November 24, 2008

Convicted of 9 murders, sentenced to 5 life terms, Red Army Faction leader Christian Klar must be set free after only 26 years.

Under German law, there is no ground to hold him any longer.
[His] group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, targeted bankers, businessmen, judges and US servicemen.

More than 30 people were killed by the gang, before it disbanded 10 years ago....

Along with the principal targets of their terror, bodyguards and drivers were gunned down.

In one case, the head of a bank was assassinated at his home, after being presented with a bunch of flowers by the killers.

This year's film - The Baader Meinhof Complex - by Uli Edel, has been named as Germany's official entry for the 2009 foreign language film Oscar.
Oh, fabulous. Perhaps Klar will attend the Oscars alongside the actor who portrays him in the celebrated film. From Red Army to red carpet.

31 comments:

X said...

Perhaps he can be an educator at University of Chicago or at the least a juicebox salesman in Madison.

Jimmy said...

If Bill Ayers invited him to a Hyde Park soiree, will they invite Obama?

Positroll said...

He went to prison age 30. Comes out age 58 or 59. Wasted the best part of his life behind bars. Was constantly on the run for 5 years before that, getting tuberculosis from hiding in bad places, without any medical attention. His struggle led to nowhere - communism failed across the board.
Sorry, but that does not exactly meet my definition of "weak punishment" ...

P.S. I might agree with you if the RAF were still out there fighting, but they have given up and keeping this guy in prison won't deter any would be Islamic terrorists ...

m00se said...

...and, on the frontlines of silly causes - Sully!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/an-epiphany-on.html

Enjoy the froth...

EDH said...

I was seven years old when these people did some dispicable acts.

Next!

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

That criminals who get "life terms" do eventually get released, is a great argument for the death penalty.

Finality is sometimes very good.

Eli Blake said...

lax punishment? Germany?

Let's get some facts straight:

United States: 0.0428 murders per 1,000 people annually.

Germany, 0.0116 murders per 1,000 people annually.

source

In other words, the murder rate in Germany is about a quarter of what it is in the United States.

Obviously, they're getting better results with their criminal justice system (including sentencing laws) than we are getting with ours.

rcocean said...

3 life terms, 9 murders and 26 years in prison. Sounds tough. Ayres must feel sorry for him.

In Sweden, he'd have gotten probation. In the USA, he'd been freed on a law technicality. Or gotten a Clinton Pardon.

Joe said...

"Obviously, they're getting better results with their criminal justice system (including sentencing laws) than we are getting with ours."

That doesn't follow at all. Are you really suggesting that if we implemented an identical justice system world wide, the murder rate would be the same in every country?

In other words; what is Germany doing wrong as compared to Japan? And I note the chart didn't even bother with Somalia.

Here is a very interesting chart:

Murder rates by country and US state

(I found a chart for Utah and was struck at how consistent the murder rate has been going back to 1960.

I also wonder if some of this discrepancy is due to how murder is legally defined in different jurisdictions throughout the world.)

Seven Machos said...

I've lived abroad. One thing that drives me crazy is when people who have never been to the United States in, say, Austria, or Guatemala, start criticizing our country over some policy that doesn't have a scintilla of an effect on them.

My response (inside my head) is, What do you care? We'll do what we want. You don't see me bringing up Hitler, just for example, or the grinding, disgusting poverty over here.

Certainly, this case doesn't affect us, here. Germany ought to have the laws it wants.

Joe said...

The chart Blake points to is fascinating. Clicking on the various countries shows some very interesting statistics. Who knew that German ranked 2nd or 3rd in suicides among adults 45-74? Why? Why is the suicide rate among the same demographic relatively high in Japan as well? And what is it about Finland that adults off themselves at such a high rate? And why do Canada and Australia have relatively high rates of rape as compared to murder rates?

Job said...

Positroll said "Sorry, but that does not exactly meet my definition of "weak punishment" ..."

Christian Klar took part in 9 murders. 26 years in prison is a slap on the wrist.

Positroll said "I might agree with you if the RAF were still out there fighting, but they have given up and keeping this guy in prison won't deter any would be Islamic terrorists ..."

The RAF didn't "give up," they were hounded, infiltrated, arrested, killed, and defeated. Otherwise, they'd still be trying to murder us and impose a socialist paradise on the survivors.

A heavier punishment might deter someone. People respond to incentives.

Would you feel the same way about some Klansman convicted of killing little children 45 years ago?

But the real point is that justice demands a much heavier punishment, regardless of deterence.

Seven Machos said "Certainly, this case doesn't affect us, here. Germany ought to have the laws it wants."

It most certainly does. The RAF was not just a domestic German problem. They were an international terrorist group with intimate ties to the Stasi, the KGB and terror groups all over the world. They seized the German embassy in Stockholm in 1975.

Christian Klar himself was involved in an RPG attack on the US Army's Commander in West Germany, Frederick J. Kroesen.

Further, they were explicitly trying to assist the USSR in its subversion of the Western world.

Doesn't affect us here?

In any case, it surely does affect us because it is a fundamental injustice to allow a 9-time premediated murderer out of prison.

Geoff Matthews said...

Levels of social control (formal and informal) can supress murder rates. How would one go about measuring informal social control levels in countries?

I imagine that imigration rates would have an inverse effect on social cohesion (immigration introduces different cultural practicies, usually associated with poverty), which is also associated with murder rates, as is social stratification (ethnic enclaves, class systems, etc.).

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obviously, they're getting better results with their criminal justice system (including sentencing laws) than we are getting with ours.

Great deductive reasoning there Eli.

Geoff Matthews said...

Oh, and this is an argument in favor of capital punishment. If a terrorist that was directly involved in the murder of 9 people doesn't deserve to rot in prison all his days, then he should be shot and save us all the lawsuits that would have followed. If he wants to argue that he's no longer a threat to society, that's fine, but that isn't the only point of prison. It's also punishment, and 9 murders certainly calls for an unmarked grave in a prison cemetary.

William said...

As regards Blake's point, would not the fair comparison be between Americans of German descent in Wisconsin versus Germany's Germans. I have the feeling that our Germans, in every measurable way, are much better than Germany's Germans. Girls who shave their legs have a civilizing, calming effect on the men that surround them.....It is also interesting to note that the BM gang received training and financial support from Stasi. This was revealed only after the fall of E Germany. If someone had suggested this prior to the fall, they would have been criticized as hysterical anti-Communists. When someone says that there is no evidence that Saddam gave any support to AQ, I think of this Stasi-BM connection and wonder why Saddam would not have given support to AQ.

Seven Machos said...

Another thing. The argument that a society's response to crime affects crime itself is a logical fallacy at best.

Oligonicella said...

Nine murders, twenty-six years -- 2.8 years per. Those who would argue about capital punishment devaluing human life need to find a reasonable argument for why those people's lives are valued at 2.8 years each.

Pogo said...

He's a great argument for vigilantism.

Why not dispatch him to the big sleep? Call it politics by other means.

X said...

In that picture he kinda looks like WWI Hitler. No wonder the krauts can't wait to set him loose.

Baron Zemo said...

My dear lady, Germany is not what it was in the days of my youth.

Baron Zemo said...

But then neither is America. Why they are even using a homosexual scientologist to star in a film about that traitor von Stauffenberg. What have we come to in this world?

Kirk Parker said...

William,

"Girls who shave their legs have a civilizing, calming effect on the men that surround them...."

So that's how it works! I think I'll tell my wife I'm on to her.
.
.
.
.
Or, on second thought: maybe not. What if she gave up the effort as now wasted? :-)

paul a'barge said...

Maybe the mutt can move to the USA and room with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn in Chi-town ... which is apparently the American Mutt-hallah.

Methadras said...

dbp said...

That criminals who get "life terms" do eventually get released, is a great argument for the death penalty.

Finality is sometimes very good.


At least you didn't say closure. I hate that word.

Methadras said...

I'm going to watch this movie because it appears to have some good looking German women in it. Even German porn can't deliver on that end. Thank you.

Eli Blake said...

William:

would not the fair comparison be between Americans of German descent in Wisconsin versus Germany's Germans

ah, I get it. How often people become murderers depends not upon the values they learn in society, but upon their grandfather's grandfather's grandfather.

Idiot.

Can eugenics be far behind?

Revenant said...

United States: 0.0428 murders per 1,000 people annually.

Germany, 0.0116 murders per 1,000 people annually.

I assume you mean "since 1946".

The overall 20th century murder rates of the two nations are rather different. :)

Hey said...

Time for a little extraordinary rendition! He can then mysteriously appear in Germany, right where the next Predator Hellfire missile is targeted. Easy peasy.

Pirates and terrorists just shouldn't be arrested. Should be easy enough for them all to "resist" and if you do have the misfortune of arresting them, they are known for crafty escape attempts.

Positroll said...

"Would you feel the same way about some Klansman convicted of killing little children 45 years ago?"
No, but then I wouldn't feel the same if Klar had killed little children. Most likely, the judges in this case would have felt differently, too, and kept him in prison the remainder of his life. However, this guy went after politicians, generals and business leaders surrounded by armed guards, fighting for what he percieved was to be a better world.
While his ideas were delusional and his methods unacceptable, to put him on an equal footing with someone who murders little children out of racial hatred would be way overblown.

"The RAF didn't "give up," they were hounded, infiltrated, arrested, killed, and defeated. Otherwise, they'd still be trying to murder us and impose a socialist paradise on the survivors."
Generation I+II, yes. But there were still some nutjobs of generation III out there who threatened to kill me and my buddies in the German army who were getting ready to deploy to Somalia in 1994 to support the Americans as part of an "imperialist occupation force". This made guarding the local ammunition depot quite an interesting experience (in the end we didn't deploy because a Republican Congress pressured Clinton to chicken out after the "black hawk down" affair - talk about deterence ...).
The fact that most survivors of Gen I+II gave up and send messages (mostly out of prison) to generation III to do likewise had a lot to do with the later break up of the RAF as an organized force - and treating the remaining prisoners according to the law (including the chance to get out after 20+ years of prison) helped to avoid any major (non-islamic) terror movement in Germany.
As someone who was directly threatened by the RAF (and ready to fight them with a MG 3), I think it was the right decision - including pardoning those who repented after 20 years and letting out Klar after 26 years on parole.