Posts Tagged ‘District Attorneys’

September 29, 2010

When Mercy is Demanded


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There are many types of crimes, and there are many types of criminals.  Some criminals are murders, some are rapists, some rob from little old ladies in a make money online scheme, and some make the headlines of the NYTimes.  However, without a doubt, the lowest form of criminals are the pimps.  These bottom of the human barrel criminals manipulate, abuse, rape, and profit from the suffering of young girls day in and day out.  Young girls, just like Sara Kruzan, who grow up in broken homes, are forced by these people to give up their most precious human right, the right to self respect and dignity.  Pimps manipulate these young girls, tell them they are “special,” treat them like celebrities, such as an Audrina Patridge or a Jennifer Love Hewitt, and then turn around and rape them, beat them, and force them to sell their underage bodies to decrepit pedophiles.  If there was ever a prime candidate for the term “lowest of the low,” pimps are it.

When it comes to prosecuting these human refuse, however,  one might as well try to get rid of stink bugs.  The simple fact is that Pandering, the legal term for what pimps do, is a very difficult thing to prove to a jury.  To say nothing of the fact that the girls a pimp “owns” are often times so abused and confused that they will try and protect the very man that makes his living off of their daily degradation.  Given that reality, what choice does a young girl like Sara Kruzan have?  She knows that if she goes to the police, and they cannot make a case against her pimp, she will get hit, kicked, raped, and hit some more as soon as her pimp finds her.  For girls like this there is no escape, there is no protection from the law, and there are no maps to a better life.

Sara Kruzan chose to kill her pimp, a man who had manipulated and raped her from the age of 11.  This girl now sits behind bars, hoping that the California justice system will show her some mercy.  What Stop Direct File wants to know is how could it not?  Born to a home life deprived of parental love, raised by a drug addicted mother, manipulated by a pimp, who promised to be the father she so desperately wanted, and then raped and abused into a life of prostitution — how could any justice system blame her for killing her abuser when she was 16?

There is no question that murder is wrong.  However, there are many many times when extenuating circumstances make a person less guilty, or not guilty at all, of a crime.  Kill a man in self-defense, for example.  A woman who manages to kill a man who is raping her would never be convicted of murder by a jury.  Why is it different for Sara Kruzan?  The only difference I see is that she lacked the social network necessary to gain access to a decent lawyer.

At an age when more fortunate children are playing Nintendo 3DS, taking guitar lessons at the Guitar Center, or scheming ways of finding the hidden files on their Dads iPad, this poor girl was being raped, manipulated, and sold as a sex toy by a piece of human filth.  The fact that she was even prosecuted for killing such a piece of slime is bad enough, but the fact that she was given life without parole is even worse.  If there was ever a person who deserved mercy, or a situation where the demands of mercy and justice were the same, it is this one.  Free Sara Kruzan.

February 23, 2010

So much for leadership…so long to juvenile justice


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Do you remember the scene at the end of “Wyatt Earp” where Kevin Costner holds off a lynch mob intent on stringing up a cowboy accused of murder? Me too. What I like about that scene is that it portrays a lawman who cared more for justice than he did for his own skin. He was willing to die to uphold justice. Holding off a mob would have taken some guts, but more importantly it took leadership.

The problem with the justice system in Colorado (and the nation) today is enshrined right there in the mission statements of half of the District Attorneys in the state. At the DA is charged with both “pursuing justice” and “hold[ing] the trust and respect of the citizens.” Here’s the problem folks: You can’t do both! Either the DA is a politician (nothing like Wyatt Earp) or he’s a lawman. More often than not, DAs choose to be politicians first. They’d rather “pursue” justice and fail than disappoint the mob.

I suspect that’s what has happened with the recent release of the Obama Administration’s Budget for the Department of Justice. According to a newly released report from the Justice Policy Institute, the President has completely abdicated leadership on juvenile justice issues–reducing juvenile justice and delinquency prevention funding by $133 million for FY2011. According to the report, the likely result will be:

… [less] money spent on prevention, and in innovative programs that rely less on incarceration, [which] may result in reduced public safety, more justice-involved youth, increasing racial disparities and diminished life outcomes for [...] youth [that] will impact not just themselves and their families but the health and well-being of communities and the nation as a whole.

In a nutshell: We’re sacrificing long-term solutions for short-term results that will put more kids in adult prisons and turn them into life-long criminals. DAs love this scenario because it means they’ll see half of the children they put in prison again. And the federal government has made it clear: THAT MEANS MORE FUNDING. The cycle will repeat over and over again until we put DAs in their place and let judges do their jobs.

So I’ll say it one more time, “so much for leadership; so long to justice.” We’re quickly becoming a country that prefers mob rule and political imprisonment to “separation of powers” and “justice for all.”