or Plotters?

     This article from AP lists five Senators (3R, 2D), complaining about amnesty for people who have killed Americans. 

     There was no further, formal punishment of loyalists (and some return of property) after the American War of Independence.  The first rebellion against the war (Shay's Rebellion) resulted in some rebels entering the Massachusettes legislature.  Now this doesn't jobe with the behavior of the greatest generation®© who patriotically let 99% of the millions of Germans who fought for the Third Reich die in jail.  Um, in fact, maybe we let them all go, and some of the near 1,000,000 kept stateside actually just stayed in America after the war was over.

     Like the stupid law in Florida and New Hampshire to encourage killing molested children, "no amnesty" also sets up a bad set of incentives if your goal is to end the strife. 

     How would you go about proving you hadn't done it?

The case of Jason Parmenter, awaiting execution in Northampton jail, was especially vexatious. Sentenced to hang for participating in Shays' attack on the Springfield arsenal, Parmenter separately was guilty of fatally shooting a government soldier -- inadvertently in the dark of night, he maintained. Perhaps he could be pardoned for marching on Springfield -- but what about the charge of murder?

The Hancock administration continued to hedge on this potentially explosive problem. At last a formula was devised which would equally dramatize the justice and the mercy of government: Parmenter and his fellow convicts were paraded at the gallows on June 21, 1787, before a large crowd of spectators -- and were reprieved only at the last instant.

No comments: