Why it’s important to get things right

Not that bloggers can’t have passion or make bloopers, only that if one is going to make a stand, make sure of the ground beneath your feet.

This thing with the guy recently  sentenced to 5o years in jail for stealing some ribs down in Texas is one of those cases that make for good press, because it seems so ludicrous on the surface.  But nothing, absolutely nothing, in life is simple or easy.  Truth is often buried.  And sometimes the judicial system is left with few options when an individual is a repeat offender.  It is important that we don’t confuse spare ribs worth a low dollar amount for the actual issues.

First, the defendant is a five time loser in the arena of felony and a four time loser in misdemeanors.  He has a prior attempted robbery charge.  That’s serious – it involves taking something from someone else through threat or application of force.  People are seriously endangered during violent crimes and that is why the justice system treats them more harshly than a mere theft.

The rib theft could have been nothing more than a shoplifting and a nothing event until he started talking about a knife.  So he made a choice to move shoplifting to attempted robbery part 2. Probably not the smartest move on his part.

Then we look at the sentence and we recognize this guy has his first parole hearing in 12.5 years.  So, really, 50 years is the longest he’ll stay if he’s a lousy prisoner.  Since he is out after 5 other felonies, I’m going to guess he does pretty well while he’s institutionalized so in about 12.5 years he’ll be doing the parole walk back into the wild and wacky world wife in.  Maybe 12 years will slow him down a little.

I tend to approach cases by looking at what is really going on rather than the hoopla we often tend to focus on.  The ribs and the cost of the ribs are irrelevant.  The attempted robbery is the issue.

I am appalled at the innocents in prison.  I’m for giving rights to the blind, deaf and deaf-blind, not to mention the mentally ill, mentally impaired, and addicted in prison equal rights and equal care.  However, I cannot save everyone.  I learned that by the time I was 30.  I went into the world intent on saving it.  Somewhere along the way I realized that if I can make a lasting impact in 1% of the population by making a 1% change in a life then I’ve met my goal.

I prefer to fight the good fight for equality and justice in a way that makes sense and does not squander resources or good will. I chose battles that I have a change of winning and battles that will make a difference other than a sound byte.


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