Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thug of the Week - 02-07-2008

This weeks participant in the Thug of the Week Thug-a-thon is Andre Elliott. Andre has been a non player lately, but somehow he has landed back in the slammer, after assaulting a clerk at a service station, while being overly inebriated. This is not the first time Andre has assaulted someone. As is usually the case, this weeks player, has done this numerous times, only to be evaluated, then released back onto society. Andre has been arrested 171 different times and has been charged with 266 different charges, ranging from public drunk to robbery. He has also been charged with selling crack cocaine, carry a dangerous weapon, etc. He is currently in jail on a $100.00 bond and will probably walk back out the door tomorrow, if not sooner.

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As an aside, I think people might be interested to know that I was contacted, this week, by a judge who said he had been listening to Mike Fleming and me discuss this repeat offender issue. He said he was glad someone was speaking up, because a sitting judge cannot. This particular judge is a friend that I helped get elected because I knew he would make a good judge. I told him of my idea about the sentencing matrix, and he agreed - it is a great idea. The underlying concept is that after the first conviction on a misdemeanor charge (automatic probation), a person would have to receive a stronger punishment than they received the previous time. This would give a judge some leeway, but would require a progressive discipline. Hopefully, our local legislators will be paying attention to this blog and the radio show.


Anonymous said...

I've never listened to Fleming's show but will now.

How about a discussion of why the noise, nuisance & truancy laws aren't being enforced?

Personally I think it's because certain politicians know they couldn't get re-elected if the people that vote for them and/or their kin, friends and neighbors were paying a lot of fines or doing time.

Anonymous said...

Too bad this "sitting judge" won't do his job and not go along with Bill Gibbons' "recommendations" on the punishment for crimes.

The DA cuts deals sweet deals on these repeat offenders and the judges just rubber stamp the plea bargains.

Why doesn't this "sitting judge" stand up and say "NO" when the state recommends a slap on the wrist?

He won't, though, because these judges are too scared of the criminal class that makes up the majority of Memphis.

This so-called "sentencing matrix" is nothing more than legislation that would be unnecessary if the elected judges would do their jobs; instead, they want to use the legislature as their fall guy, telling the Memphis natives, "I wish I could sentence you to something less. Unfortunately, the legislature has tied my hands; so, you can still vote for me."

Anonymous said...

Check out Memphis gets quite a bit of coverage on the national crime scene.

John Harvey said...

Haha, this sitting judge is an honorable man, who follows the law. He is constrained in what he can and can't say by a code of ethics. You, on the other hand, are free to rant about the DA, the Director, me, the judge or anyone else, if you so wish.

In the meantime, I will contine to do what I can to make a difference. What are you going to do that will have an impact? Does deriding the elected officials create a desired effect? Or, could you direct your energies in another direction that might be more productive?

Anonymous said...

There is no "code of ethics" that prevents a judge from declining to accept the recommendation of sentencing in the District Attorney's offer in a plea negotiation.

John Harvey said...

That's true, and that is exactly what one judge did recently when he was presented with a plea bargain for an illegal immigrant. He denied it probation because one condition of probation is that a person will have a job, yet it is illegal to hire an illegal alien, so he denied the plea bargain and sent the petitioner to jail for 11 months and 29 days.

Judges arean't all the same, so don't try to broad brush them. Some are too lenient, and I'm sure some may be too strict (I'd have to see that one) and many do the right thing.

Having said that, I still want legislation that requires progressive discipline.