The full weight of the law
A sentence of 55 years for Julio Carrillo. Really? And what does it take to get a life sentence? This wasn’t an impulsive crime of passion in a stressed out moment. The Carrillos, according to prosecutors, spent months methodically torturing a little girl, day after day. They had plenty of time to come to their senses, and listen to a spark of decency inside themselves, if it existed.
And did the judge, in all his measured deliberations in Carrillo’s case, consider what the other three children experienced as they witnessed their sisters’ gruesome ordeal?
Marissa Kennedy was innocent and defenseless. And while we already failed her once, the very least that might have been done is that we could have gotten a clear and unmistakable communication from the bench, on behalf of all children, that a crime like this deserves the full weight of the law and our collective fury.
A responsibility to act
Once again, we open the paper to read about a young man killing multiple people and wounding many more. This time it was in Odessa, Texas, and the numbers are seven dead with more than 20 wounded. The motive is unclear, and we may never know for sure what it was, since the gunman, as in many of these cases, was stopped by being killed himself. But once again, we hear “thoughts and prayers.” The mayor of Odessa even said, “In a situation like this, prayer is the most important thing.” No. Action is the only thing that will prevent this from happening again.
After the two mass shootings in early August, many hoped there would be action. There were even calls for Congress to return from their summer break to enact sensible legislation to prevent further carnage: universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and maybe beginning to talk about reinstating the assault weapons ban. No such luck. Every member of Congress has a responsibility to act. They know what needs to be done, and they need to have the courage to do it.
A ranked-choice response
The Aug. 31 OpEd written by Jacob Posik is a specious argument against ranked-choice voting. He claims that the 8,253 exhausted ballots should be counted in the denominator of the percentage to determine the majority winner, and therefore Rep. Jared Golden did not win a real majority vote. These voters decided not to rank all the candidates. The two independents they voted for were eliminated in the first round. The fact that they chose not to rank all the candidates exhausted their vote. This is equivalent to those voters not turning out to vote in a runoff election. If Posik’s contention is that they should be counted in the total denominator when determining a majority, then why doesn’t he also contend that all voters in the district should be counted in the denominator even if they didn’t turn out to vote at all? There is no difference in partial voting and not voting at all in the case he sites.
Secondly, I’m really tired of the trope that voters are too stupid to understand ranked-choice voting. Marking mistakes happen in all types of voting and ranked-choice voting is no different.
Finally, ranked-choice voting allows the “most wanted” candidate to win while saving the state money and saving voters two trips to the polls. Ranked-choice voting ends the “least wanted” candidate from winning the election when there are more than two choices on the ballot.