Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our Moral Compass Seems to Point Due South

Wow, what a day.  Technically, what about the last 30 hours or so.  Please understand - I am not speaking solely about Casey Anthony again.  I don't want to give her a moment's effort more than is necessary.  Quite honestly, I read today that there are those that think, myself included, that she will profit greatly from this case.  She already has people eager to speak with her to secure book and movie rights.  It is, in my opinion, pathetic and disgusting.  I said yesterday that I did not agree with the verdict.  If she did not kill her daughter, who did?  Trust me, though I have no experience in the medical examiner's office, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night and I watch CSI.  All of them.  To this point, I'd like to say, unequivocally, that dead bodies don't wrap themselves in three garbage bags.  Again, accidents are not made to look like murder.  Lastly, a little girl is gone and we have no one searching for the killer.  Face it, they had the killer...they blew the case.  So what does Casey Anthony get?  She gets a guilty charge on 4 misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators.  Maximum sentence for each is one year and she's served three already.  Anyone want to guess what happens tomorrow when she gets sentenced?  Smart money is on 'time served' and she walks away free and clear.  Go online and check - I bet there's a line in Vegas as we speak.

No, the 'Moral Compass' part only partially involves Casey.  You see, at most she gets one more year.  Period.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, is an 18-year old student in Rush County, Indiana.  This young black man has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and institutional criminal mischief, a felony that carries a two to eight-year prison sentence.  The Rush County Prosecutor, Philip J Caviness said he does not plan on seeking any jail time but the charges are warranted.  Wait, I forgot to mention what, exactly, the devastating 'Criminal Mischief' pertained to.  What could this kid have done to warrant up to eight years in jail?  Did he set fire to the school?  Maybe a bomb?  Did he take weapons to school?  What DID he do?  Uh, you might be startled to find out he placed a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school.  That's right.  There's the criminal mischief.  To be fair, I need to point out that a janitor saw this kid run from the school (and? so?) and, after examining security footage, school officials saw a person entering the school wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves while carrying a package.  That person left 5 minutes later without the package.  They then locked down the school and had the bomb squad and K-9 units searching when they found the doll.  See below - should this kid really go to jail at all? 

This case has raised questions about race (go figure), prosecutors who are a tad overzealous (a shock!), and our collective mindset these days.  For the record, the boy's father has denied race had anything to do with this.  Thankfully, he and his wife both seem to agree that it had nothing to do with it.  For a prosecutor to file the charges, though, that will carry a felony conviction is suspect at best.  As a matter of fact, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University said it best - "The question is what type of society we are creating when our children have to fear that a prank (could) lead them to jail for almost a decade. What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?"

And there it is.  That statement sums it up better than anything I could present.  Our children...better yet, ALL of us...have to fear our actions might, in this day and age, lead to a criminal conviction based purely on a joke or prank.  Who got hurt here?  Who suffered or was injured?  Even the boy's father said he'd understand if they used the school disciplinary code to punish his son.  Jail time?  For a sex doll in a bathroom stall?  I understand the package and the hoodie and the running.  I know how it appears.  I get it.  Can we all, please, take a collective breath and relax for a minute? This kid plays a prank and may get up to eight years in jail.  No, I don't think he'll get it, but that's not the point.  The point, my friends, is that we let Casey Anthony walk yesterday.  The system worked, the prosecutors sucked.  The difference is, that was a life that was lost and this was a high school prank.  Have we lost our minds?

We are a society faced with unbelievable issues these days.  Since 9/11/01, we have been on edge waiting for the next wave of terrorist attacks.  We knew it could not happen here.  We just KNEW it.  Yet it did.  It happened and we have not been the same since.  If you doubt that, then know this - the terrorists have already won.  Witness the reaction to a high school prank.  We are consumed, sometimes rightfully so, about packages left unattended and people running.  Running!  I have figured at least one thing out in all my years, something my dad used to say that I find to be eerily accurate - "Ain't none of us getting out alive."  grammar notwithstanding, it's an accurate statement.  We don't know if tomorrow will come and, quite honestly, there's nothing you can do about it.  I hate to burst anyone's delusional bubble and be the bearer of bad news, but that's why you have to live every day with as much 'life' as you can.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.  We know it to be true, yet we act as if we have some type of control.  We don't.  End of story.  get out and live life, laugh at sex dolls sitting in a bathroom stall, enjoy friends and family.  It's what makes us different from the rest of the world,,,,and why it's so cool to be an American.

Until next time.........

1 comment:

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