1) Play Dumb
DeWitt Stith raped a 12-year-old boy in January.
Stith admitted the crime.
Stith is now a free man.
Bernard Eaton admitted that he strangled Reginald Lovette to death because Lovette was snoring too loudly. Eaton is also a free man.
Other than their freedom, Eaton and Stith have much in common - both are mentally handicapped men who were living in group homes in the District of Columbia when they committed their crimes.
DC law does not allow for the incarceration - even the forced hospitalization - of the mentally handicapped, no matter how heinous the crime. Being classified as mentally handicapped, rightly or wrongly, is, in the nation's capitol, a license to rape or kill. (And you thought only rich, famous athletes like OJ could afford that kind of license.)
Eaton is now living with his mother. Stith is living in another group home. When told of his release, the mother of the 12 year- old boy he raped "struggled to understand how Stith could go free."
2) Don't Tell Daddy
16 year-old David Allen Moore killed two men, and is now serving two life sentences. Like Stith and Eaton, Moore may soon go free. But for quite a different reason: While Moore is not mentally handicapped, he was a juvenile at the time he murdered his victims.
The Virginia Supreme Court has just ruled that any conviction of a juvenile is invalid unless both of the juvenile's parents were notified when the teenager was prosecuted. We assume this is so that both parents, who have done such a fine job of raising their children, can assist Junior in beating the rap.
In Moore's case, his mother was notified, but his father was not. No great shocker there, as Moore's father had left his son and wife when Moore was 4 years old. And where was the man who was going to provide such crucial advice to his loving son? In prison.
Virginia Assistant Attorney General Michael T. Judge believes that the ruling "could invalidate thousands of felony convictions." Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Richard E. Trodden: "It is truly one of those situations where form has been elevated over substance."
3) Blame Society
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold won't be released, but only because they turned their weapons on themselves after killing 13 of their classmates and wounding 21 others. Much like cockroaches after dark, the inevitable apologists have emerged and are blaming Columbine High’s culture, especially preferential treatment of athletes, for the slaughter.
The theory goes something like this: Harris and Klebold were driven to their rampage by "feelings of powerlessness" and a desire to revenge inequity. Some of the gross injustices that supposedly spurred Harris and Klebold to mass murder were:
- The state wrestling champion was allowed to park his car all day in a 15 minute parking spot.
- A football player got away with teasing a girl about her breasts. (An offense that would, of course, be punished by summary execution in an office environment.)
- Sports pages in the school yearbook were in color; pages about the debating team and other clubs were in black and white.
Interested in getting away with murder? No problem - just take a lesson from the stories above. If you’re young or mentally incapacitated, the path is clear. If you’re not so young, and still hanging onto the sunny side of mental competency, just tell ‘em about the time the bully pushed you down on the playground and then do as you please.