Judge Matthew Dowd has, on several occasions, departed from suggested sentencing guidelines to give sex offenders lighter sentences -- or in some cases, even probation.
Take two recent cases. Harold Spencer is 76 years old. He pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with two children, one six-years-old, the other seven. Because of his age, lack of criminal record and "family support," Spencer gets to go home on probation. Probation? Huh? Do we really live in a world where someone can do those terrible things to two children and get off easy because they are old? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes.
What is Spencer murdered someone? Or burned down a nursery? Does his age, lack of criminal record and family support system get him a free ride then? By the way -- suggested sentencing called for life in prison. How do you go from life behind bars to eating McDonalds with your wife watching football and sleeping in your cozy bed?
Another case, perhaps as brutal as a criminal case can get. 325-pound Christopher Henderson-brown raped a 55-pound five-year-old child. It was so violent, so damaging, the child had to have reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. That literally sickens me to my stomach. He is going to prison, but with a shorter than recommended sentence.
Hey, I'm no judge. I'm no lawyer. But I do have some common-freaking-sense. These sentences are horrible, disturbing examples of a system gone wrong. When you can rape a child and a judge goes lenient on you, that is a real problem.
That's my opinion -- I want yours. Post a comment and tell me what you think -- keep it clean.