Sanity in the World?

Into all lives, a little Sanity must fall.

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Location: Michigan, United States

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Have Judges Lost Thier Minds?

What the hell is wrong with Judges these days?
Do they not want to uphold the Law anymore?
Any Judge that doesn't uphold the Law should be removed from the Bench for Incompetence or Dereliction of Duty.
Members of a Pawnee County jury are upset a judge gave a suspended sentence to a man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. The jury had recommended a 30-year prison sentence.

One upset juror drove to the Pawnee County Courthouse and returned a check for $167.90 he received for serving on the jury.

“They didn’t know what to do with it,” said Bruce Funkhouser.

“Justice was not served by this at all,” Funkhouser said. “I was just shocked. The judge let him go with a slap on the wrist.”
First seen at Stop the ACLU.

Stop the ACLU quotes from Lost...In Lima Ohio in which she gives a good slap at the Judge.

Perhaps these weak-kneed Judges should read what this young lady has to say on Crime and Punishment:
Crime and Punishment

Some nights, I awake in a cold sweat, breathing in shallow gasps. My heart races and tears pour down my face.

I can usually recall most of the nightmare that plagues my sleep. In the horrible dream, either myself, or someone very close to me, is murdered, raped or terribly maimed.

And I'm not the only one having this nightmare. It's not unusual for one of my friends to mention having had a similar dream when we chat together between classes.

I remind myself that these recurring dreams are just a part of my subconsciousness. But when, in my nightmare, the person responsible for such acts of violence walks free I begin to wonder how far my dream world is from reality.

It seems that newspapers today are full of headlines like "Judge Lets Rapist Off With Minimum Sentence," or "Murderer of Two Receives Bail."

This makes me believe that the laws in Canada are not strong enough and that people who commit crimes are not being punished severely enough. Whatever their crime may be - murder, drunk driving, or petty theft - those responsible should be punished as harshly as possible.

It seems that when sentencing someone, judges tend to focus mostly on a criminal's past, on how much other crime he has committed and not on the law he just broke. If a dangerous man beats his wife, but it's his first charge, then he's let off with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

Why is the justice system so concerned with a criminal's past and not on the harm he just caused?

Take the case of someone with a so-called clean record who rapes a young woman. Doesn't it matter that he just raped this woman, that he stole her dignity and left her with feelings of filth and humiliation? Didn't he still rape her? The fact that he doesn't have a criminal record is beside the point.

I wonder when judges and juries will begin looking at the victims, and start taking into consideration how the criminal made them feel?

A woman who is assaulted and brutally raped is scarred for the rest of her life. She continues to feel the hurt, embarrassment and despair long after her ordeal.

Meanwhile, her rapist may feel little or no remorse about the pain he has caused. And when the punishment he receives is minimal he's given the idea that he shouldn't feel badly about the crime he committed.

Then again, why should he? The judge has, in a way, told him that he's not responsible for his own actions.

Some days, I feel terrified for my own life - especially when I read stories of criminals being released after serving little or no time. And I wonder what would happen if my life were taken from me by the hands of another. Would my family never be at rest because my murderer was given the shortest sentence possible, or was let off altogether?

Sometimes, as I peruse the newspaper and read of yet another person preying on innocent people, I wish that I were older. Then I might be able to a difference in this world.

For example, I would do all that I could to make those who decide the fate of accused criminals understand what if feels like to be raped. I would have them sit before a woman who had been violated by someone never convicted. I would make them listen to her pain and force them to see how terrified she has become since her attack.

Or, I would have them sit together with the family of someone who had been murdered in cold blood. Hopefully, they would then come to realize that the victims are not only those who end up in the morgue. The friends and family of the person killed - the ones who are left to wonder why - are also victims.

I think that if criminals were made to truly pay for their crimes, there would be less chance that these crimes get repeated. Those whose job it is to enforce the law would not have to keep arresting the same violators.

And maybe then I would sleep more peacefully at night.

Christine Kotelniski is 15 years old.

The jury found 38-year-old Gregory Lynn Bryant guilty in November of raping the girl and recommended he serve a 30-year prison sentence. But on March 10, District Judge Jefferson Sellers suspended Bryant's sentence and instead placed him on probation.

Why do we have Jury Trials, a trial by our peers? The Jurors spent time going through the evidence presented and coming to a decision, just to have the Judge throw out thier decision.

Jury foreman Sam Goad of Pawnee said it took only minutes for the jury to find Bryant guilty, and that jurors spent most of their 90 minutes of deliberation on determining what Bryant's sentence should be.

Bryant, a former superintendent of the Pawnee Water Department, has adamantly denied that he had sex with the girl but did not testify during the trial. The girl did testify, but District Attorney Larry Stuart did not offer any medical evidence the girl was raped.
The Prosecution must have made a pretty good case, and Bryant by not testifying on his own behalf only made himself look more guilty. While it is strange that no evidence the female was raped was presented, there may have been reasons we do not know about (she washed, she did not report it right away, she was ashamed, ect).

Sellers said he erred in not granting a motion by Bryant's attorneys for a trial continuance. The defense wanted the nurse who performed the sexual-assault exam on the girl to testify.

"My decision has to do with what (the jurors) did not hear, since I did not grant a continuance of the trial," Sellers said.

Sellers said the defense did not file a motion for a new trial and that he didn't have the discretion to order one. But he said he does have the power to defer or suspend jury sentences or to allow those sentences to be spent in prison.

If evidence was not presented, as far as I know, you are not suppose to throw out what the jurors decide because you feel they didn't get presented with something at the trial. The trial was done and the jurors were there to decide, in which the judge essentially wasted the time of the jurors and decided for himself in a Jury Trial.

How can we forget the idiot judge who gives a 60 day sentence to a rapist who repeatedly raped a 7 year old child.

Others blogging on weak judges:
The Blue State Conservatives, Info4Beer, The Blue Site, Digger's Realm, Free Republic.