Friday, March 16, 2007

Damn, now I know what to say if I ever get caught doing anything

Two immigrants from ex-USSR, Jurijus Kadamovas and Iouri Mikhel, have been sentenced to death by a federal court in Los Angeles. This is the first time in more than 50 years somebody gets sentenced to death on a federal charge in LA, and even though I don't approve of the death penalty in general, they richly deserve it.

Together with their accomplices who are yet to be sentenced they abducted 5 people for ransom, got most of the ransom, then killed all the hostages and dumped the bodies in a reservoir.

The defense was truly original:

"Lawyers for Mikhel, a St. Petersburg native, and Kadamovas, a Lithuanian, unsuccessfully asked the jury to find for life in prison rather than death. They said the two were affected by having grown up under a communist government, contending they learned they had to be criminals in order to survive."

Funny thing, it was sort of true. Or rather, you could live without breaking a single law but it was neither easy nor nice. We were criminals, I can admit that. We bought and sold stuff at the black market, badmouthed the government and the party, bought stolen gasoline and stole ethanol from our workplaces if we had workplaces blessed with ethanol. We also gave bribes, because it was hard to do without, and I assume that if most of us gave them some of us also took them. But funny, I don't remember kidnapping people for ransom and killing them afterwards as absolutely essential for survival. Seriously. Never had to do that.

I guess the jury did not buy it either.

Well, at least the lawyers did not appeal to the community. Knowing our (Russian-American) community, the response would probably have been "where can we donate some electricity for the chair?", followed by a lot of people saying "most of the gang belongs to other ethnic groups, not to ours!". Which in the case of this gang would be true for any value of "us", considering that Mikhel, Kadamovas and their 4 accomplices belonged to at least 5 different ethnic groups.

Mikhel and Kadamovas have plotted at least a couple of escape attempts. Mikhel has also tried to kill himself three times, and in the name of the pissed-off Russian-American community and long-suffering American taxpayers I sincerely wish him success on the fourth try. Assuming he does not hurt anyone else in the process, of course.

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