Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are Metro-Detroit Judges Compromising Public Safety?

Judges play an important role in public safety. One of their core duties is to mete out just and appropriate punishment for persons who have been convicted of violent and predatory crimes.

The public at-large counts on these elected and appointed officials to remove from society those folks who choose to victimize others to satisfy their own selfish ends and objectives. If there is no certainty of stiff punishment, criminals have no incentive to abolish their violent offenses against others.

A few days ago, I ran across three stories that were published in the local newspaper where I felt that the judges were too lenient:

On August 4th, the Detroit Free Press reported that a Detroit man was convicted of "sexually touching" a comatose 64 year old woman in her room at a local nursing home. The defendant, identified as Cornell Lowman, was charged with Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and Habitual Fourth Offender.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Carole Youngblood elected to ignore the Prosecutor's Office, which wanted to send this predator to prison. Instead Judge Youngblood reportedly only sentenced Lowman to a one year sentence in the county jail and three years of probation.

On August 3rd, the Detroit News reported that a 66 year old Saint Clair Shores man was recently sentenced in a child molestation case involving a 13 year old boy. The defendant, identified as George Gary Dombrosis, had previously pled guilty to four counts of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and four counts of Possessing Child Pornography.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Richard L. Caretti reportedly sentenced Dombrosis to a sentence of only one year in the county jail. The defendant in this case was so elated at his lenient sentence that he so profusely thanked the judge who responded by saying, "This isn't the Academy Awards."

On August 3rd, the Detroit News reported that a Warren man was recently sentenced for shooting a firearm in the direction of a cable TV installer on a pole who was disconnecting his subscription. The defendant, identified as Guy Tellis, had previously pled "No Contest" on an Assault With A Deadly Weapon charge in the same case.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat Jr. sentenced Guy to only a six month county jail term along with two years of probation of which he can't have a cable TV subscription.

The three aforementioned cases were reported in the media during a recent time period of only two days. If these cases are indicative of other sentences being doled out by local judges for violent and predatory offenses, we have a public safety menace that needs to be addressed - judges.

As citizens, we need to be acutely aware of how well our judges are protecting the public. They serve as the last line of defense between the violent offenders in our communities who manage to be apprehended and the general public.

If the judges who sit on out local court benches won't do their jobs, then we have a job to do - remove them from office. We must remember the soft sentences that they give out to predators at election time.

What do you think?

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