To feel sorry for the cats living in prison?

(115 Posts)
Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:46:00

Now watching "Inside Death Row" with Trevor.

I feel very sorry for the poor cats who live in a cell, especially when they are in lock down.

expatinscotland Thu 24-Jan-13 21:46:54

Not really. They're very loved.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Thu 24-Jan-13 21:48:09

Can they not get out between the bars?

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 24-Jan-13 21:49:18

I was just going to ask that Frustrated, my cat can squeeze through almost any gap and he's huge.

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:50:38

One of the prisoners said the cats find it hard when they are on lock down as they want to get out too.

But I never thought of the bars and them being able to squeeze out!

thekidsrule Thu 24-Jan-13 21:51:15

not watching but if they can roam about i would think its a good life

loads of attention unlike some cats that dont see their owners for hour on end

as the prisoners dont have much to do i should think the cat gets lots of attention

Booyhoo Thu 24-Jan-13 21:51:41

lots of indoor cats are very happy with never going outside. especially if they have never been out in the first place.

thekidsrule Thu 24-Jan-13 21:52:35

i had no idea prisoners were aloud cats

i think its a great idea

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Thu 24-Jan-13 21:52:53

I bet they can squeeze out, how else will they be able to get into the neighbouring cell to do a poo?

Passmethecrisps Thu 24-Jan-13 21:53:23

There are cats? Like in prison break?

My cat never goes outside. Do the death row inmates have floor to ceiling bars or is it more like cubicles?

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:53:50

Mine are not allowed outside either.

I had the impression that they were inside the small all day.

So IABU it seems smile

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:54:47

The cell*

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 21:54:49

Perhaps the cats are not pets, but have been put in the slammer for some sort of misdemenour.

Samvet Thu 24-Jan-13 21:55:35

I was thinking about this! I think if they have been there since they were little kittens then they would adjust ok, any older than 12 weeks or so when they went it and it could be a problem. In USA a lot of cats are euthanased as strays so think if they are rescue kittens then not a bad thing.

Booyhoo Thu 24-Jan-13 21:56:02

do they have litter trays in the cells? i'm picturing all these cats being let out to a communal litter tray room every morning and them all giving a massive sigh of relief! grin

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:56:16

Perhaps the cats are not pets, but have been put in the slammer for some sort of misdemenour.

Snort grin

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 24-Jan-13 21:58:02

Bet them nasty Siamese cats from Aristocats are in there.

And TopCat. He was a PITA.

chandellina Thu 24-Jan-13 22:03:16

I feel a lot sorrier for strays who have no one to care for them and irregular meals.

So you're watching a programme about people who are about to be legally murdered by the state & you're concerned for the cats?

Do they take the cats with them, pharaoh style when their time comes?

Do the cats throw themselves on the electric chair & commit sati when their owner goes down?

If not YABU.

porridgewithalmondmilk Thu 24-Jan-13 22:10:47

haha at the bad cats grin

I have an indoor cat, he was in a rescue centre for over a year and he just doesn't like going far! He goes out twice a day to poo. He's fine, he could go out but he doesn't want to!

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:11:07

Justread... I am completely against the death penalty and felt bad for most of them.

I admitted IABU as well lol

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:14:32

I only felt sorry for the cats when the prisoner said they were in lock down for 24 hours and it was hard on his poor cat because he wanted to get out but he was stuck there too with him.

Then he mentioned that they were once in 24 hour lock down for 11 months straight. So I assumed that the cat was then too as he made out that the cat couldn't go out when he was in lock down.

That is what made me feel bad smile

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Thu 24-Jan-13 22:14:44

I bet they can squeeze out, how else will they be able to get into the neighbouring cell to do a poo? good point pelvic

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:15:32

Sorry about the awfully worded post above, typing one handed.

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:16

If they could squeeze out why did he say that the cat found it hard when they were in lock down?


fairylightsinthesnow Thu 24-Jan-13 22:19:13

Am totally anti- death penalty but very hard to hear about the crime the ginger bearded one committed and not understand where the victims' family would be coming from. The fact the he's so clearly remorseful and sickened by what he did is a perfect advert for life imprisonment being more of a punishment if that's what you're after. As for the cats, meh..

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Thu 24-Jan-13 22:24:21

Not sure samu2 but I would assume that if the cats couldn't squeeze out then animal rights campaigners would be on the case.

I do now have inappropriate "aibu to get rid of my cat because.." ideas running through my head.

Maybe the cats don't like lockdown because they can't come and go as they please, not necessarily because they were in the cells, but because they have to be let in and out. (Possibly the same way as the inmates food?)

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:24:52

I found the whole programme so interesting.

I really felt for the man in it last week, the one who will spend his life in prison after committing a crime at the age of 13.

He seemed so remorseful and he never got a chance. I know so many people will feel like he deserved it but he was so young and it seemed like he really could have been rehabilitated.

specialsubject Thu 24-Jan-13 22:25:50

YABU. I feel sorry for the murder victims.

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:25:55

That makes sense Frustrated

No longer feel sorry for the cats!

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 24-Jan-13 22:26:04

Telling a cat they can't do something is like telling a toddler they can't do something. Tantrums ensue. Makes sense they wouldn't like being in lockdown. Poor kitties.

I didn't see the programme so am coming at this blind Fairy.

Samu fair point, although my cats have barely moved from the sofa for the last week - I may send them to a death-row prisoner, they'd probably be in clover.

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:29:55

I can feel sorry for the cats and the prisoners. It's not one or the other.

I just thought that starting an anti death penalty here was a bit heavy for my first AIBU thread.. you guys are a bit scary wink

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:31:14

Anti death penalty.

I am going to have to slow down my typing as there is no edit button here and I suck at it at the best of times.

Ahh - just what I like, a turn-around AIBU.

Well played Samu

Samu2 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:33:21

I am always the first to admit if I am wrong about something (except to my husband)

DoctorAnge Thu 24-Jan-13 22:35:47

I also felt for the cats after watching that the black one seemed pissed off at the lock down.

I am anti death penalty but that last mans senseless, unspeakable crime did make me totally understand why the family would want him dead.

You couldn't have that in UK prisons- no bars. I'm sure the cats are well loved though.

expatinscotland Thu 24-Jan-13 22:38:09

Rascal was adorable! I love black cats.

Fairylea Thu 24-Jan-13 22:42:02

I felt sorry for the cats too.

All seems quite odd.I couldn't get my head around a man who killed a child getting to have a pet in prison. Why should he have any comforts at all apart from the absolute minimum to survive?

Maybe I'm just hardcore. It just all made me feel quite ill and sad really.

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 23:14:38

Rascal was adorable! I love black cats

They are locking up the black cats. This is typical of the racist way the justice system operates in the US.

Compost, I have two black cats, I am white, I bought them so they could do tricks for me & look cool about the place.

It ain't just the justice system.

It's endemic.

tigerdriverII Thu 24-Jan-13 23:25:26

Can't bear to think about Death Row. But please, why, why why do you have indoors only cats?

ilovesooty Thu 24-Jan-13 23:26:40

Given the tension and violence in many US prisons (after all if you're on Death Row you have nothing to lose by committing further violent acts) it seems pretty sensible to me to allow the prisoners the companionship of a pet.

Devora Thu 24-Jan-13 23:27:52

I was about to say that I bet there's some American animal rights group right now mobilising about pets behind bars.

Maybe there's also a Black Panther-wannabe group getting up in arms. Paws.

Devora Thu 24-Jan-13 23:30:39

I think cats in prison makes a lot of sense. Not ideal for the cat, but a price worth paying for the undoubted benefits. It's a privilege, isn't it? I bet if you're on death row it would be a huge incentive to good behaviour. And I'm sure they get loads of love and attention.

I guess there's also a risk that they caught up in disputes between prisoners, with ugly results. And not going outdoors is not great. But hey, humans do much worse things to animals all the time.

I'm watching it now. I recorded it.

Cats will be able to roam around I'm guessing

bedmonster Thu 24-Jan-13 23:35:14

I couldn't get my head around a man who killed a child getting to have a pet in prison

I couldn't understand this either. They weren't allowed to have contact with another human being without being restrained in handcuffs yet they were in charge of an animal?

But what I really got out of the programme is a new found love - Trevor McDonald!

Trev's voice is quite nice tbh. He could soothe your soul grin

Shinyshoes1 Thu 24-Jan-13 23:44:36

Still prefer Louis though

It made me wonder why these men killed men , women and children yet they have so much love for a cat and get treated better

ComposHat Thu 24-Jan-13 23:48:51

I have two black cats, I am white, I bought them so they could do tricks for me & look cool about the place

They are a pair of Uncle Tom cats, letting themselves be used for your entertainment.

Maybe there's also a Black Panther-wannabe group getting up in arms. Paws

Possibly led by Meowcolm X

How can someone kill a woman and a child but love an animal as much as he says he does?!

Lueji Thu 24-Jan-13 23:58:42

Well, if they have a cat, they can't expect Green Mile mice in there.
Let's hope they don't get cancer or anything. It might kill them...

Oh I forgot bout Green Mile. The scene where he going off to be put in the chair and hes giving the big guy the mouse sad

This fella is really creeping me out. I'm not sure what it is about him but it seems like all he said was just him playing up to the camera. I honestly don't think he is genuinely remorseful

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 00:03:31

Could the cats go into the yard (learnt about 'the yard' from watching films about prison) for a wander? Maybe that's why they don't like lock down, because they have to stay inside the prison, rather than just inside the cell. I recon the cats could definitely squeeze through the bars without a problem.

Compost - you may be right - I could have sworn one of them was getting all uppity & wearing a pair of spats last week.

cateerob Fri 25-Jan-13 00:48:21

my kitties live inside, we live in a flat in london, they have no sense at all would run under a car if they went outside, they seem happy enough they have each other to play with, they would prob love a prison, lots of beds to sleep on and someone to pet them all day...

I don't know if this link will work, but the cats in prisons programme was started by cat charities, as an alternative to them being PTS. › The Scoop

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 08:07:53

God that programme gave me the creeps last night <shudder>

One cat was on a lead so not free to get through the bars.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 08:37:59

'But please, why, why why do you have indoors only cats?'

Why not? They don't get hit by cars, drink antifreeze or eat poisonous stuff that inconsiderate people leave out, get shot with air rifles or set on fire by thugs, get pregnant or get other cats pregnant, get into fights with other cats, get attacked by dogs, kill birds. All sorts of reasons.

The murder of Cory and Jenna Clark, for which Frederick Baer is on Death Row, was horrific! Baer chased down little Jenna after murdering her mother. Cory Clark's husband, the father of her two daughters (her elder child was at school), was in Florida looking for work at the time of the murders.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 08:40:42

expat interesting, dh said last night he would like to hear the police's version of events to see if they matched Baer's.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 08:51:00

At first, Baer did not admit his guilt. He has also a very long criminal history and IIRC, may be tried in another state for at least one rape (although probably not as he is on Death Row already).

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 08:54:29

Dh said he bet that it wasn't the first time he had raped/attempted rape.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 08:57:09

load of people have house cats who never go out I had an outside cat who hated being in I guess the cats are there for company and probably catch the odd mouse or 2 I think they will be well cared for and loved

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 08:57:44

oh thread has moved on

Shinyshoes1 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:04:34

I wonder what would happen to the cat if he did squeeze through the bars . I wonder if he goes in solitary confinement and loses all privileges grin

LetMeAtTheWine Fri 25-Jan-13 09:07:23

Perhaps the cats were all little rogues like the one that was arrested in Brazil...

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 09:08:47

No, it was not the first time he raped/attempted rape. He had a long history of criminal behaviour, which he admitted to, and drug use.

ilovesprouts Fri 25-Jan-13 09:11:06

they should not be allowed cats in with them sad. i really felt sick wen he said hed killed the mother and her dd .

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Fri 25-Jan-13 09:19:24

letmeatthewine "it's hard to know who's behind the action because the cat doesn't speak" grin

LetMeAtTheWine Fri 25-Jan-13 09:24:30

I know sycamore - the whole thing is genuis. I think, considering they managed to figure out that the phone was smuggled in to enable communication, they are on top of it though. PHEW! grin

LetMeAtTheWine Fri 25-Jan-13 09:24:56

Sorry - Frustrated!

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 09:26:59

It's to try to keep violence down, ilove. This is always a major problem in prisons, as you saw from the show.

Surely it's not safe for the cats, those men have killed humans for the sheer hell of it, what's to stop them hurting an animal?

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 09:29:37

I do wonder about that, Summer. A lot of these men admit to having 'snapped' when they committed murders, and if they couldn't see the human being they killed as a person, what about the poor cat? But then, a lot of them were under the influence of drugs when they killed.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 09:44:59

I wonder what would happen to the cat if he did squeeze through the bars

grin it has it's catnip confiscated for a week.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 09:48:31

I found the whole programme bizarre tbh especially when they were talking about making the prisoner 'comfortable' before they gave him lethal injection confused

It's brought up all sorts of conflicting thoughts, which I suppose is the point of the programme.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 09:49:47

They give them a general anaesthetic drug, valium, and then execute them.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 09:52:40

Yeah but why bother? It seems so barbaric killing someone as a punishment that why bother making them comfortable?

I am in no way saying that revolting man should ever see the light of day again btw!

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 09:53:09

they have to keep them calm or they wouldn't die peacefully adrenalin would take over

OmgATalkingOnion Fri 25-Jan-13 09:55:41

Imagine being in lock down with an overflowing litter tray though.

Punishment on a grand scale.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 09:56:56

But it seems odd to want them to die peacefully - if you are doing something as barbaric as killing them then why not make it as difficult as possible? Mind you I imagine it makes it easier for the guards - what a job that is! 'Hard day at the office dear?' shock

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 09:58:06

It is what it is. Some states still allow the condemned a choice in manner of execution, in most, however, it's only lethal injection.

ZombieBellesZombieAllTheWay Fri 25-Jan-13 09:58:13

I've heard that stroking cats helps mental illness (as well as other furry animals) and keeps you calm, lowers blood pressure etc. All those men locked up together with problems and violent tendancies, i can't help but think its a good idea. It probably helps keep the peace and makes the prisoners a lot easier to deal with.

Plus as one poster mentioned, if (hopefully) the cats are rescues, it saves them from death/a miserable life.

One of my cats is indoors, one is outdoors. Different cats suit different lifestyles.

ConferencePear Fri 25-Jan-13 09:58:36

I am not too worried about the cats in particular, but the whole system seemed inhumane to me.
I have mixed feelings about the death penalty although the man who killed the child made it easier to accept, I just think if the death penalty has been imposed they shouldn't have to wait years for it to be carried out.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 09:59:49

I know I guess they don't want them being a struggle and some states have v families of the victims viewing it and imagine the poison the use will be painful <shudder>

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 10:00:24

The wait is usually because such prisoners have unlimited appeals. They can waive this right of appeal and that will speed up the date of their execution, but it's not usual.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 10:01:41

I used to watch a programme on animal planet where prisoners trained assistance dogs, that was fascinating to watch these men were violent and yet were gentle and loving towards these dogs and trained them well,

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:02:08

conference I think that is one of my problems with it too - except then I think of the families of Baer's victims and wonder if it helps to know he will die too. As I said, I have lots of conflicting views.

ConferencePear Fri 25-Jan-13 10:02:27

Expatinscotland I know that they can have lots of appeals, I suppose that I think there should be a limit.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 10:02:47

is that why they are in death row so long because they appeal the sentence 1 of the men had been there 11 years ( or had he been in prison 11 years)

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:03:07

I think I have read it takes 6 mins to do from lethal injection.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 10:10:41

Yes. They have unlimited right of appeal unless they chose to waive it. So you can and do have people who have been on Death Row for well over a decade. Currently, a female, Jody Arias, is on trial in Arizona facing possible death sentence for the murder of her lover. Although most of those on Death Row are males, there are some females.

In order to be eligible for capital punishment, an accused must be found guilty of what is known as a capital crime. In most states, this is murder in conjunction with rape/attempted rape, robbery and/or kidnapping, but in some states it includes murder of a child under 10, murder of a law enforcement officer/fire personnel/paramedic or the like.

TheBigJessie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:11:16

This thread reminds me of a quote from a book: "But I realise he is capable of love, and caring, for a few. You remind him of his wife, I daresay, or even his daughter; you have seen the private side of tenderness which all but the worst men have."

I think that as human beings, we tend to see people as wholly good, or wholly bad, based on our own experiences. You see that every time the family of a convicted rapist passionately denounce the victim. "He couldn't have done that. He's not like that", a friend or family member says. And indeed he was not. To the speaker.

Just as no-one is a perfect saint, I think most people, who we (we definitely includes me!) all agree should be in prison, are yet capable of kindness and love to a favoured few. So I can well believe such people look after their cats.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 10:11:21

In some states, serial or spree murder, murder of over 3 persons, is also treated as a capital crime.

labtest Fri 25-Jan-13 10:21:13

I didn't feel sorry for any of them. They deserved to be executed. The inmate who slit the throats of a mother and her four year old daughter will have an easier death than they did. As for the cats, they appeared to have a food life.

GanglyGiraffe Fri 25-Jan-13 10:27:16

What made me feel sick was when the murderer of the young girl and her Mother said that he was "a part of their lives" and that he had their birthdays' marked on his calendar.

Their poor family having to hear that sad

You were not a part of their lives Mr Baer, you were the cause of their death!

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 10:41:09

I know gangly sad

I hope Princes William or Harry didn't see the programme - all those pics of their mother all over his cell!

Pigsmummy Fri 25-Jan-13 10:52:33

They had leads and were kept inside, I felt sorry for them too. The guy who is next to be executed has a cute cat, what happens to the cat when he is sent on his way? (he slit the throats of a young mother and 4 year old child in their home after not being able to rape the woman as planned).

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 25-Jan-13 11:29:07

The cats are generally kepts on long leashes which allow them to roam about the cell but no further.

These are also generally cats that would have been put to sleep. They are often animals with behavoural issues or other issues which meant they could not be rehomed else where, therefore would face death.

A loving prision home sounds better than death to me.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 11:40:06

The cat will be passed on to another inmate following Baer's execution.

YY, to his saying he was part of their lives. Trevor tried to understand that, but of course, as he said, he can't understand because he is not a murderer.

Cory Clark left behind a little girl of seven following her brutal murder and that of her daughter, as well as her husband, two siblings and parents. sad

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:29

It's also a possibility that Baer will outlive his pet cat. He was only sentenced in 2005, a year and a half after the murders, and if he appeals over and over, it could be a while.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:18

expat after that programme last night I keep thinking of the older sister coming home from school to her mother and sister's violent murders. sad

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 12:13:03

IIRC she was not the one who discovered them, thankfully, but I could be wrong. sad

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 12:17:41

Hopefully not.

Would he still be able to appeal despite now admitting to the crime? Previously he'd denied it obv as the programme showed him declaring his innocence before the interview with Trevor McDonald.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 12:23:21

Yes. He can appeal until he waives his right of appeal or loses his last one, and even then he can move to stay the execution up until the last minute. Nowadays, there aren't any who were relatively newly sentenced who were not so tried without serious DNA and forensic evidence, and admitting guilt does not mean you cannot appeal.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 12:24:57

What grounds would he be appealing on if he were to appeal?

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 12:28:40

Oh, all kinds of things. Any technicality that can be found or suspected, loads of things. Some have even been tried more than once and found guilty more than once and been sentenced more than once. They can move to stay the execution. All manner of things. It's why a lot of people sit on Death Row for years and years.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:28

blush this may sound daft but I always thought people were sentenced to however many years on death row before execution as an extra form of punishment. I hadn't realised so many people appealed and dragged things on for years.

expatinscotland Fri 25-Jan-13 12:35:42

Oh, no, it can go on for decades.

Stickwithit Fri 25-Jan-13 12:47:57

Was I imagining it or wasn't one of the cats (not the one with the death row inmate), attached to a piece of string? I thought when they interviewed him, he seemed to have string attached to its collar?

I assumed that this was what stopped it leaving the mans's cell.

eggsy11 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:25:00

i'm a proper animal rights nutcase. And I think it's fine for prisoners to have them. I'm no expert on the effect it has on the prisoners themselves, but I can only see that it would be huge incentive.

Even if cats were only contained within cells and were'nt allowed to roam, so many animals are starving/dying/beingshot because they have no homes. From what I saw it was only when the cells were on lock down the cats weren't allowed out. The cats were loved (no denying that) fed and warm. That is much better than a large majority of cats around the world!

The space cats get in animal shelters whcih they could well spend their entire lives in are much smaller. Plus the liklihood of them living long in there is mininal since most cats get euthanised due to lack of homes sad

Booyhoo Fri 25-Jan-13 15:06:19

"But it seems odd to want them to die peacefully - if you are doing something as barbaric as killing them then why not make it as difficult as possible? "

because the punishment is ending of their life. not painful death.

valiumredhead Fri 25-Jan-13 15:34:40

Good point, but I still can't get my head round it. I'm very glad I don't live somewhere where the death penalty is used. Personally I think life inside is far worse a punishment.

Booyhoo Fri 25-Jan-13 15:40:00

i totally agree. i dont agree with the death penalty because i dont think it punishes the person at all. i'm atheist and dont believe in any sort of heaven or hell so for me death is the end of it. they feel no more after that and so any guilt they felt also ends at this point. i really dont know whose benefit the death penalty is for.

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