RE: LANCASTER’S (ALLEGED) FELON

Perhaps you have tired head with the Brandon Jackson story. No matter. I am about to make history here with my volume of posts today. Also, a very thoughtful FBvian brings us the following open letter to DMN columnist James Ragland, who defended Jackson in the paper today. The letter is long, but it’s worth your time. James Ragland, you’ve just been served.

Why is there even a discussion about this this young MAN? I capitalize the word “man” because he is a man, not a child. Unfortunately, people like James Ragland fail to see the big picture. While he might opine or surmise that every would-be-thug would witness the treatment Brandon Jackson is receiving and see the light, that is not what happens. I have spent the last decade dealing with adult and juvenile offenders and I can tell you that each and every weakness in the system is exploited to the fullest. The comments made by Mr. Jackson’s attorney demonstrate this clearly. With a confession and witnesses to corroborate the crimes his client has already confessed to, he still argues the unthinkable and states his client will plead not guilty. While that may be his right, it certainly does not make me think Mr. Jackson has learned his lesson. (Take note Mr. Ragland, Mr. Jackson is already proving you wrong.)

I also take issue with the media and Mr Ragland’s use of the word ‘mistake’ in reference to the six counts of aggravated robbery charged against Mr. Jackson. A mistake is when you think you are doing the right thing and it turns out to be wrong. Mr. Jackson made a choice. It was criminal, anti-social, uncaring, violent, and inexcusable. Nobody starts off breaking the law by committing six, first-degree felonies. If I were to hazard a guess, I believe you would find that Mr. Jackson has displayed some lesser type of anti-social behavior in the past. Whether he has a criminal history or not it beside the point. People who choose to commit this type of crime have gotten away with breaking the rules before. He is not the first, nor will he be the last athlete or popular young man that will come into contact with the legal system. However, to characterize what Mr. Jackson did as a mistake does a great injustice to Mr. Jackson’s classmates and all other people who follow the law. Remember, Mr. Jackson’s ‘mistake’ was only one well-placed bullet away from being the same crime committed by the Texas Seven when they killed Officer Aubrey Hawkins. By the way, if you believe Mr. Jackson really did make a ‘mistake’ by robbing these people at gunpoint, you certainly would agree that someone who makes that kind of mistake six times in a row probably doesn’t have very good judgment, or certainly not the kind of judgment we should place much faith in. If we cannot trust the man, why do we treat him the same as all the other students attending that school that we can trust? For a school system to ignore the facts of these offenses already made public when they would send a student to juvenile detention for bringing a prescription pill to school is appalling. Maybe I value the safety and well-being of their law-abiding students more than they do.

By the way, leg monitors are worthless. If you really knew how they worked in practice, you would laugh, or cry. (Especially if you were the victim of a crime and really needed protection from the person wearing the monitor). ( Please, don’t get me started on exactly how worthless leg-monitors are. I have had a defendant charged with aggravated assault who was ordered to wear two leg monitors, one to monitor him at home and the other to keep him away from his victim. We found out he had violated the conditions of his leg-monitoring agreement when he failed to show up for trial and we got a call from the county medical examiner asking if the sheriff wanted the monitors back after the autopsy. Apparently, the defendant had left his home and entered into an altercation which required a handgun. Unfortunately for him, he left his firearm at home and did not fare well bare-handed.)

On countless occasions, I have been forced to listen to therapists, and psychologists wax poetic about this or that defendant and how great they really are and how the crime they committed was out of character for them. When cross-examining these people, I always ask the same question and I always get the same answer. Question: “If you think the defendant really is a good person and just made a mistake, would you let your daughter date the defendant?” Answer: “No.” The answer to that question reveals what we all know about people who commit those type of crimes.So Mr. Ragland, if you think Mr. Jackson really just made a mistake, would you let him date your daughter?

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