You know, sometimes I just have to wonder where our priorities are in this so called civilization. Just today, I read where a woman gets a two month sentence and a 27 year old man could get up to ten years in jail. The difference is staggering. One man’s life is ruined, could get ten years in jail and will probably never hold a good job. The woman gets off with a slap on the wrist.
Before I go on, however, lets recall some more ‘justice’ in recent memory. First, and my apologies to all of my animal loving friends, there is Michael Vick. Vick was a promising football star from Virginia Tech. He had signed a multi million dollar contract and had success in the NFL. That all came crashing down when he was arrested and convicted of dog fighting, a horrific act in itself. In another case that took place right here in the Richmond, Virginia area, a man of the cloth got off, with just a slap on the wrist, of killing his child. He left his child in his vehicle. The child pretty much died from the heat-it was during the summer. He was in a church, conducting business, for hours. He got off. Vick, on the other hand, was sentenced to a 23 month federal term and a three year Virginia sentence, which was suspended due to his good behavior in federal prison. He served jailed time for dog fighting. The pastor served no time. He killed a child. Yes, he has to live with that, but if he had been anyone else, he would have, at the very least, served some time in jail. But, he did not. Vick goes to jail for dog fighting. Please, don’t misunderstand: what he did was wrong and he deserved to be punished. But, I have to ask, where’s the equity here? Are dogs more valuable than a child’s life? I think that is probably the case, and going back to my first statement, you’ll see why I think that.
So, what did the 27 year old man do that was so bad? Well, he was modding VIDEO GAME CONSOLES. Yep. He was arrested and charged with violating the DMCA. He’s truly a criminal, right?
And what did the the woman do? Oh, she just bashed the skull of her baby. In October of 2008, Melissa Scott Jenkins fractured her infant son’s skull by ‘striking the child’s head on a surface, causing a fracture to the child’s skull.’ She was sentenced to 29 days of work release, fined 75.50 dollars and put on probation for two years. This same woman is also the mother of eight year old Robert Manwill who is currently missing in Idaho.
So, I have to wonder: why are the DMCA and dog fighting more important than human life, specifically, children? Is Sony’s ‘right’ to keep you from using a PS3 in any way you want more important than, say, protecting a child? The Vick investigation supposedly went on for quite some time. How much effort was expended to nab Mr. Vick and how much was expended to seek out and help people like Jenkins, who obviously has issues?
There are countless other tragic stories like the Jenkins case. Some do get the full extent of whatever law they SHOULD get while others, like Jenkins, get a slap on the wrist. Yet, cases involving money or something as insignificant as modding a video game console will, more often than not, get the full weight of what ever law they are prosecuted under. Have we, as a society, really sunk that low?
Note: I want to stress that I do not condone dog fighting or animal cruelty. It is reprehensible and should be punished. However, I do not believe it is worse than child abuse or murder and many a murderer has received less of a punishment-if any-than what Vick received.