Our local paper puts out a court report once a month that tells basically who was arrested for what and what the sentence was. It came out in yesterday's paper.
The headline read '9 Incarcerated for Felonies.'
But when I flipped through, there were way more than 9 cases listed. Deciding this bore further investigation, I read deeper. Drug charges... suspended sentence. Theft (burglary, shoplifting, car theft)... suspended sentence. DWI... suspended sentence. Child molestation... suspended sentence. Non-payment of child support... suspended sentence. Battery... suspended sentence. (BTW, across the board of crimes, several of these people were listed as repeat or persistent offenders.)
Of the nine cases that actually saw someone's ass behind bars, only two of them were new. The other seven were for people who had violated their previous suspended sentences, probation, or what have you. Basically, they got caught committing the crime again, and in such a way, a slap on the wrist wouldn't do it.
Naturally, I was all like WTF??? And Hubs was like "Who the hell is our judge?" (Brief googling netted me no names. Apparently, it's a secret.)
Now, I'd like to say this was an isolated and unusual month, but it isn't. This is about par for the court report around here. People commit crimes, they get a slap on the wrist and probation, and then they continue to commit crimes because there is no consequence to their behavior.
And we have a conservative sheriff here who has to be tearing his hair out because whoever the judge is keeps letting these motherfuckers back out onto the streets.
It's no wonder that I was told numerous times when we first moved here to be careful driving the roads because meth-heads are everywhere. Of course, they're everywhere - no one is stopping them from being everywhere.
I'm pretty sure it isn't just in this county. It's here and it's there. In the county, in the city, everywhere. No consequences. You committed a crime? Oh, well sorry to have bothered you. Here's a lollipop. Run along. Oh, if you don't mind, please don't do it again or we shall have to smack your little paddies once more.
What in the sam hill is wrong with our judicial system? Blerg!
Perhaps, if there were actual punishments for crimes, the punishments would deter people from committing the crimes. Cuz obviously this whole suspended sentence thing ain't workin'.