Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Forty-Six Down, Three To Go

Los Angeles, CA

Last year, 49 members of the Vineland Boys street gang based out of the San Fernando Valley, were indicted on RICO charges. Of those, 27 pled guilty before trial, and 19 more were convicted.

Of those 46, the last one was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Rafael Yepiz, 35, of Reseda, was convicted of racketeering, drug trafficking and money laundering. There are three left from that original indictment to go on trial; Jose Ledesma, Raul Robledo and Javier Covarrubias. They've been charged with the murder of a 16-year-old girl who had testified against a fellow member.

With any luck they'll get the death penalty and we'll have moved onto something a little more brutal than a series of sleepy time dugs. Fuck humane. Is it humane to gun down children? Know why the death penalty's not a deterrent? It's not fucked up enough. Feed them their own intestines while they're being slowly run through a wood-chipper and you might be onto something.

Anyway, this is good news. Hopefully this will hobble the gang enough that they can be kept fragmented and swept up more easily by the police. But will it get rid of them? Please. The Vineland Boys have gone nation-wide. They're an institutionalized business. All the Feds did was nail the corporate headquarters. The franchises are moving along just fine, thank you very much.


Michelle said...

I have always said that instead of the death penalty, these guys should be used for medical experiments. More accurate than using different species, and at least they'd be doing something USEFUL for society.

Unfortunately, I keep getting the ol' "cruel and unusual punishment" arguments. For some of these guys, I think "cruel and unusual" should be the POINT of the punishment...

Jeff of Sun Valley said...

Isn't that a little like codoning the torture of suspected terrorists? You really want to make that argument? Not to mention that if you actually knew (were acquainted with) someone who had comitted a heinous crime, it would force you to see them as horribly flawed, but nonetheless human. The only way you can torture and kill someone is to DE-humanize them, as we did the Japanese in WWII. You would probably just opt to do what the courts know to do - Put them away.