The abduction saga continues

Last night, our company party bus passed through the main area of the search for Dru Sjodin. In Crookston, the Northland Lodge had "Our thoughts are with you Dru" on their sign. Yesterday, between 1300 and 1700 volunteers searched for Dru in the vast fields between Grand Forks and Crookston. Yesterday's search focused on the back road from Crookston to Grand Forks, a road many people from this area use to get to Columbia Mall.

Nothing was found.

As for the foiled abduction attempt in Fertile, I learned some things from a 17-year old boy who works at the nursery. He had driven past Al and Laura's grocery store and had seen the girl walking to her car. If he had driven by 10 seconds later, he figured, he could have seen the abduction. He remembered seeing a car pull out of the lot in his review mirror, but just assumed it was the girl's. He has been questioned several times by police, but could only provide information on the height of the car he saw in his mirror.

The girl suffered a two inch gash on her forehead where she was hit by her abductor. She also had a bad bruise on her arm. Both injuries apparently occurred when she was abducted, not when she jumped from the car.

Meanwhile, people want clues from the suspect, Alfonso Rodriguez, in the Sjodin case. What did he do with Dru? I suspect his attorney has advised him to keep his mouth shut, but I do not know this for a fact.

People will no doubt be infuriated with the slow grind of the justice system's wheels in this case, as in every case. Can't somebody squeeze the truth out of Rodriguez? Why not the death penalty for this monster?

In the old South, this would be a time for a lynching. A mob might break into the jail and do away with the suspect in a truly hideous fashion. The abduction of a white girl by a member of a racial minority touches off deep and explosive emotions. The presence of dozens of national media types in Grand Forks attests to the deep feelings stirred by this case.

Cases such as this test our civility. The desire for revenge is strong. I am of the belief, however, that the main interest of the law should be in keeping such monsters off the street, not in exacting vengeance. Yes, I dream of giving violent criminals a taste of their own medicine. But exacting vengeance is a barbaric pleasure we must deny ourselves in a civilized society. The Taliban filled stadiums for public executions. The Romans fed criminals to the lions as a form of public recreation. Let us never go down that road, even one step.