Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tough Enough ?

This is one of the more colorful characters who have become legends of the Old West. "Hanging Judge Roy Bean," remains one of the most fascinating. Calling himself the "Law West of the Pecos," he is said to have kept a pet bear in his courtroom and sentenced dozens to the gallows, following his motto "Hang 'em first, try 'em later." One of many hanging judges in the days of no lawyers, no insanity defense, no plea deals, and definitely no appeals. It was a tough world back then, and the law was just as tough. Today, the accused are offered every opportunity for defense. True there may be some that are wrongly convicted of something, but when the verdict of guilt has been admitted, what happens then ? Well, let me tell you about a news story I read today. This is a true story, and the headline was " Mother gets 1 year for abuse, neglect " I read further and find that this woman, who was intoxicated with a .26 blood alcohol content, threw her 3 year old daughter into the center of a pool because the little girl had pulled and ripped her shirt. When realizing that the mother was not going to help the child, who had sunk to the bottom, a 7 year old girl dove in and brought the baby to the surface for air. The child was unresponsive, and her lips were purple, so OTHER CHILDREN in the home called 911, and worked to revive the child. Now wait, it gets better. While the 3-year-old was en route to the hospital, the mother sat on the couch, drinking a beer, and, still angry, kicked her 1 year old daughter across the kitchen floor, according to witness statements. In court, the mothers lawyer argued that she was not in her right mind when the incidents occurred and that she has come to realize her mistakes and is ready to get the help she needs. I can only think of one way to help a person like this, but what has outraged me the most, and inspired me to use this story as my topic today, is the fact that she was sentenced to ONE YEAR in prison. WHAT ? Did I miss something ? What was that judge thinking ? I read further and found that the guilty plea was entered because of a deal that was
made between between the defending attorney and the prosecutor. I ask myself why. Was this 3 year old girl not worth the time or money to prosecute this worthless piece of trash ? Is her life worth only a year ? And to make it worse, the judge sat there on his bench and allowed it to happen. I know we have come a long way since the days of the wild west, and I know that we have evolved in the last few decades into a more civilized society, but it is still a cruel world out there, and there are still many uncivilized people. Has the law gone soft ? Can they still dispense justice in a manner that the punishment will fit the crime ? Are the judges tough enough ?

1 comment:

Da Old Man said...

As bad as this is, judges are just as soft on hardened criminals.