There’s no doubt that was Jered Fogle did – possession of child pornography and traveling across state lines to pay underage teenage girls for sex – was a wicked thing and he should be punished for it. Whether his time in prison is enough is up for debate and I personally think he should have gotten more, but it is downright disturbing to see people openly fantasizing on social media about him being violently anally raped. That is depraved.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Fogle should be executed for his crimes. A humane, lawful execution by the civil magistrate is one thing. Fifteen years of torture and sexual slavery is something else entirely. If Fogle serves his entire fifteen years, do you think he will be more likely to offend again or less likely to offend again after spending a decade and a half being violently sodomized against his will, perhaps even in a gang rape? Do you think Fogle is likely to have a lot of rage and hate that he may take out on innocent people?
The reason that taking pleasure in a prisoner being repeatedly violently anally raped is wrong has nothing to do with whether that prisoner “deserves” it. This is about what kind of people and what kind of state and nation we want to be.
Do we want to be a nation of laws and justice, or do we want to be a nation where sadistic vigilantism, torture and murder replaces the rule of law? Do we want to be a nation where prisoners face harsh but constitutionally permissible punishments up to and including the death penalty? Or do we want to be a nation where we allow people to be gang raped and extrajudicial murdered because they “deserve” what they get?
Of course, in some cases a prisoner does not “deserve” to even be in prison. One example is Christopher Clugston, who spent 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. While he was there, he was gang raped and infected with AIDS. Another example is Bernard Baran, who was convicted of abusing children and went to prison, where he was raped more than 30 times. He was innocent too. Fogle is guilty, but the bloodlust and the sadistic pleasure in fantasizing about him being violently sodomized can spill over to innocents as well.
It’s difficult to have sympathy for wicked men like Jered Fogle, and almost impossible to have sympathy for predators who do much worse. It is righteous, compassionate and godly to desire justice be delivered by the civil magistrate. It is wicked to fantasize or openly hope that someone is raped and sexually tortured by a pack of lawless vigilantes. This depravity should be rejected and rebuked.