In search of a happy medium

Two stories out of Massachusetts caught my attention this morning. The first was out of Haverhill, MA (as a former resident of Haverhill, NH, it behooves me to make the distinction as frequently as possible), where a 20-year-old man struck up a friendship with a 12-year-old girl.

You all know where this is going. After a couple of weeks, the two met up for a sexual encounter. And while the girl might have been cooperative, in the eyes of the law she was unable to give her consent. She told her parents, her parents told the cops, and disgusting swine scumbag pedophile (it’s OK, he’s been convicted) Nathaniel Bishop has been arrested, tried, and convicted.

Then came sentencing. Just what was the punishment for Mr. Disgusting Swine Scumbag Pedophile for raping a pre-teen girl? Why, TWO WHOLE YEARS in jail — minus, of course, the time he spent in jail awaiting trial. My hunch is that he could be free in about a year.

On the other hand, we have a judge in Boston who heard the case of a 12-year-old boy. Police responded to reports of a shot fired in the South End of Beantown. They found a 12-year-old boy with a 9-mm handgun wrapped in a bandanna — one round short of being full, and evidence it had been recently fired.

The defense lawyer, I presume (Neither the Herald nor the Globe articles say), asked that he be released to his mother’s custody. The prosecutor asked for $5,000 bail. The judge weighed both sides, looked at the “big picture,” and announced his decision — cash bail of $250,000.

The judge has a history of setting high bails, but this one is a new high. It tops the previous record, where a man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint was held on $200,000 bail.

I can understand the judge’s frustration — after all, this IS Massachusetts — and yeah, a message does need to be sent, but a quarter of a million dollars?

I had a brief idea for a compromise — maybe the 12-year-old gunman can be released into the custody of the pedophile from Haverhill, MA. Probably not a good idea, but tempting nonetheless.

All I know is, I am NOT gonna mess around with ANYTHING illegal in this judge’s jurisdiction. While Kevin says he values my contributions around here, I sincerely doubt he values them enough to bail me out from this judge.

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  1. Sue Dohnim August 24, 2005
  2. Sean August 24, 2005
  3. -S- August 24, 2005
  4. wavemaker August 24, 2005