Skip to comments.Sing Sing guard gets year in jail for killing 5 kittens
Posted on 03/22/2002 9:49:10 AM PST by areafiftyone
White Plains, New York-AP) -- A former prison guard who killed five kittens in a trash compactor at Sing Sing has been sentenced to a year in jail. A judge said the crime was ``so offensive and so calculated and so gratuitously cruel it diminishes the humanity of everybody.''
Forty-eight-year-old Ronald Hunlock had been convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals. Last March he found an inmate with contraband at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining. He then searched the inmate's cell, found five newborn kittens and their mother and told the inmate to put them in the compactor. The inmate refused, so Hunlock did it himself.
The mother cat escaped but the kittens were crushed. Defense attorney Daniel Gallivan had asked the judge not to impose jail time, and said Hunlock thought the cats were ill and had no other recourse.
by David Dieteman
According to some, it is immoral to eat animals. Instead, animal rights advocates contend that animals must be treated ethically, by which it is meant that animals should be treated as if they are human beings.
There is, of course, one large problem with such a view: animals are not human beings.
In the process of proposing such silliness, animal rights advocates destroy the rational distinction between man and the rest of the animal kingdom. In doing so, they not only abuse reason, but dullen the moral senses which protect human beings from abuse.
First, consider the idea that human beings must act ethically toward animals. Although this might sound unobjectionable at first who, after all, condones the pointless torture of animals? the Devil is in the details. What the animal rights crowd means is not that one should not be cruel to animals, but rather than animals should be treated like your mother, i.e., like fellow human beings. By way of rebuttal, consider the following anecdote from the life of Ben Franklin. As Jeffrey Smith notes in Franklin and Bache: Envisioning the Enlightened Republic, Franklin was a vegetarian in his youth, "believing that killing animals was 'a kind of unprovok'd Murder.' Later, however, Franklin "was tempted by the smell of fish being fried. Having seen small fish in the stomachs of fish being prepared, he decided he could eat them if they ate each other."
This anecdote gets to the heart of the silliness of "animal rights." Animals do not treat each other as if they had rights, i.e., they do not conform themselves to human moral conduct. Were a man to eat another man, in the way in which a large fish eats a smaller fish, this would be the crime of murder. And yet no one seriously contends that a fish commits a crime by eating another fish. Animals eat other animals. So long as they do so, there is no rational justification for human beings not to eat animals as well. Humanity faces a moral decision: imprison all predators, or pass the hamburgers.
Similarly, if animals are to be treated ethically, then human beings are entitled (in the strong sense of the term) to expect ethical treatment in return. For that matter, animals should be required to serve on juries like other citizens, and pay their taxes. They can earn a living, rather than simply take, take, take all the time. We should expect them to go to church, rather than laying around at home or running around the yard all weekend.
Bears eat other animals. Bears also eat fish. That being said, there is no reason why I cannot eat the same type of animals eaten by the bear, or the same fish. There is similarly no reason why I cannot morally kill and eat the bear. Fair is fair.
More importantly, in seeking to have human beings treat animals as if they are human beings, the animal rights movement defeats its own arguments. In other words, the animal rights sophists demonstrate their own lack of understanding of morality by arguing that morality should extend to non-moral beings, namely, animals.
One of my friends, who is an avid hunter, has a ready reply when anti-hunting types ask if he shoots "innocent" animals. "No," he replies, "only the guilty ones." The point is that the concepts of guilt and innocence do not apply to animals. The net effect of the animal rights movement, then, is not to do the impossible, i.e., to raise animals to the level of the human, but to lower humans to the level of the merely animal. The result of Peter Singer's claim that "a dog is a rat is a pig is a boy" is that children are now exterminated as if they were rats. Abortion on demand, anyone?
One of the strangest cases that I read in law school was Taylor v. Johnston, 15 Cal.3d 130, 123 Cal. Rptr. 641, 539 P.2d 425 (1975). Although it is a breach of contract case, it stands out in my memory because it was a case concerning horse abortions. Yes, horses get aborted. In particular, horses are aborted in the case of twinning. As the court wrote,
Shortly after their breeding, it was discovered that both mares were pregnant with twins. In thoroughbred racing twins are considered undesirable since they endanger the mare and are themselves seldom valuable for racing. Both mares were therefore aborted. However, plaintiff was not required to pay the $20,000 stud fees for Chateaugay's services because neither mare delivered a live foal.
Where does the animal rights crowd come down on horse abortion? One wonders.
Mr. Dieteman is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America. This article first appeared on the Lew Rockwell website (www.lewrockwell.com) on August 20, 2001.
Incorrect. You may not utilize your property in such a way as to present undue dangers for others; for example, you may not set fire to your house arguing that it is your property and you may deal with it as you wish. You may not torture animals or engage them in animal fighting contests.
The Constitution provides mechanisms for writing laws, and laws have been written to outlaw some of the behaviors described above. Since the Supreme Court has not stricken these laws down as unconstitutional, it is assumed by the law enforcement agencies and courts that they are constitutional.
People should be punished for damaging or destroying another man's property. And I do see the rise of the "animal rights" movement as a culmunation of decades of evolutionary thought. Why is that so difficult to understand? We have already passed the point where many consider animals more important than humans.
Deviant - yes. Criminal - no.
And stooping to his level, you would be just as cruel and cold-hearted.
I daresay that a prison guard with this kind of reputation for brutality will need rather less than the full year of feeding....
You haven't followed my logic...I'll say it again, or rather make it clearer. His behavior is deviant, but only criminal if the kittens were another person's property. See the difference?
Begone, troll? What in h*ll are you talking about?
Do you remember Julius Caesar? I recall that you were a very fine centurion, but not as good as Gabby Hays or Mr. Green Jeans. Oh, the word for today is "spindle." Radio.......
No. If the thing had put kittens he purchased into a trash compactor alive, he would still have been guilty of breaking the law. There are laws against animal cruelty : BY LAW, if you own animals , you are required to give them adequate food, shelter, and medical care, and you are not allowed to abuse them physically. If you starve your animal, leave them outside without shelter in bad weather, let injuries or illnesses go untreated, or beat them, you can and will be punished. Punishments include confiscation of animals, fines, probation, jail time, and being forbidden by law to own animals for a certain period (Usually 5 years, but sometimes longer).
I don't know where some freepers (not you, kid ; others on this thread) get the idea that they can do "whatever they want" with their own animals, when the law clearly states animal abuse is a crime, whether they own the animal or not. If any freeper doubts me, please : Go find a stray dog, and let people see you beat it, starve it, torture it, maim it, set it on fire-whatever. When the police come for you, tell themn you own the dog, and have the right to treat it in that matter. Tell the same thing to the judge. See you in a year or so.
I'm not sure why you think I would do so. I'm not upset with anything you've posted. Besides, the act of flaming suggests that someone has already lost the debate and resorts to a baser form of argument. I'll let others stoop to that.
You are correct in that I am frustrated with a society that devalues human life, calls "evil good, and good evil", that twists the meaninig of words to promote their agenda, and rips the innocence from our children at the earliest possible age.
A fraternity brother's dad had run a punch-press at a box plant his adult life, was up in the union, got me a summer job to help defray exorbitant college tuition.
I was operator of the slitter and baler for the scrap produced by the box plant for one shift one summer.
Defective sheets were fed into the slitter (scissor-like rotary knives on an eight-foot long, four-inch diameter steel shaft). These strips were sucked into a seven bladed steel fan run by an electric motor the size of a wood stove. These playing card-size pieces were sucked up a twelve-inch pipe to the roof collector cone fed by other pipe runs from machines throughout the plant.
A blizzard of these pieces fell down the two-foot-square chute into the space ahead of the baling ram. An electric eye would signal the ram that the chute was full; then it would hydraulically compress the pieces into an eighth of their volume. When a 1,000-lb. block was obtained, five lengths of baling wire were fed around it and tied off. When the steel door was opened the cube was driven onto steel rollers by the compressing ram's action, ready for pickup by forklift to carry to the waiting railroad car.
If the guard is not Roto-Rooteredtm by 12 months with his fan club, I could have fit him into the space in front of the ram. During peak periods it was necessary to climb up, open the door, and stomp down the scrap--when the ram was back, of course. For it would come forward automatically, and would have no compunction about crushing a leg.
Kind of like the guard.
What's the difference between throwing cute little rats to a cat and throwing despicable little cats into a trash compactor?
Agreed. I have no problems with punishing the guy for the criminal destruction of private property if it applied in this case. But I would ask you this: Who did this man wrong? Did he wrong the inmate, the cats, or just our sensiblities? Was the inmate allowed to have cats? If there was a rule that no pets are allowed, then the inmate had no power of disposition over the cats. Were the cats wronged? Impossible, because cats don't have "rights". So really, that leaves our sensiblities as what suffered the wrong. My sensiblities suffer all the time, but the law should't allow me to receive compensation every time I'm outraged about something.
And MaggieMay is right that something is criminal pretty much whenever the legislature passes laws saying it is, your property or not.
I can't argue with that. I might think the legislature is goofy passing such laws, but even bad law is law nonetheless. But I must add that legislating a standard of "deviancy" and "cruelty" is a slippery slope at best.
It is very useful to lock someone up who needlessly tortures animals, whether or not it's currently constitutional. Every cat ands dog I know agrees with me on this. :^)
By the way, anybody rooting for the politically incorrect Fightin' Illini over Kansas tonight? I hope those Injuns exact cruel and unusual punishment over those cute, feathery, little Jayhawks. ;^)
God also says to observe civil law. And our society and our law has made it clear that useless torture will not be tolerated.
Right! I agree! Only profitable tortue should be allowed!
[pssst...#3Fan, just givin' you a hard time! ;^)]
A rat spreads disease, hides and overruns your home. Cats do not spread disease if cared for and will not overrun your home because it will not hide. Killing a rat in such a manner therefore is not useless torture. Killing a cat is.
Disposing of unwanted animals used to be cruel and inhumane. It's all so very sad.
If there are any further conclusions to be drawn I would say that
- The guard was doing what he did to torture the inmate not the kittens. He was trying to show his power and dominance over the inmate, and to hurt the inmate in a cruel and unusual way. In a way, this is a sort of rape, an act of brutality, power and humiliation.
- My guess would be that prison guards in general don't fare well as part of a general prison population, and a prison guard that became a prisoner in this particular manner will fare particularly poorly precisely because of the above.
I bet so. :^)