Friday, March 15, 2013

Crime and Punishment

I have been following the case of the  Michigan grandmother who shot and killed her 17 year old grandson who had lived with her. From all reports, he was belligerent, drug abusing  and just all around scary. She didn't know what to do with him. She had bought a gun a few weeks before the shooting to defend herself from him. Right before she shot him, he demanded her car and money so he could flee to avoid jail time.
She claims self defense. The prosecuting attorney claims this can not be true as her lipstick wasn't even smudged. Besides,  her first words were that she murdered her grandson. I think she meant killed, a difference. She is obviously in hell. It is hard to watch her being badgered by the lawyers. I am hoping that the jurors have a heart and common sense.

And then we have our local story. A few months ago, a brawl erupted right after a football game between cross town rivals in Ann Arbor. During the handshake, the head coach of one team seemed to shove the other head coach. Then the assistant coach punched the shoving coach..then all the kids decided to get in the action. A player hobbled on crutches from the bench and swung a crutch. A referee grabbed the crutch from him before he could hit someone. Another player suffered a concussion when he was shoved to the ground and pummeled by two minors. Aside from the concussion kid, no one was injured.

So who does the prosecutor go after? Not the responsible adults (one was fired, the other two quit). The 2 juveniles that caused the concussion were but as juveniles. I agree with this. They were clearly engaged in dangerous, life threatening activity. But the lone adult, an adult by being just a few months older than the concussion kids, the one who allegedly swung a crutch (but didn't actually hit anyone) is being charged. By all accounts, he is a good kid but he is being charged with a felony, attempted murder. He happens to be black. The coaches, who theoretically started the whole thing, are white. The community is up in arms because of the racism factor and the overkill on the part of the prosecutor, a man I happen to hate with good reason. Even the school board just passed a resolution urging that all charges be dropped. For lifting a crutch in the air, this young man could be barred from ever having a job. How does going after this kid (yeah 18 is an adult, he is in high school) make our society better? How many kids do we lock up on spurious charges?

Sample case he went forward with:  a crazy man is observed shaking a pet parrot. Was the parrot injured? It reportedly lost a few feathers and was unhappy but fine otherwise. This man was successfully sent to prison for 3 years.

Beware the Ides of March. Last year on this day, a F3 tornado raced (although race isn't the right word, I calculated it inched through at the speed I run) my son's town missing him by a few blocks. It wiped out a house he almost bought. Trees were covered in pink insulation. Lawns still have glass shards inbedded. People claim that insurance does not cover 'lawn vacuuming'. Reading the complaints people have about how insurance companies treated them during the aftermath is interesting. Suffice it to say, they were not in 'good hands'.
I missed this. During  the storm, I was enjoying a beautiful sunny day in Massachusetts awaiting my grand daughter's birth. Then I got a series of phone calls. A few from Josh I missed but were pleas for advice as the clouds swirled above him (I would have told him to hide in the basement but he chose to try to out run the storm) and one from my friend huddled in her basement 3 miles away from Josh saying she thinks Josh is about to be hit.
Another annoying storm is to hit us soon. Wish winter were over. I did get a run in so I am definitely on the mend.
A picture my friend took in the sub near Josh's

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