Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Every Man Has Within Him the Seed of His Own Salvation"

By E. K. Jarvis (house pseudonym).
First appearance: Fantastic Adventures, February 1951.
Reprinted in Fantastic Adventures (U.K.), May 1951.
Short story (10 pages).
Online HERE.
"In anger, Roker had killed the girl he loved; yet the penalty for his crime was life and happiness—in a new world!"
A desperate man is Charles Roker, a wanted criminal on the run:
. . . They called him the Dillinger of 1990, they hunted him as Dillinger had been hunted in the old days.  . . .
Now Roker scurries through the decaying ruins of Old Chicago intent on revenge for being betrayed by the only person he's ever cared for:
. . . An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and death for a doublecross.  . . .
And he gets it . . . but he also gets something that he could never have anticipated.

Sidebar: Can criminals be "cured"? One online source puts it this way:
The concept of rehabilitation rests on the assumption that criminal behavior is caused by some factor. This perspective does not deny that people make choices to break the law, but it does assert that these choices are not a matter of pure "free will." Instead, the decision to commit a crime is held to be deter-mined, or at least heavily influenced, by a person's social surroundings, psychological development, or biological makeup. People are not all the same—and thus free to express their will—but rather are different. These "individual differences" shape how people behave, including whether they are likely to break the law. When people are characterized by various "criminogenic risk factors"—such as a lack of parental love and supervision, exposure to delinquent peers, the internalization of antisocial values, or an impulsive temperament—they are more likely to become involved in crime than people not having these experiences and traits.  . . .
This sounds like the old "nature or nurture" argument that's been going on from time immemorial:
. . . The rehabilitation model "makes sense" only if criminal behavior is caused and not merely a freely willed, rational choice. If crime were a matter of free choices, then there would be nothing within particular individuals to be "fixed" or changed. But if involvement in crime is caused by various factors, then logically re-offending can be reduced if correctional interventions are able to alter these factors and how they have influenced offenders. For example, if associations with delinquent peers cause youths to internalize crime-causing beliefs (e.g., "It is okay to steal"), then diverting youths to other peer groups and changing these beliefs can inhibit their return to criminal behavior.
Sometimes rehabilitation is said to embrace a "medical model." When people are physically ill, the causes of their illness are diagnosed and then "treated." Each person's medical problems may be different and the treatment will differ accordingly; that is, the medical intervention is individualized. Thus, people with the same illness may, depending on their personal conditions (e.g., age, prior health), receive different medicines and stay in the hospital different lengths of time. Correctional rehabilitation shares the same logic: Causes are to be uncovered and treatments are to be individualized. This is why rehabilitation is also referred to as "treatment."  . . . (Full article HERE)
The author of "Rebirth" seems to favor the "medical model" and the type of rehabilitation that Doc Savage, for example, employed:
. . . In earlier stories, some of the criminals captured by Doc receive "a delicate brain operation" to cure their criminal tendencies. These criminals return to society, unaware of their past, to lead productive lives. The operation is mentioned in Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood, as an older Kansan recalls Doc's "fixing" of the criminals he had caught. (Wikipedia HERE)
- The "E. K. Jarvis" FictionMags listing is HERE, and a more extensive one is HERE at the ISFDb. Neither source can identify the big name author who may have been hiding behind the "Jarvis" cognomen.
- Whoever he was, we had an encounter with him HERE not long ago.

The bottom line: I've always hated criminals and crime. Life is hard enough without someone walking into your life on purpose and making it worse.
Pauley Perrette

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