Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oklahoma man gets only 1 year sentence for raping 4 year old girl

So. Oklahoma. I love you. I really, really do. I remember fondly the days when I lived someplace without constant motorcades or massive hills to scale on the way to work, where wide open spaces are ample and the word "y'all" doesn't get me sideways glances.

However.

Sometimes you disappoint me terribly.

Here's what I don't get - this guy admitted to the crime and they had medical evidence proving that she was assaulted. Whether they judge that a 5 year old is capable of bearing witness to such a horrific event or not should come secondary to scientific evidence, regardless!

Admittedly, I'm not a lawyer. But even if the prosecution didn't feel like they could make a case for lack of DNA tying the accused man to the rape, his admission of guilt to any form of inappropriate contact should be enough to keep him in custody for more than a year.

It's terrifying, that this guy with a prior criminal record (according to this CNN video, he has a 1982 conviction of shooting a man, was sentenced to 20 years for assault and battery in 1996 before being released in 2003 after a terminal cancer diagnosis) will be back out in society at large in September.

Now, I'm no fan of our criminal justice system. The prison industrial complex is highly troublesome to me. But what really burns me here is that this system, set up under the guise of protecting society from harm and vice, is neglecting to protect some of the most vulnerable members of that society - children. To me, this is a perfect example of the system's failure.

It's probably quite obvious that I'm utterly appalled. I want your opinions, though. What should have been done here? What can we do to change things in the future? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Vanessa at Feministing for the headsup on this story.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Something is clearly missing from this story...how could he happen to "suspend" 19/20 years? This is DISGUSTING, and in no way should this man be receiving a shorter sentence than people caught with marijuana. He should be put away for life, as it is evident that he is not mentally stable.

Additionally, a coping mechanism that many people use to deal with such trauma is to try and forget the event, such as the little girl has done. She will undoubtedly have psychological trauma for the rest of her life, and this man should not get away with only a year of prison time.

Ahma Daeus said...

INCARCERATING PEOPLE "FOR PROFIT" IS IN A WORD....WRONG!

Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit” driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise” of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to "job-out" its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.

My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing "The Single Voice Petition"
http://www.petitiononline.com/gufree2/petition.html

Please visit our website for further information: http://www.npsctapp.blogspot.com



–Ahma Daeus
"Practicing Humanity Without A License"...