Warning: this is a no-edit zone...
I've spent the day fighting with myself, wondering if the world has gone mad or what? No, it's not a general discontent but a very specific one, and it (not surprisingly) involves children.
It seems that a man molested and raped two little boys for three years. One is now five and one is twelve. The man was arrested and bargained his way down to five years probation, one of which is under house arrest. PROBATION. No jail time.
Yes, this is the case in Ohio, and yes, the judge declared this sentence appropriate. Knowing no more than this about the case, I was upset. But then today I learned more that set me off like a rocket.
The judge was arrested for drug use in 1984. He got a DUI and went through a 12-step program in 2002. In the aforementioned case, the man who raped these kids pleaded guilty. So I find myself wondering why the hell the judge felt probation was sufficient penalty for these crimes. Could it be that his own arrests impacted his decision? Or is the cause something even more nefarious?
Hey, I write books. I think of motivations and potential causes. And I confess that wondering if bribery and/or blackmail were the cause did run through my mind. I have no idea of course, but one must wonder how anyone could look at these crimes and consider probation sufficient penalties.
This afternoon, I heard that the governor and the state legislature have gotten together and are pushing to impeach this judge. I'm typically slow to kick someone out of a job, but boy, in this case, now isn't too soon.
The decision made has eaten at me all day. And in between shock and disbelief, I have wondered repeatedly how the hell this judge can look at the two children involved or at their parents and convince any of them that the legal system works, isn't corrupt, and they've seen justice.
I can but imagine the added agony this has put on the children, who no doubt feel they've been raped yet again. And the parents of these kids... How can they bear it?
The bottom line is that the kids shouldn't be put in this position, nor should the parents. Subverting the system is just not acceptable. Legally, I don't know if the judgment can be set aside--perhaps if the judge were declared mentally deficient or some such thing that'd be possible--or if it's done and that's that.
And thinking beyond the legal ramifications to the spiritual ones--wow. Hell is surely coming to call, and they've summoned it.
I'll be adding an extra prayer for these kids, and another for their folks. I'm sure as certain they need all the added support they can get to deal with this.
And I'll be praying for that judge, too. That he's not in a position to do more harm and sees the challenges he's created for others as well as himself.
And while it probably isn't necessary, considering the outrage over this incident, I'll be praying for the governor and state legislature, too. Because if ever they needed the starch in their spines to do the right thing, that time is now.
This, coupled with an arrest that spanned forty countries yesterday, including a man that lives within 50 miles of my home, for operating the worse kid porn video and photo sites has just left me reeling. How can any of us dare to think much less say that we protect our kids?
And that we don't just makes me sick. We all need to do something about that. Absolutely, we do.