Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Justice for Pekearo, Marshalik and Romero

Nicholas Todd Pekearo and Yevgeniy "Eugene" Marshalik were the two New York City Auxiliary Police officers killed in the line of duty last week on 14 March 2007. The actions of these heroes quite likely prevented even more deaths and injuries from the rampant gunman. As Auxiliary Police Officers, they were unarmed. Details of their cold-blooded murder, and of their respective funerals, are reported elsewhere.

In addition to the condolences to the families of APOs Pekearo and Marshalik, condolences are due to the third victim of the shooting rampage, bartender Alfredo Romero Morales. May they all rest in peace!

This posting spotlights two side issues to the aftermath of these fallen officers' heroic actions.

1. The assailant, David Garvin, is identified in many news reports as a "former Marine." Only a few news outlets, such as the New York Sun, bother to report that Garvin was discharged from the Marine Corps under less than honorable circumstances and that NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly is himself a retired USMC officer. Why are the Marines being given such negative spin?

2. The fact that two of the murder victims were police officers on duty is, to say the least, an aggravating circumstance which, all else being equal, should weigh very heavily towards imposition of the death penalty. But in New York there is no official death penalty (and even when the now-invalidated statute was on the books, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau specifically had a policy against its use. Morgy has his reasons, apparently from his own near-death experience as a Navy officer during WWII, and I will not now castigate him for it. But society does lose something by not applying the capital punishment in the most egregious cases which scream out for it.

Even in those jurisdictions which do have an effective death penalty, it is a protracted and expensive process. The price of justice for a fallen police officer is very high indeed.

But in this instance here, other NYPDers who arrived on the scene, and who were armed, shot Garvin dead. On the plus side, the people of New York were saved the expense of bringing the killer to trial and then, supplying him with legal counsel, food, water, recreation, health care and oxygen for the remainder of his life. The families of APOs Pekearo and Marshalik were spared the agony of reliving the murder at the trial.

But death at the hands of a police officer, without the due process of the legal system, is in many respects the antithesis of justice. It is a leg-on to a totalitarian police state.

It is unfortunate that the justice these two fallen police officer received (and let us not forget Mr. Morales as well) from the barrel of a cop's service firearm was a better quality of justice than the New York court and penal system is now capable of providing.

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