Monday, January 14, 2008

50 Years Each


I will not lie, I was pissed. Very angry. I mean really, what kind of degenerate fucktard robs little kids, much less Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees? And it happened in MY neighborhood, less than a few blocks from where I send my daughter to school every day.

"Put 'em under the jail," I railed to Ye Old Matey who ignored my rant but vaguely nodded in agreement.

"If they get caught, it's over for them."

"Well, they deserve what they get. Robbing little kids...idiots..."

I'm watching TV the other day and these three young men, young black men, their mugshots splashed across the screen - two are 19, the other is 20. Less than a full decade older than the kids they robbed. Legally they are men. Their smooth faces and skinny frames are those of teenagers

They are guilty as hell and they look it. And I'm thinking, they need help. Somebody really needs to show these stupid, stupid, boys where they went wrong - how what they did was wrong and how they can need a better life.

But it is not to be. They have thrown their lives away and we are more than willing to throw them into the garbage can of jail.

Joe Deters had his moment to talk tough and who will argue with him?

"When this happened I stated at that time they better pray to God we don’t find out who they are," said Deters. "Now we know and they will pay the price."I heard him say on TV the other day. The Cincinnati Enquirer records this quote in an editorial here.

[Deters] adds, "They're a bunch of thugs. I mean, who would put a shotgun in a
little kid's face and punch a boy scout. Robbing them while there's a gun in their faces, that takes a whole lot of bravery."

...the Hamilton County Prosecutor says he'll show no mercy for the three suspects who held shotguns in the faces of young scouts and their parents.

I can only heave a heavy sigh. How those boys got to the point of armed robbery is beyond me. And society is all too willing to write off young black males as hopeless thugs beyond redemption. Everyone will write off my empathy for their plight as being "soft on crime" or "because they're black" but anyone who thinks that their race has nothing to do with our willingness to toss these boys aside like so much chaff, must think again.

I worry that we are more concerned about punishment than about making sure these very young people, who have the time, to actually do something good with their lives, if we could only intervene. Surely, no one has up until now.

They face up to 50 years each. Ye Old Matey, who has worked in corrections says it will probably end up about 25 years but the way Joe Deters is talking, these young men will be old men before they can even consider freedom and what that entails.

There lives are over and they hadn't really begun. Too bad they didn't become Boy Scouts instead.

2 comments:

  1. The irony is that Afr. Amers. who murder members of their own race won't receive half the time that Deters is asking for these young men who robbed the boyscouts (50 yrs. and no one was killed or shot). This sends a loud message to the community that Afr. Amer. life is not as valuable as Caucasian life. Case in point, Howard Beaty received only 13 yrs. for killing Kabaka Oba (both Afr. Amer.) and could even be released sooner on parole. There are many more cases where Afr. Amers. (who kill members of their own race) plea bargain and are back on the streets in 10 yrs or less. Deters has stated that the young men who robbed the boyscouts will not be offered any plea bargain. The other irony is the perpetrators of the boyscout robbery were caught in less that a month, while many Afr. Amer. murders go unsolved for years and are often never solved. The CPD use the excuse that in the case of Afr. Amer. murders, they don't get the cooperation of the community. However, many of the families of the Afr. Amer. victims of murder and other violent crimes will tell you that the Police don't put as much effort in investigating crimes against Afr. Amers. as they do Caucasians.

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  2. Deb, I totally agree that it's a shame that these very young criminals aren't going to see the light of day for at least 25 years. I do agree that anyone who looks even slightly at the truth will see that blacks are prosecuted more heavily for the same crimes done to whites than to blacks, etc. I also agree that our country is archaic in it's penal system- for God's sakes, we're the only "civilized" Western country that still has the Death Penalty! Mexico won't hand over that killer Marine hiding there bc we have the Death Penalty! MEXICO! ...a third-world country!

    I think the penal system should focus more on rehab than punishment, definitely. There's a prison in Idaho that uses inmates to break mustangs, and both the horses and the inmates benefit in a humanistic way. We need more stuff like that.

    But I have to say that *prevention is more important than treatment after the fact of committing a crime. We need closer community services. We have to foster small children. Research shows that our identity and values are formed in the first THREE YEARS of life- the likelyhood for a person to have a fundamental change as a young adult is very very dismally small, unfortunately. I am not blameing the fact that these guys committed the crime on their families, we are all to blame, we as a tribe ( and I say tribe in the broadest sense of the term; whites and blacks, muslims, jews, christians, everyone-we are all the greater community..._)are responsible. Our Ameircan society is so fragmented, to the point of insanity. Divorce is rampant, we as a culture have decided that unwed motherhood and indeed single parenthood are both perfectly acceptable...there is no unifying religious culture in our country anymore either...it seems that the only thing unifying us into a "community" is corporate culture...what we see on TV, advertizing, and that is a scary reality.

    I don't know how we can become more unified...or how to bring the disenfranchised out of poverty, and the viscious cycle...but it defininely needs to be tackled!

    I'm with you though....it is a daggone shame.

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