I’m Pissed

Did you know you could actually serve more time in jail or prison for shoplifting or stealing a car for a joyride than if you and two of your friends beat an old man to death on the streets of Seattle?

Tell me THIS isn’t a miscarriage of justice.

Two teens were sentenced to a maximum of 72 weeks in juvenile detention, and a third received a maximum of 36 weeks.

[…]

The teens who received the longer sentences also pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree robberyfor attacking two North Seattle teens just before assaulting McMichael, 53, a Seattle fixture known for playing his tuba outside sporting events.

So the base-level for killing another living, breathing human being is only 252 days in jail.  If you roll someone on the street, you can receive an additional 252 days.

One of the three teens who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Ed McMichael’s death unfolded a note he had written and read it as tears tumbled down his face. “I’d like to apologize,” he said, looking at Kelsey McMichael, who came from Florida for Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in King County Juvenile Court.

As the teen continued talking about how he planned to change and “move on as a productive citizen,” friends and family members in the packed courtroom cried and passed around a box of tissues.

 “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to beat that man to death.”

Horse-Pussy.  Then perhaps you can explain how it happened to be that you and two of your friends minions happened to come across a person standing at a bus stop and just start whaling on him — if you didn’t mean to beat him.

BTW:  Any time I hear the phrase, “Productive Citizen” fall out of the neck of a person standing in front of a court or parole board,  I want to punch that person’s nose down into his or her esophagus.  I automatically know that person has been coached to say this — it isn’t a phrase that is usually bantied about by someone who isn’t in trouble and looking to get out of it.

So I don’t buy any of this “remorse” bullshit.  Maybe in about ten years.  Maybe in twenty years. 

Just not right now.

I am a big believer in redemption — but it takes a LOT of time, and a LOT of work.  It isn’t something you can just say some magic words, wipe the tears off of your cheeks, and promise to change in the future.  Redemption is about action, not what you are planning on doing if you were only given the chance.  I don’t care how much you cry about it.  Redemption isn’t automatic, nor can you expect it.

I am just not seeing the mitigating circumstances in this case that would preclude any of these clowns from being locked up until at least the age of 21.  I can almost understand the reasoning why they couldn’t be tried as an adult — almost, but not quite.  I have seen kids remanded into adult custody under far less evidence.  But still, even if the prosecution couldn’t try them as adults, the juvenile court still has the authority to hold a child until the age of 21 — and that is the sentence that each of these kids should have received.

But THIS sentence is a judicial and prosecution cop-out.

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