ThePoliticalCat

A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crime: Jean-Pierre Orlewicz Sentenced

Jean-Pierre Orlewicz

The psychopathic little wretch will get life in prison without possibility of parole. He was seventeen years old when he committed his crime. He is eighteen years old today.

We have mixed feelings about Mr. Orlewicz' sentence. There is no denying that he is a detestable little boil without the slightest trace, apparently, of what makes people human beings &mdash that is, a capacity for empathy, for understanding the pain that others suffer and therefore being incapable of inflicting it upon them.

Mr. Orlewicz' crime, in case you're not up on details, involved luring a supposed friend to the Orlewicz grandparental home, having first prepared the garage with tarps to minimize cleanup of blood. He then set upon his victim, Daniel Sorenson, and stabbed him repeatedly, which caused Mr. Sorenson's death.

Having murdered Mr. Sorenson, whose only crime appears to have been borrowing money from Mr. Orlewicz and failing to repay it, he then cut off Mr. Sorenson's head and applied a blowtorch to the hands and feet, to make identification more difficult. He bullied another debtor and friend into helping him transport the body to an open area, where he doused it with flammables and set it on fire. He disposed of the head in a river.

The friend and fellow-debtor in the case, one Alexander James Letkemann, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, for aiding and abetting inthe crime. Although Mr. Letkemann, who was 18 years old at the time, did not actually assist in killing Mr. Sorenson, he helped prepare the scene and helped dispose of the body. Foolish boy. He may never see his parents alive again.

Orlewicz did not speak at the sentencing hearing, having, apparently, already seriously damaged his case by taking the stand in his own defense. However, the judge who sentenced him, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Annette Berry said she was grateful he was convicted.
"I am grateful that you are going away for the rest of your life, because in my view I believe you will kill again," Berry said.

[...]

The judge called the killing "an evil act." "There is a difference between mental illness in this country and evil," Berry said. "But your actions, sir, are tantamount to evil. No two ways about it."
Judges, in our estimation, are not always the best evaluators of character. Like any other human being, they have their own biases and their life experiences shape much of what they see and how they think. However, the judge's assessment in this case makes us wonder what she saw in this teenage boy &mdash because we saw some evidence of psychopathic behaviour, but we freely admit that we are very prejudiced against him &mdash that would cause her to say such things.

We understand that there is a video clip on YouTube of Mr. Orlewicz testifying on the stand. For reasons we don't understand, and don't want to troubleshoot, we cannot view the clip. But we are told by those who have viewed it that it revealed Mr. Orlewicz to be a nasty little wretch and pretty much guaranteed his conviction.

Mr. Orlewicz' attorneys will appeal. Let us hope they meet with no success. We really do not think this teenager should be allowed to find potential new victims. The parents of both these children and the murdered man have our deepest sympathies. What must it be like to know that you have raised a monster, and that your own flesh and blood is condemned by society at large never to walk free again?

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7 Comments:

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Pat said...

I can never agree with sending a teenager to prison for life. A teenager.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

I have to admit I'm torn about this verdict myself. The kid has zero empathy. His "co-conspirator" was visibly upset about the murder. But Orlewicz actually bragged about the killing, claiming he did it because he knew he'd get away with it, and just to see how it would feel.

In my estimation, that is one sign of a psychopath. Unlike the person who kills because they lose control, or has limited capacity to understand consequences, psychopathic killers are a danger to all of society. There is little evidence that they can be rehabilitated.

How would you solve this problem? Because sooner or later, this kid's self-aggrandizing attitude and his enormous ego will propel him into doing something to someone else. Can this child be saved? How?

 
At 10:57 AM, OpenID great2player said...

this kid is a bastard, everyone needs to stop making excuses for him. The facts are plain and simple... he's a cocky little narcissist... it's written all over him... wake up people!

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree with Pat,"I can never agree with sending a teenager to prison for life. A teenager."

The jurors were probably biased due the news coverage unless maybe only the eastern United States heard the details and other parts of the country didn't. The press is important, but the news should broadcast objective facts and not immediately use terminology such as "thrill kill."

The judge made mistakes; she wouldn't allow evidence from professionals who would state that the defendant is a caring individual who wouldn't kill again. She should have allowed witnesses to testify regarding Orlewicz's character. For example, opinions from former girlfriends and about his caring personality such as when he helped people having trouble with their boat should have been permitted. Regardless of the fact that Sorensen's character isn't on trial, both Orlewicz's and Sorensen's personality is relevant to the case. I think that he was a minor who was genuinely afraid of Sorensen who made prior threats against Orlewicz and his friends and family. I don't think Sorensen is a sex offender though; my friends who lived near me back when I was a kid/teen went out with 17 year old guys when they were 14 or 15. However, Sorensen’s prior criminal record pertaining to possible acts of violence should have been admissible. I think Jean Pierre Orlewicz was fearful of Sorensen's possible organized crime connections, so he panicked and tried to cover up the traces. Sorensen repeatedly pointed a gun at the heads of Orlewicz and his friends. Video games such as Hitman and Grand Theft Auto which he did play often could perhaps desensitize minors and adolescents, especially male ones. Sending this minor with no prior offenses to prison would be a waste. I believe Jean Orlewicz has potential to go to college and lead a productive life and is someone who would never kill anyone unless it was in is self defense.

 
At 8:52 PM, Blogger Amber said...

So I went to school with JP we were pretty close.. he was a strange one he loved gnomes.. and you know yeah what he did was wrong but the guy he killed was a registered sex offender so who knows why JP did what he did.. but I really doubt it was bc the guy didn't give him back money I don't think prison will do much good for JP not saying he shouldn't be punished but I think he needs hard core phycothearpy (sp) but like I said I knew him and real life. He was off his rocker and I really believe this guy did something to set him off.. and I repeat not saying it was okay what JP did!

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Hey, Amber, thanks for coming by anyway. It's always interesting to hear from someone who actually knows one of the people involved. As you know, I have my own ideas about JP, but I'd love to hear whatever you have to say.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger roxanne Burton said...

Ive been in correspondence with him for almost a year. Seems like a very intelligent, caring, well mannered young man. My opinion on this situation, is that he was bullied by this manipulator and couldnt talk about it with anyone, took it into his own hands. Everyone has a breaking point. Your brain isnt fully developed as a teen. I really dont think he deserves such a long sentence.

 

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