Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2001 / 20 Elul, 5761

Greg Crosby

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Equal Rights -- HERE'S a question: If Andrea Yates, the confessed murderess of her own five children, is actually a "victim" of postpartum depression and is deserving of our compassion (as Katie Couric, Rosie O'Donnell, and the National Organization for Women would have us believe), then why not equal compassion for Nikolay Soltys who killed six members of his own family including his pregnant wife? Isn't he also a "victim" of some sort of depression or some other such mental disorder? What's the difference? Yates is a woman. That's the difference.

Well, there I go again, picking on the feminists. Actually, I'm for complete equality in these two horrendous cases. Execute them both. Equal death penalties for equal murderers. Put them out of their misery and eradicate them from the face of the earth. I don't want these people to live. I don't want them to go to prison and be able to enjoy television and read books and smell flowers and taste food for years and years to come. I don't want them to go to a mental institution to "get well." I don't want them to feel remorse. I want them to feel dead.

Cold-hearted am I? No compassion? Well, let me tell you, I feel a lot of compassion for the innocent people who were murdered by these monsters. I want to cry when I think of the children who were chased down, caught and dragged kicking and screaming to that bathtub where their own mother held their heads down and drowned them. My chest gets heavy and I choke up when I think of the 3-year boy bludgeoned to death by his own father. And the others he murdered. No, I am not without compassion -- compassion for the babies that never had a chance.

Where does this "victimization" business stop? At what point can society expect someone to take responsibility for his or her own actions? How about when you murder needlessly, wantonly and without hesitation. Did these two know right from wrong? It's a fact that Andrea Yates called the police immediately after she committed her murders. And Nikolay Soltys ran away and did everything he could to evade authorities. Reporting yourself to the cops and/or running away from them tells me that person knew damn well that he/she did something wrong.

So let us have compassion for the five murdered children of Andrea Yates -- namely 2-year old Luke, 3-year old Paul, 5-year old John, 7-year old Noah and 6-month old Mary. And let us have compassion for Solty's six murder victims -- his 3-year old son Sergey, his pregnant wife, Lubyov, and his aunt, uncle and two young cousins.

These eleven are the people who really deserve equal rights under the law. And equal rights mean equal and swift punishment of their murderers -- whether they're male or female. But don't expect Katie Couric, Rosie O'Donnell, the ACLU, or the National Organization for Women to worry too much about that. They're much too busy worrying about a woman's right to choose. Never mind that these eleven innocents never got the right to choose to live.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby