Monday, March 28, 2011

Messengers - 16


“Don’t know what to say to that?”


She laughed again, but her smile was warm again.

“Do you know why I’m against the death penalty?” she said.

“I didn’t know you were.”

“I am. Or at least I was. I don’t have a problem with the idea that some people need to die for the things they’ve done. Obviously. There are people in this world that can never be fixed, can never be helped and they’re a cancer on the rest of us. I think they were probably born wrong. These people can’t and shouldn’t be left to mix with the rest of us.

The problem is that most people, even most criminals, aren’t like that. If you have a policy that advocates killing them, you’re going to end getting innocent people caught in the net. I couldn’t, can’t, live with that. When you kill someone, there’s no taking it back. There’s no chance at ever making it right. So I don’t think that we should be in the business of taking people’s lives. One is too many.”

She paused. Looked at Dylan.

“Does that sound to much like a speech?” she said.

“It sounds like you given it some thought.”

“Thoughts are what I have, you know?”

“So, it’s not all right for the government to kill people, but it’s alright for you?”

“It’s not alright for me, either.”

“Then why did you do it?”

“Because it needed to be done. The first guy, Carcetti, do you know anything about him.”

“Not much.”

“He had a daughter, Amanda. She six seven when I first met her. She was beautiful. The first message I got said that he was going to put her in the hospital. It wasn’t my area, you know, I was homicide, but nobody is going to just let that go. So I went to his house and talked to him. Looked for any signs that he was abusing her. He was an asshole, sure, but there was nothing there.

Two days later, she’s in the hospital. Broken leg, bruises all over. And you know what this assholes says? He says she fell down the stairs. Which was true, I guess, except what it doesn’t tell you is that he through her down the stairs. He admitted that later, before…well, before.

I got social services on it, of course. I even told them about the message. They investigated, they watched, but there was nothing they could do. Amanda said she fell, and there was no evidence that it was anything but an accident.”

“But you knew it wasn’t”

“Of course I fucking knew. The hospital knew. The social workers knew. But what could we do. A message isn’t enough. We couldn’t protect her. I couldn’t protect her. I knew, I fucking knew, what was going to happen to Amanda Carcetti, and I didn’t do anything. It was a mistake. I just didn’t realize how big until it was too late.”

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