It's cases like these that incline me towards thinking that law enforcement should have the capability to get a torture warrant that would allow them to forcibly extract information from perpetrators.
The man suspected in Carlie Brucia's (search) abduction, which was captured by a surveillance camera on Sunday, has not been cooperating with investigators, the Sarasota County, Fla., sheriff said. ...I don't know enough about the details of this case to say that this guy should be tortured, but I do think such measures would be appropriate in some circumstances. The problem, of course, is where to draw the line. Some might argue that it's better to never use torture than to risk misusing it, but I'm not convinced. Our criminal trial process unjustly convicts people from time to time -- and even executes them -- but we don't throw up our hands in despair and eliminate the entire justice system.
"We have strong evidence that he is in fact the perpetrator," said Capt. Jeff Bell, the lead Sarasota County sheriff's investigator on the case.
Sheriff Bill Balkwill (search) told reporters during a morning news conference that his department was certain the 1992 Buick station wagon "is the vehicle that was used in the abduction." ...
"We don't have any motive," Lesaltato said. "We've tried talking to him, but he refuses to talk to us."
Regardless, this guy should have been off the streets a long time ago.
Smith has been arrested at least 13 times in Florida since 1993, according to state records.This type of lifetime criminal is generally never reformed, and well-meaning attempts to do so are what lead to tragedies like this kidnapping.
He was arrested in 1997 in Manatee County on kidnapping and false-imprisonment charges. A 20-year-old woman in Bradenton said he grabbed her as she walked by and tried to pull her away, according to records released by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
"He got on top of me and told me to shut up or he would cut me," she told authorities. After a struggle, she said, she managed to run into the street, and passengers in an approaching van stopped and rescued her. ...
Records show other convictions for heroin possession, prescription-drug fraud and aggravated battery. Smith was placed on probation for cocaine possession last March.
I guess torture wouldn't have made a difference in this case, since the poor girl was already dead. I hope the guy fries. Unfortunately, it sounds like he may have bargained for leniency in exchange for revealing the location of the body.
I'm going to remember this post so that if I ever have kids I'll be able to explain to them exactly how serious they have to be about their safety. From the video it appears that the girl could have probably gotten away by screaming or throwing a fit, but she went along with barely a struggle.
Donald Sensing has some good tips on what to teach little girls.