Missouri Man Provides Testimony
BRANSTON, Mo – Excerpts of transcripts of police report testimony provided by Eldon Thurmond, facing criminal charges for the electrocution deaths of a dozen or more cats, and creating an endangerment to the public with an unmarked high voltage fence:
“…no thanks, I don’t smoke…Well, sure, they kept the mice down. Mice weren’t the problem. A hundred and thirty cats was the problem, not mice…Huh? Well, she had a hundred and thirty over there at one time…It wasn’t a fence. Don’t twist my words. It was a barrier. It was an electrified negative reinforcement discouragement device. I’m an electrician…Sure (chuckles). Had to be. Low voltage wouldn’t have done the job…I call it negative reinforcement, you call it punishment. What's the difference?* I’m not a psychologist. Call it anything you like…Yes…yes…I know. I’m sorry about that, but you see, all those other people wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for the cats...Well, yeah, sure, the satellite…that’s God’s hand...Yes. I’m aware of the charges against me…Oh. I am trying to cooperate...No. I’m not trying to be funny. Don’t I get to talk to a lawyer, or something?”
*Punishment is punishment, like, lethal injection, or a 50,000 volt electrical shock.
Negative reinforcement is the withholding or withdrawal of a positive reinforcer or reward, like m&ms, or ice cream, if the appropriate behavior (eating your vegetables) is not exhibited.
So, technically, Mr. Thurmond is incorrect. It's punishment for crossing the line.