Cold pizza for an innocent man

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I like to drop in on Davids Medienkritik from time to time. His pointers to and comments regarding the actions of the German, and general European, media are interesting to me.

In a post on 1/17 (or 17/1 as the case may be), David points us to one of those little tidbits of bleeding-heartism that one just can't make up; such pettiness needs to come directly from the soul.

In Roger Willemsen: Cold Pizza for an Innocent Man, David tells us about the reaction of one Roger Willemson (of whom I was blissfully unaware but who, according to David, is some sort of media personality) and his reaction to the execution of one Roger Kieth Coleman.

Roger Keith Coleman went to the electric chair in 1992 for the brutal murder of Wanda McCoy, his wife's sister. McCoy in 1981 was raped, stabbed and nearly beheaded. Though Coleman never confessed to the crime, he was sentenced to death in 1982 based on the (strong) evidence available then. Through the years, Coleman - who steadfastly proclaimed his innocence - became the poster boy for the death penalty opposition.

Apparently genetic testing refuted Coleman's claims of innocence. Whether or not Willemson was aware of this at the time he made the following comments is unknown to me. It does not, however, ultimately matter to his attempt to construct a mountain range from the dust of an abandoned molehill.

Coleman wanted a pizza as his last meal. He gave one of the journalists a piece of this pizza. That’s how we found out the jailor had served the pizza extra cold. That’s one of the deeply barbaric little traits of the average man who sits at home with his family and decides to personally punish someone who’s been locked up in a death cell for 18 years - and who’s demonstrably innocent: he makes sure to let the guy’s pizza get cold.

Coleman’s fate occupies me very much to this day. I’ve written about it several times. For me literature is an ongoing appeal to the ability to empathize.

I suspect that Mr. Willemson uses appeals to "literature" as an excuse to blather inanities that amply demonstrate he lacks not only empathy but perspective.


Buddy Larsen said...

"...demonstrably innocent"?

And all Mr. W did was write about it?

Knucklehead said...

No, Buddy, that's not all he did you dolt! He cared about it. That's the important thing. Sheesh.

Peter UK said...

Well it's not as if he was going to send the pizza back.

Buddy Larsen said...

One wonders if the phrase "On-the-cheap hostile xenophobia masquerading as feel-goodism via the use of deliberate lies" would mean anything to Mr. W.?

David Thomson said...

I don’t see the problem. They could have placed the cold pizza on Roger Keith Coleman’s lap during his electrocution. That would have likely warmed it up in a hurry. By the way, we now know for sure that Coleman was the murderer. Recent DNA tests have firmly verified his guilt.

Buddy Larsen said...

So, the coin-flip those honky hillbilly jurists used, came up right after all? Well, tarnation, i feel like breakin' out the jug n' doin' a little clog dancin'.

Knucklehead said...

Just a bit more on the lack of perspective and empathy on the part of Mr. W...

David quotes him:

Coleman was subjected to every perversion of justice during the trial the likes of which we’d expect from Iran.

In the comments one Carl Spackler points us to Iran Focus where we learn:

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”.

The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.

The US justice system is no better, or even different, than that of Iran. Both execute people.

flenser said...

For me literature is an ongoing appeal to the ability to empathize.

An admirably honest admission of the liberal mindset. It's all about feelings, nothing more than feelings.

Knucklehead said...


I would accept that as explanation or even excuse if they ever showed the slightest ability to "empathize" with anyone but themselves. They empathize with the murderer, never the victim of murder.

It is always the vile criminal facing his lethal injection following the heartless delivery of his cold pizza - denied even the simplest benefit of his dying wish - with whom they empathize and never the murdered person who, hurrying on to whatever of life she might have had to her, dozens of times might have flipped back the cover of a cardboard box and rejoiced to find a lone slice of cold and congealed pizza to gobble down as she went about her business.

Mr. W is at best a narcissist and at worst a nihilist. He would gladly sacrifice a hundred innocents to save the guilty with whom he empathizes. Such people are repellent, loathsome, and (in both its meanings) hateful.

Buddy Larsen said...

The last moments of Ms. Atefeh Rajabi.

knuck--'loathsome and hateful' is right.

terrye said...

According to Islam a woman has to have four witnesses to an assault before she can claim rape, and then the witnesses have to be men.

Peter UK said...

"That’s one of the deeply barbaric little traits of the average man who sits at home with his family and decides to personally punish someone who’s been locked up in a death cell"

This is purely a liberal ego trip, BARBARIC,little traits of the AVERAGE MAN,
The subtext is that the average man is not as enlightened as the liberal,identified here as the narrator,who is not as small mindedly barbaric as the the average
A sneer at the man's family life is insinuated into the narrative.

This isn't about compassion it is about cultural dominance,it is implying that all those who do not feel the same as Willemson are inferior and evil in a banal way.

Knucklehead said...

But... but... Peter - he cares. He has empathy. OK, so the murdering monster wasn't "demonstrably innocent" after all. How was one to know in a country where matters such as "guilt" and "innocence" are left to "average men" - men who would let a condemned man's pizza go cold.

Empathy is everything. Surely you realize that the Prime Directive would have been far safer had the Enterprise been commanded by Lt. Commander Troi rather than that phony, paternalistic, trigger-happy cowboy Jean-Luc Picard!

Peter UK said...

If he cares that musch why didn't he hold his hand as he ,er,departed?

Buddy Larsen said...

This star-crew would know what to do!

Peter UK said...

That or a Klingon Empathy Outreach Team.

Knucklehead said...


Well, I have to admit you've got a point. I think we can be sure, however, that Willemsen never stopped caring and felt Coleman's pain right up to the very end. I mean, comeon, he dispatched a pair of journalists to cover the execution. And they were attacked (surely mercilessly) for their opposition to the execution (it can't have had anything to do with the "not demonstrably innocent" stuff). What could be more caring and empathetic than sending journalists (flowers are so... de rigueur).

Peter UK said...

If Williemson had really cared he would have sent out for a microwave.

Buddy Larsen said...

"I'm absolutely flabbergasted by Time and Newsweek . . . their inability to see
the facts that are right in front of them," McGlothlin said. "The state papers and
the local papers and TV have tried to give a balanced account, . . . but there is no
balance in this. None whatsoever. This is totally irresponsible reporting."
Jackson, who was Grundy's police chief at the time of the murder investigation,
chuckled when he scanned the article. "They did get the date of the murder
right," he said.

Buddy Larsen said...

Did Mr. W's team visit the grave of 19 yr old Wanda McCoy, who had been raped, stabbed in the chest many times, and nearly decapitated? One wonders.

markg8 said...

Ain't DNA evidence a wonderful thing? It can exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty with little doubt.

Here's the only opinion I could find on Al Sistani's site on rape. There is an exception for the health of the mother on abortion.

Question: If a Muslim woman is raped (out of marriage by a stranger), is she permitted to have an abortion?

Answer: No, she is not permitted except for when it may cause her an insufferable problem or difficulty. For instance, in the case that she might be killed if her relatives come to know about her pregnancy, she is allowed to have abortion.

Looks like these folks have a ways to go on women's rights.

Buddy Larsen said...

Hitler really got the last laugh--sending all those shocked young soldiers home to raise--because they understandably didn't want baby anywhere near the reality they'd just finished dealing with--a generation of idiot children.

Buddy Larsen said...

Yeah, Mark, Saddam was equal-opportunity all the way--forensics is certain of it.

Knucklehead said...

What is it with these internationalist media morons and there love for murdering creeps?

Buddy Larsen said...

an S&M strain in the journalistic personality?

Peter UK said...

More to the point,what have they got against cold pizza?

Buddy Larsen said...

I LIKE cold pizza. But, not if i have to get electrocuted to get some.

Buddy Larsen said...

I hope i live long enough to see Time and Newsweek either fold or get their heads outta their bums.

Knucklehead said...

Guilty Again! in The American Spectator

Peter UK said...

Some people prefer their pizza preheated,others post-heated,matter of taste.

Buddy Larsen said...

I just read every word of the American Spectator article.

I dunno--sometimes I catch a glimmer of what the terrorists are so pissed off about.

All this wealth, freedom, and opportunity, and we raise "liberals". Please save us from them, Lord, please.