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A Crime

Added: Sunday, September 20th 2020 at 12:03pm by epiphanettes

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Twelve-and-a-half years ago, not far from where I live in Northern Virginia, a young woman was brutally murdered by a drug- and alcohol- addicted former felon named Mark E. Lawlor. Lawlor at the time was a leasing agent for the building complex where the young woman lived. He attacked 29-year-old Genevieve Orange with a claw hammer, struck her head 30 times as she lay napping on her couch, then raped her as she was dying. Both Lawlor and Orange, should you be curious, are/were white.

The victim’s and assailant’s backgrounds, though, could not have been more different. Orange was raised near Roanoke by a stable family that included a mother and father as well as sets of grandparents, all of whom doted on her. She was a good student, and after graduating from Virginia Tech, came to Washington to find a job. She was hired by the Futures Industry Association and rented a studio apartment in the Virginia suburbs.

Lawlor, 45, was living in a nearby transitional facility after serving five years in prison for abducting a former girlfriend. He violated his probation twice, and both times was re-incarcerated. At the time of the murder, Lawlor, according to his attorney, “had so much crack in him he was unable to form the specific intent to kill Ms. Orange.”  In other words, he was so was high on crack that he couldn’t control himself.

Lawlor’s background was one of violence and rejection. He was born to a mother who often beat him and a father who regularly molested and raped Lawlor’s sister. The family led an isolated existence and there were no other relatives around. Lawlor was raped at age 13 by a friend he had made at camp. A year later, a neighbor also molested him. He was thrown out of his home at 16 by his shotgun-wielding father who told him to never return. He had started using drugs and alcohol some time earlier and was full-fledged addict by the time he was ejected from his home. When he was 18, he and a friend stole a car. They were both drunk. Lawlor was driving andcrashed the car, killing the friend. He went to prison for the first time, served his sentence and sobered up, but sobriety never stuck and he was soon using again. That’s when he abducted his former girlfriend, who told the jury during this trial that Lawlor had yanked her from her car, thrown her into his car, then driven around while threatening her. He served five years for the crime

In March 2009, Fairfax Country prosecutors obtained a capital murder indictment against Lawlor for the murder and rape of Genevieve Orange. He was found guilty and sentenced to the death penalty, which was later commuted to life without parole.

Can the extenuating circumstances of his sad and sorry life possibly excuse his behavior? Should a man with a history of mental issues and addiction be held responsible for his actions? Hurt people, it is said, hurt people, and there is no doubt as to the truth of this simple adage.

My first reaction, truthfully, was “fry the motherf*cker.”  My second reaction was pretty much the same, and my third was to wonder whether Virginia taxpayers (of which I am one) should bear the approximately $160,000 annual cost of his incarceration.

I bring all this up because as the election nears, we will be regaled by Republican tales of horrible crimes similar to those of Lawlor, perpetrated by Blacks, Mexicans, immigrants, refugees, Arabs, and  Latin American gang members, BLM protesters, marchers, miscreants and dissidents. Most of these crimes will have been committed against White people, we’ll be told.

A lot of these tales will be false, or blatantly exaggerated. Social media will play a huge role. If the country turns to the right, we’ll see an increase in executions.

End Note: I find it fascinating that we have a president who, though not accused of murder, has certainly been named as a rapist by several women. I doubt he’ll serve a day in prison for such white-on-white crimes. But if he does, I hope Lawlor is his cellmate.


User Comments

In the case mentioned, I certainly don't think Lawler should be given freedom....at almost any point in time.  At the same time, I do feel some sympathy for anybody that has been raised treated as he had been.  Sadly, there is often no way to undo that early damage.

Now, in the upcoming election, the republicans will be claiming a lot of things about crimes...saying that Hispanic immigrants are more violent etc...which doesn't match the statistical evidence which indicates that immigrants, including illegal immigrants are more likely to try to fly under the radar.  Are there exceptions, maybe so, but I doubt they are a huge percentage.

More executions will more more innocent people will die, remember in some states, includng in at least one case Tennessee to my knowledge, they will stick to the ruling even if new evidence comes out.

Did you have a fourth reaction? Or do you hold to the first three?

I think it's kind of neat that you didn't name the culprit in the last paragraph as Clinton. To be honest I kind of appreciated Obama and Bush' asexuality and/or propriety. I don't want to think about sex and politicians too much. Unfortunately they do.

Lawler never had a chance but was damaged beyond the point of permissible societal interaction. The defense was absurd of course, but then it was indefensible. Incarceration til death is the only option. His abysmal childhood would make execution unjust. 

It's hard to accept total loss. No other option here imo.

History shows rich on poor or powerful on weak often results in no retribution. Every race, everywhere.  The timelapse between Weinstein and Cosby receiving their comeuppance is near identical. No President ever will in this life, for any crime. And they're all guilty of murder, some would say justified. Their job is high judge and low on earth. That's how it is.

Thought provoking post. Clearly when leaders have been chosen we value delivery of expectations over expectations  their character will direct actions. Voters are realists. 


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