M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, June 27, 2003  

Aiming to Pleas

“I want to plead now because I was always raised, you know, that if you do the crime, you do the time.”

-Jonathan Carpenter

You know, what a standup guy. It’s good to see someone stepping up and taking responsibility for his actions, citing a moral upbringing as the reason for this show of integrity. I just hope nobody’s tacky enough to notice that Mr. Carpenter apparently wasn’t raised to not rape and murder people. Being a parent is hard, you know. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals.

You hear about kids who make their parents worry by staying out too late, or getting one too many piercings, or, in Jonathan Carpenter’s case, walking into a stranger’s house in Long Prairie and leaving three dead people behind. But by pleading guilty, demanding no concessions whatsoever, sparing the county the time and expense of a trial, and resigning himself to spending the rest of this life and all of the next two in prison, Jonathan Carpenter has shown us that even when people disappoint us most, they still have in them to surprise us. Including the Deputy Attorney General, who said, "In my career, I've never seen this before where somebody pleads to murder with life without parole. Usually when you're looking at that, you figure that there's nothing to lose, so why not drag it through a trial?"

Why not indeed? Perhaps because it would be wrong? I’m sorry, Mister Big Shot Deputy Attorney General, but Jonathan Carpenter was not raised that way.

Even in the very midst of his bloody rampage, Jonathan Carpenter was thinking of the people that some might call his “victims,” after he’d raped one of them and his accomplice had murdered her mother and brother with knives from their own kitchen:

"I put myself in Katie's situation. I know if I'd have watched my family get killed, I'd want to die, so I slit her throat." Talk about thoughtful!

Just as Jonathan Carpenter spent his childhood learning about right and wrong from his mother (or perhaps the Baretta theme song), he has worked to pass those lessons on to his own children. Here’s what the mother of his kids had to say:

"He was a good father until he went on a killing spree."

Nice of her to mention, but there’s such a thing as damning with faint praise. Is he suddenly a bad dad now that his hands are awash in innocent blood? I ask you, did any of that blood belong to his children? No? than let’s not rush to judgement. Just because he turned out to be a bad non-killer doesn’t make him a bad parent. If anything, the government is making him a bad parent by putting him behind bars for the rest of his life, so he’ll never be able to wrap his gore-drenched arms around his babies again. Justice is indeed blind.

There’s still the question of whether Jonathan Carpenter will plead guilty to two other murders he allegedly committed in northeast Minneapolis. "It certainly increases the likelihood that he would plead guilty to the [Minneapolis] murders, but that is ultimately up to him," says the Hennepin County Attorney. Well, I should say so! Jonathan Carpenter has given us all a clear demonstration that he’s eminently capable of making mature, responsible decisions in regards to the corpses stacked in his wake. I say we give him the benefit of the doubt. It certainly makes more sense that prosecuting him for more murders when he’s already going to be under the most severe sentence Minnesota has. What will they do if he’s convicted of those? Give him three more consecutive life sentences? They’ll probably let him serve them concurrently anyway.

There is one guy who can’t be happy about this development, and that’s Jonathan Carpenter’s buddy Christopher Earl, who’s been saying all along he wasn’t even there. This kind of shoots his defense out of the water. Now he’ll claim it’s his word against the word of a confessed rapist/killer, and his prosecutors will be able to say, “yeah, but look how that rapist/killer was raised. His testimony is unimpeachable. Come on, Chris. If you did the crime, do the time. That’s what a responsible murderer does.”

If nothing else, we can hope that Jonathan Carpenter’s conduct will set a higher standard of behavior for all of our nation’s murderers.

* * *

I finished reading Pamie’s novel, Why Girls are Weird, last night. Here’s what I learned: none of us will ever be as cool as Pamie, but buying her book is a step in the right direction. Do it now!

posted by M. Giant 3:45 PM 5 comments


this shit is fucked up this is my uncle you talkin about (jon) yes what he did was wrong but you dont have to write shit about it it happened its done so just leave it alone.....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 5, 2008 at 4:46 PM  

Hmm...just found this post and I have to agree with the other poster. Jon was my ex from way back and you have no idea what led him down the path he was on. Yes what he did was horrid beyond words but when he got sober in jail and realized what he had done while heavily addicted and on drugs he sentenced himself to what was appropriate. In the right frame of mind he did know right from wrong and his life and the lives of the others involved in this tragedy including his children are not for you to post mockery blogs about.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 3, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

Whats fucked up IS WHAT he did!!!! There is no BUT! Leave it alone?? Tell that to the victims and the families of the victims who have to live "everyday" KNOWING how he tortured/murdered and raped thier loved ones! I bet if this were the other way around, you wouldn't be saying that,, He was a pathetic coward! Breann (mother of his kids) stated "they experimented with drugs when they were teens but not now"??... FAST forward to her latest drug convictions "after" she claimed that- NOW an adult! STOP MAKING EXCUSES,, WE ALL MAKE CHOICES!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

I met Jon Carpenter around 2007 in Brooklyn Park when I was living in a studio apt on zane ave. He was the boyfriend of a girl upstairs and from the beginning I knew he was a troubled kid. I mean I was no angel but I wasnt violent like him. We all drank together and had some good times. 1 month before the killings he came to my house and seemed paranoid that he might have a warrant. We talked for a while and he said he was going to try and live a straight life but that it would be hard to get that part of him to stop hustling. I believed him and we exchanged numbers and said we would hang out sometime. Then I saw the news the very next month. I dont know what happened to you to make you do things like you did but youre dead now and youre square with the court of life. This world couldnt give you what you needed I guess. I hate what you became but I remember the Jon Carpenter with a big smile and ready to help a friend in need. That Jon Carpenter to me.....will be missed:)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM  

He knew he did wrong, but he couldn't do the right thing even after. his good friend chris told a friend what happened so they could be turned in. he was too afraid of jon to do it himself. and then jon had to take the easy way out. he couldn't even deal with prison and the life he deserved for his crimes. Now he leaves his friend to rot in prison for the stuff he did. chris may be guilty, but he's at least living with the consequences for his and jons actions.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM  

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