January 25, 2008

Just? I doubt it.

A man who killed 3 people and injured 3 others in a shooting was sentenced to ONLY 1.5 years in jail yesterday, in which he had already served. Today, he will walk freely... as a murderer who got away with it. One of my youth at a program I used to work at stated, "if I knew I'd only go to jail for 1.5 years for killing 3 people, I would have done that already". Needless to say, I'd have to agree with her and feel the same way that she does. How can someone be less "punished" for murder than someone who shoplifts or trespasses? How can someone be able to walk away from killing people so damn easily? Its all so absurd and just doesn't make sense.

It really gets me wondering about the court system nowadays and how each trial is based and judged on. Are other situations such as these this lenient towards the people who took others' lives? Is it because the defendant pleaded guilty? That he owned up to what he did that they are letting him off the hook? In this case, he claimed that it was self defense... when the victims were unarmed? The victims were unarmed, but you, with a pistol, claimed that you shot them for self defense because there was a heated argument and they backed into your driveway? If you're afraid of them running you over with their car, wouldn't you stay clear of them and get away in self defense instead? Heck... I back up into people's driveways all the time when on a tight street and need to make a turn. Its ridiculous how these "judges" can come to a conclusion that the defendant killed the victims in a case of self defense.

I've heard of people going to prison for even longer for robbery. For vehicular manslaughter when there was no intent of murder... and it was an accident. Why should this guy get off the hook so easily for intents of killing? Because he was defending himself? There have been people who were sentenced for much longer for taking ONE life, but this guy gets 1.5 year for taking three lives? Thats 6 months per life taken. One being his friend. Doesn't it make you wonder what type of situation it really was? If you were on your property and defending yourself, how could you have possibly struck your own friend? Unless of course, the situation wasn't a case of self defense but rather, something much more? It was reported, "The two groups began to threaten each other and yell racial slurs". Threaten each other... not the victims threatened the defendant, but both groups threatened EACH OTHER. How do we know that Sidorchuk didn't threaten to shoot and kill the victims? I'm not saying that anyone is innocent, not even the victims, but neither is this guy who claimed self defense. Though I know these victims personally and had also worked with one of them closely in a youth program where he highly excelled, I am trying my best to keep an unbias standpoint here. Even if the victim and defendant were all strangers to me, I'd still cringe at the thought of the whole situation and the release of the murderer after 1.5 years that he "served" while waiting for this trial. I'm not usually a fan of the race card and I don't mean to pull the race card on this case, but would the verdict have been different if the victims were not minorities and with a higher status and income? Without a doubt! I dare anyone to find similar cases and compare the verdicts.

Two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of two people, one count of manslaughter killing his friend, and three counts of assault for injuring three other people... equals to 1.5 years served while waiting on trial and being released today. How just is that? Really?

I would think that cases like these are usually judged in hopes for the better being and safely of the public, but how is this better for the public when a killer is being released after one and a half years in jail for taking three people's lives? Lessons aren't always learned and if people are able to get away with such behavior and murder so easily, they'd only believe that they'd face the same "punishment" the next time around. If we wait for the next time around to actually consider a fair ruling, we might as well say our goodbyes to three more people in the meantime since it'd be too late to do so by then.

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