Parole boards and sentencing guidelines failed slain WA cops
There is never a routine moment in a police officer’s life, ever. I don’t know why the news always portrays a traffic stop as ‘routine’ when patrols and especially traffic stops. For a cop this is actually going into the battlefield and into the unknown. A lot of officers go through mental exercises to practice the ‘what-ifs’ that could mean life or death but that’s not enough. To this day I still avoid crowded places. I remember the cold reception I got the first and last time I went to Ben’s Chili Bowl (it’s great food, I’m not attacking the establishment itself) in the middle of the night to get a bite to eat. The idea was to buy the food and eat it in my cruiser since I knew that eating in was not practical. For the most part I was treated fairly well by the public depending on where I was and I can’t say that most Americans do not respect and appreciate the police. I’m not saying that every place cops shop or eat is going to be dangerous but the potential is always there. I’m speaking for the isolated incidents that should make us all think a little harder that cops face a lot of dangers just by wearing that uniform and badge. Please keep these people in uniform in your prayers.
I’m very saddened that a career criminal recently released from prison, can move about so easily and be able to continue to commit crimes. Maurice Clemmons’ crime is much more cowardly because he targeted the four officers at rest in a public place, further endangering others but then apparently he did say years ago that he was planning to kill a bunch of cops. Perhaps, given his violent history, someone should have taken that into consideration before granting him parole. He’s also out after a charge of child rape? This is mindboggling.
I know Mike Huckabee will just have to take the blowback from this incident with a grain of salt; as granting a pardon to this criminal because of his youth merited more scrutiny. But the problem is not only Mr. Huckabee, who was governor of Arkansas at the time but that Clemmons’ crimes were all of a violent nature and he was a consistent recidivist and the system often fails to recognize both actual and potential danger to the public if someone like him is allowed to be freed. I’d say we have to look at how the system works and if it allows for common sense measure to be applied to each case and more than likely the answer is no. The Arkansas parole board should be called on the carpet for this individual’s release and why they recommended it. His crimes should be linked all the way back to the beginning, from the person who charged him back to prison back to the parole board, period. This isn’t about one person allowing a bad guy to walk; there is a string of people linked to this crime and they must be held accountable but the system has to be the target of review.
The practice to issue concurrent sentences to extend a person’s prison time must go. Let’s stop sentencing disparities now and begin following sentencing guidelines already contained within federal and state laws and stick to that, shall we? It is a political act to for the state to push for more charges in order to keep a person behind bars. How about a serious review of procedural practices beginning at the law enforcement end working our way up the chain to the prosecutorial end? This is not a total indictment of the judicial system but when we follow the rules from the moment of arrest, and many cops do this already, why is it that adding more time will deter criminal behavior if we allow for violent criminals to go up for parole before they even complete their initial sentences? Clearly, if the record is correct, Clemmons started out young and he just kept going. Obviously the system failed to keep someone who needed to be segregated from the rest of society away where he could no longer cause harm. We have fine laws on the books, why not follow them?
I can hear calls for a motive for this murder. Why? The man’s criminal history is all the motive he needed!
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