Our Justice System is the real criminal

Weir Thinking About It                                             

In another example of a justice system with no teeth, a man on trial for rape shot and killed the judge presiding over his case, a sheriff's deputy and a court stenographer during a violent rampage in Atlanta. It could have been avoided.

Thanks to a liberal, permissive system that sacrifices good judgment for political correctness, 3 innocent people are dead. Brian Nichols, a 33 year—old, 6 footer, weighing 200 pounds, with a record of violence, was incarcerated for rape, sodomy, and unlawful imprisonment, for tying up his victim with duct tape and assaulting her for 3 days. He had recently been held over in prison while awaiting a second trial, after the first one ended in a hung jury. Due to the severity of the charges, he was not free on bail, and had spent several months behind bars.

According to the rules, which say that a prisoner must not be brought into court wearing prison attire or handcuffs to avoid prejudicing the jury, Mr. Nichols was escorted to a special room on the same floor as the courtroom so he could change into street clothes and have his handcuffs removed. His escort, a female deputy sheriff, was quickly overpowered and her gun was wrested from her before she was pistol whipped, and left bleeding in a hallway as her desperate prisoner headed for the courtroom with a loaded weapon.

Sometimes, it takes a case like this to snap us out of our fanciful daydream about the rights of the criminal, alleged or otherwise, and cause us to wake up to the reality that we are all potential victims of a system that weighs more heavily on the side of the violent predator than it does on the side of the law—abiding citizen who may, like the 3 that lost their lives in the comfort zone of a criminal courts building, be the next sacrificial lambs in this out of control nightmare masquerading as a justice system.

Mr. Nichols should have been seen for what he is, a vicious Neanderthal, with a cold—blooded view of human life. Instead, the teary—eyed, hand—wringing, knee—jerk liberal mentality prevailed, grinding up human life in its deadly philosophy. How sad it is that so many people must die in order to feed the voracious appetite of ivory tower ideologues. Most of the dangerous decisions regarding prisoner security and punishment are made by those who, by virtue of their lofty positions in society, are never going to be personally endangered by their asinine views. They can sit back comfortably in their gated communities and opine whimsically about the poor and downtrodden masses whose only crimes are their circumstances.

Thankfully, there are a few places in the country that make sense out of penology. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona, created what has become known as 'Tent City Jail.' He has reduced the cost of jail meals to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He prohibited smoking and porno magazines in the jails, took away their weight—training workout equipment, and allowed only G—rated movies to be viewed. In addition, he started chain gangs so the inmates could work on county and city projects with no cost to the taxpayers. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination. The sheriff took away cable TV until he discovered there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails, so he hooked it up again and only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why he included the weather channel, he replied, 'So they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.' He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." The tough—guy sheriff who created the tent city is not one bit sympathetic. He told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!" Perhaps, if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders, and, 3 people in Atlanta would still be alive.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Weir Thinking About It                                             

In another example of a justice system with no teeth, a man on trial for rape shot and killed the judge presiding over his case, a sheriff's deputy and a court stenographer during a violent rampage in Atlanta. It could have been avoided.

Thanks to a liberal, permissive system that sacrifices good judgment for political correctness, 3 innocent people are dead. Brian Nichols, a 33 year—old, 6 footer, weighing 200 pounds, with a record of violence, was incarcerated for rape, sodomy, and unlawful imprisonment, for tying up his victim with duct tape and assaulting her for 3 days. He had recently been held over in prison while awaiting a second trial, after the first one ended in a hung jury. Due to the severity of the charges, he was not free on bail, and had spent several months behind bars.

According to the rules, which say that a prisoner must not be brought into court wearing prison attire or handcuffs to avoid prejudicing the jury, Mr. Nichols was escorted to a special room on the same floor as the courtroom so he could change into street clothes and have his handcuffs removed. His escort, a female deputy sheriff, was quickly overpowered and her gun was wrested from her before she was pistol whipped, and left bleeding in a hallway as her desperate prisoner headed for the courtroom with a loaded weapon.

Sometimes, it takes a case like this to snap us out of our fanciful daydream about the rights of the criminal, alleged or otherwise, and cause us to wake up to the reality that we are all potential victims of a system that weighs more heavily on the side of the violent predator than it does on the side of the law—abiding citizen who may, like the 3 that lost their lives in the comfort zone of a criminal courts building, be the next sacrificial lambs in this out of control nightmare masquerading as a justice system.

Mr. Nichols should have been seen for what he is, a vicious Neanderthal, with a cold—blooded view of human life. Instead, the teary—eyed, hand—wringing, knee—jerk liberal mentality prevailed, grinding up human life in its deadly philosophy. How sad it is that so many people must die in order to feed the voracious appetite of ivory tower ideologues. Most of the dangerous decisions regarding prisoner security and punishment are made by those who, by virtue of their lofty positions in society, are never going to be personally endangered by their asinine views. They can sit back comfortably in their gated communities and opine whimsically about the poor and downtrodden masses whose only crimes are their circumstances.

Thankfully, there are a few places in the country that make sense out of penology. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona, created what has become known as 'Tent City Jail.' He has reduced the cost of jail meals to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He prohibited smoking and porno magazines in the jails, took away their weight—training workout equipment, and allowed only G—rated movies to be viewed. In addition, he started chain gangs so the inmates could work on county and city projects with no cost to the taxpayers. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination. The sheriff took away cable TV until he discovered there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails, so he hooked it up again and only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why he included the weather channel, he replied, 'So they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.' He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." The tough—guy sheriff who created the tent city is not one bit sympathetic. He told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!" Perhaps, if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders, and, 3 people in Atlanta would still be alive.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com