Just like a bad neighbor…

Having a messy neighbor is bad enough. It drives down your property values, it’s an eyesore, and it’s just plain gross. But when your neighbor’s garbage starts spilling over on to your property and puts your family at risk, it’s time to say something.

Well, that’s finally happening here in New Hampshire.

Massachusetts has a reputation for being “soft” on crime, and it’s a reputation they got the old-fashioned way: they earned it. This first came to national attention back in 1988, when Willie Horton became a household name. Horton was serving “life without parole” for murder when he was granted a weekend furlough out of prison — a brief respite he used to go commit a rape and armed robbery. This quickly brought an end to the program (along with doing severe damage to then-Governor Mike Dukakis’ presidential ambitions), but the general tendency of leniency towards violent criminals continued unabated.

The most recent outrage was when Judge Maria Lopez (now a TV judge, where she can cause far less harm) had Charles “Ebony” Horton (no relation, I believe, to Willie Horton) before her. Horton had kidnapped and assaulted an 11-year-old boy, threatening him with a screwdriver to his throat to perform sexual acts. The boy escaped before the sexual assault progressed beyond the “attempted” stage.

Well, Judge Lopez was very sympathetic to the victim here. No, not the boy, the REAL victim — Horton, a pre-operative transsexual. Fearful for how other prisoners might treat Horton, Judge Lopez sentenced him to probation and house arrest. She also upbraided and threatened the protesting prosecutor with contempt charges.

Normally, I’d just go tsk, tsk and say that people tend to get the government they deserve. If they keep electing legislators who don’t pass better sentencing laws, governors who don’t nominate responsible judges, and the like, then that’s their problem.

But it isn’t just their problem.

More and more Massachusetts dirtbags are meandering north to here in New Hampshire, committing fresh crimes. And since they tend to have minimized or sterilized records that conceal their prior misdeeds, our judges don’t have a true picture of just who is before them.

This is being driven home with the case of Michael Addison, accused of killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Addison has a rather lengthy criminal background, but not all that is reflected in his official rap sheet.

  • At the age of 16, he pulled a loaded gun on another youth and pulled the trigger — twice. But the revolver didn’t happen to fire, so he was let off lightly.
  • Less than a year later, he robbed, kicked, and knifed another boy on a basketball court. He spent three years in prison before being released on probation — which he promptly violated and went back into prison.
  • He had several other arrests on his record, many of them “continued without a finding.”

Briggs is now under arrest in Massachusetts, fighting extradition back to New Hampshire — where he faces capital murder charges, and our Attorney General has already stated that she will be seeking the death penalty.

We’re getting pretty used to taking out Massachusetts’ garbage for them. But this time the trash bill was pretty damned high. It’s long past time they started cleaning up their own messes.

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  1. Jo November 5, 2006
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