Monday, July 02, 2007

David Ritcheson, RIP

...Umbrella poles and bleach may be slow, but apparently as weapons, they are just as effective as a bullet or knife...

It took a little over 14 months for the victim to succumb to his injuries, but the victim of a vicious and horrific beating by some white supremacists died this weekend after more than a year of pain and torment.

Oh, the official cause of death will be listed as suicide or something similar (whatever the official euphemism is in Texas), because he was physically healthy when he jumped off a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

David Ritcheson endured the attack, months of hospitalization, and dozens of operations to recover enough to testify before a Congressional committee this year about a hate crimes bill.

While he obviously was made of strong stuff, both to recover from his physical injuries and to be able to talk about it, just as obviously, it wasn't enough.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack more than a year ago, I wrote "[m]y condolences go out to the family of the victim and hope that the family is able to find justice, if not solace, in the days and months ahead. "

That statement holds as true today as it did then, though justice may be tough to come by - the murderers (and yes, they are just that), David Henry Tuck and Keith Robert Turner, are serving prison sentences for their parts in the attack.

Even if the cause of death is found to be related to the attack, they won't be charged with it.

Too bad.


Anonymous said...

Is life in prison really enough? I think they should have to soak in bleach and have a sharpened umbrella pole shoved into their body through their anuses too. They are sick people and deserve to reap the same pain and suffering they sowed upon David.

cpmaz said...

I understand the appeal of that, but that would also make us just as evil as they are.

Prison is appropriate; they *should* be separated from society.

Torture and murder is not appropriate, if only for our own sakes.

Anonymous said...

What happened to David haunted me when I read about it over a year ago. I was horrified to learn that he was the young man who committed suicide on the ship I was on last Sunday. As far as I am concerned it was a homicide that just took a little longer than most. My prayers are with his family and friends at this time. Words can't express how I feel at this time.

John Lee said...

The Legislation for which David fought has passed in the House of Representatives, however President Bush has vowed to veto the bill. You can read more about it in Newseek