Thursday, August 16, 2007

Justice as a Turkey Shoot

Some of the things I saw as a corrections officer were unbelievable. I saw things so physically revolting that I can't post them here. I saw manipulations that would make most educated adults (and even some kids) cock their heads to the side and go, "who the hell believed that?" I saw inmates do things that no law-abiding citizen would believe. But what floors me the most is what inmates get away with in the courtroom--and the judges that allow it.

William Craig Miller started his criminal career as a business owner. He owned a company that cleaned up houses that had been badly damaged by fire. He also owned a very expensive Snottsdale (better known as Scottsdale) house; when times got tough and he wanted the insurance money, Miller decided to burn the house down. He enlisted Steven Duffy, one of his closest business associates, to help; when Duffy felt a pang of guilt and decided to help the police in the investigation of the arson, Miller went after him. On 21 February 2006, Miller murdered Steven Duffy, along with his brother Shane, girlfriend Tammy Lovell, and Tammy's children, Jacob (10 yrs) and Cassandra (15 yrs).

The police made short work of the investigation. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who did it. One night not long after the murders, with a manhunt going, Miller went to a high-end Scottsdale steakhouse with his girlfriend. While there, he openly bragged, asking the waitress, "don't you know who I am? Haven't you seen me on TV?" Someone in the restaurant did recognize him and called police. Miller was arrested in the parking lot as he left (you gotta hope that meal was worth it).

More recently, Miller fired his defense attorney and claimed that he "just wanted to accept [his] fate." But just two weeks after announcing that he intended to plead guilty, he suddenly had a change of heart; Miller told judge Margaret Mahoney that he wanted to appoint counsel. This announcement drove the bleeding-heart liberal Mahoney to grant his request and refuse to allow him to plead guilty. (Mahoney is the same judge who allowed bail for Manuel Sanchez, the alien invader who killed 16-year-old April Jacobson while driving drunk, his 2nd DUI offense; for those who don't know the backstory, Sanchez ran back to Mexico then came back and married an American citizen to get his green card, dumped the wife, then got caught yet again driving drunk and it was none other than judge Margaret Mahoney who gave him bail so he could tuck tail and run yet again so as not to face the vehicular manslaughter charges dating back to 1999.)

Backstory aside...I'd really like to know why it is actually required that some people NOT be allowed to plead guilty. From what I've studied, the law was written in an attempt to stop the mentally challenged from pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit. However, more often than not, I see judges applying this rule quite liberally whenever they're afraid of a case being overturned on appeal. Do loopholes only work for the bad guys? How many people do you really think you're saving by telling someone, "you can't plead guilty, I am required to provide you with these civil rights..." while the surviving victims of the criminal you're speaking to are hoping and praying for justice? Unless he is deemed legally mentally incompetant, let the bastart plead guilty. Just like with Bryan Wayne Hulsey (the murderer of officer Tony Holly), there's always someone willing to bawl about a criminal's "civil rights" ad nauseam. But when the surviving victims need an advocate, there's rarely one to be had.

Justice is little more than a turkey shoot anymore. There's so many moonbats out there willing to fight for the bad guy that the bad guy doesn't have anything to worry about. The rest of us, however, do, and that is a frightening proposition.

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