Monday, March 16, 2009

Josef Fritzl Pleads Guilty

CNN reports on the Austrian man, Josef Fritzl, who, accused of imprisoning his daughter in a cellar for decades and fathering her seven children, pleaded guilty to incest, imprisonment and one charge of assault Monday at the opening of his trial in Austria.

He denied charges of murder and enslavement. When asked to enter a plea on a charge of rape, the 73-year-old replied: "Partly guilty."

Last October we discussed this case when it appeared in the international news. At that time there was much talk of his abused childhood, how he was the classic victim turned abuser. Psychiatrist Adelheid Kastner wrote a 130-page report in which she says Fritzl suffers from severe combined personality disorder and a serious sexual disorder. Kastner recommends that Fritzl remain in psychiatric care for the rest of his life, regardless of the outcome of his prosecution.

I don't know what happened since then, but it sure seems like they're trying him like any other "sane" criminal. I guess Austria has its own difficulties in delineating between those offenders who have diminished capacity and those who should be held fully responsible for their actions.

I can't help think that this is related to the vengeance factor which plays so heavily in the capital punishment debate. Those who favor the severest reading of the law always claim it's about justice, but to me it smacks of vengeance. Anyone else see it like that?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Mike,

    Are the people murdered by someone with diminished capacity any less dead?

    Are the people raped by someone with diminished capacity any less raped?

    You see the criminal as a victim and forget the real victim is the one attacked, the one murdered, the families of those.

    How about the families of the real victims...are their loved ones missed less because they were killed by someone "with diminished capacity"?

    From every account that I remember and read, Fritzl functioned in society. What standard are you going to apply to determine "diminished capacity"?
    That someone, sometime in their background had something bad happen to them?

    The standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase, actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty".

    This guy and most of the criminals you defend KNEW what they were doing were wrong. They were fully capable of understanding right and wrong.

    My question is why are you so quick to defend some of the most heinous monsters around....but so quick to throw law abiding folks like most gun owners under the bus?

  2. i cant comment on stories like this sanely. All i know is that i just want to bash the guy over the head with a shovel. repeatedly..

  3. Slyde,

    Just claim you were temporarily of "diminished capacity" and Mike will want to have you spend a few days in a mental home to get your head straight....a week's vacation and you are back to work.

    Afterward, I might throw you a party for doing what many of us wanted to do.

  4. I think he just needs love and some friends. He's only a trip across the Alps from you, Mike. Maybe you can let him stay at your place?

  5. I'm fine with keeping him in a mental institution for the rest of his life. I'm fine with keeping him in jail for the rest of his life.

    By my standards, most murderers are mentally ill--they are lacking in...something, and do not sufficiently value the lives of others. That isn't enough to keep them out of jail.

  6. I'm fine with Keeping him at Mike's place for the rest of Mike's life.

    : ]

  7. Bob said, "My question is why are you so quick to defend some of the most heinous monsters around....but so quick to throw law abiding folks like most gun owners under the bus?"

    These are bizarre exaggerations. I don't defend monsters; I say extenuating circumstances should be considered. On another comment you said I want them to get a short stay in the hospital and then get out. That's outrageous. I say no such thing. These really dangerous guys should never get out, but where there's mental illness, they have to be treated for it. Maybe your problem is you want everything to be black and white, but it's not. Like Sevesteen said, anyone who murders is mentally ill on some level, but I'm talking about the really damaged characters like this one. You say he functioned in society. I don't call that functioning. And I say his wife and other adult children and maybe even neighbors and friends share in the guilt.

    The other part of your ridiculous exaggeration I contest also. I do not throw law abiding gun owners under the bus. I do want you to admit that gun availability is part of the problem. I insist that "gun flow" is more than just a figment of my imagination. I do want you to accept that maybe gun control laws need to be changed or enforced or added. I don't call that throwing you under the bus.

  8. MikeB,

    Do you ever actually read the words you write?

    I do not throw law abiding gun owners under the bus.

    Then you turn around and say

    I insist that "gun flow" is more than just a figment of my imagination.

    You say you don't throw us under the bus, but then turn around and accuse US of being part of a "FLOW" of guns. A flow of guns, that is so small that it is the barest fraction of the total number of gun owners, of firearms, of even just hand guns.

    You say you want us to admit it is more then a "figment" of your imagination but NEVER EVER PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT IT IS MORE THEN A FIGMENT!!

    I do want you to accept that maybe gun control laws need to be changed or enforced or added.

    You admitted previously that no law would have prevented one attacked. Why can't you understand that NO law will prevent any attacks. If people want to kill, they are going to. Weer'd has posted several times the video of the production of firearms in Pakistan. Homemade firearms that function as well as factory made. Make all the laws you want and people will just get around them.

    What sticks in my craw is your willful refusal to look at the number of firearm laws we currently have. Your willful refusal to see that there is little correlation and causal relationship between gun control and crime.

    We've presented this information over and over again....and still you push for more gun control laws.

    We are asked to "compromise" yet again without you acknowledging that we've compromised away nearly all of our rights already.

    You want us to admit anything MikeB?
    Show us the evidence, show us proof, convince us that your ideas are going to positively impact society. Otherwise your ideas are nothing more then a pipe dream.

    Show us the evidence Mike

  9. Mike's body count rises again:

    "A British man has been charged with using a folding knife to fatally stab his 80-year-old grandmother and slit her throat in her home in an affluent suburb of Boston, authorities said Monday. The man's mother later told a television station he's been struggling with mental illness for years.....Clark's mother, Catherine Clark, who grew up in Weston and lives in Salisbury, England, told WCVB-TV her son has mental health problems and has been descending into a "black place" since suffering a psychotic episode three years ago."

    The availability of MikeB's lies are the killer of this woman.

    Shame on you Mike.

  10. You’re invited to view my latest video “Sex Slavery & Murder.”

  11. VNTuongLai, Thanks so much for that fascinating video about you country's "fatherly figure."