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John Weed was enjoying the Frederick County, Maryland, Fair last September when a group of teens surrounded him and beat him to death. One of the two brothers involved who later spat on Weed's lifeless body has now been sentenced by the judge. Did he get the death penalty, which is what Weed suffered in front of his own family in broad daylight at a rural county fair? Nope, he was told to report to anger management class. Welcome to justice in America?
It's a trend all over the country where groups of predominantly black teens, often numbering 20 or more, surround a victim – black or white – and beat the individual, sometimes to death, in the ultimate act of group cowardice. There is simply no deterrent against these attacks. These kids usually have long rap sheets and never get prison time. Now, we see that is the case even after they kill.
At the time of the killing last year, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, who was at the fair when the attack occurred, lamented on my podcast that he feared these kids would get off with little prison time. Thanks to a broken juvenile system and liberal judges in Maryland, the two primary perpetrators were only charged as juveniles.
According to the Frederick New Post, the judge ordered the older of the two, 16, last Wednesday, to report to a juvenile facility for anger management classes. The paper reports that one of its reporters was asked to leave the courtroom by Judge Julie Stevenson Solt because "much about the case that would be discussed, especially regarding the teen's past and other details, would be too sensitive to be shared in open court."
Thus, as we all suspected, this juvenile involved in the killing had a rap sheet. But fear not, Judge Solt scheduled a disposition hearing for sometime in the fall "to determine whether the teen has complied with the terms of his probation."
The prosecutor ultimately agreed to a plea deal that only charged the 16-year-old for spitting on the lifeless body, not for second-degree murder.
Sheriff Jenkins was indignant in his statement to Conservative Review:
"There was no justice here for John Weed or his family. There should have been severe punishment for the two young men, which was warranted by the malicious nature of the act, not 'rehabilitation.' I have been convinced since the evening it occurred (I was there just seconds later) that it was an unprovoked violent attack on someone they viewed as unsuspecting and an easy target while walking with his family. Although the crime did not meet the statutory requirements of being a hate crime, I continue to believe it was. My view is based on the fact that they spit on and taunted a man who was clearly down and unconscious, in fact dying on the asphalt. There is no worse form of humiliation or desecration to a person. There was no regret or remorse for that attack."
Why is there no effort on the part of Republicans to demand national anti-knockout legislation as well as stronger deterrent against juvenile criminals?
Often, these people serve little or no time, even though these attacks can lead to serious injury or death. Furthermore, the cowardly perpetrators will often have only one person initiate the attack, but that attacker is surrounded by 5-15 friends who ensure that the victim has no way of defending himself. Those who play this support role never face any consequences whatsoever.
It's time for lawmakers in the various states to begin pushing for anti-knockout legislation. It's time to deter predatory pack attacks and take them as seriously as the evil they bring on our neighborhoods. Conservatives should push legislation in state legislatures to create mandatory minimum sentences for predatory attacks and mandate that juveniles engaged in these attacks be charged as adults. Furthermore, there needs to be some punishment for those who join in the packs that engage in violence. It's time to take the game out of the knockout game.
Then there is the juvenile issue. How eerie it is to look back at the observation from President Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime from nearly four decades ago when the culture of violence wasn't nearly as bad as it is today: "Juveniles too often are not held accountable for their conduct, and the system perpetuates this lack of accountability," wrote the members of the commission in their recommendations for action.
The Reagan commission argued that "a study should be commissioned at the federal level to evaluate the juvenile justice system from the perspective of the victim." The commission observed that the juvenile system was created for those who commit low-level crimes, not those who end the lives of others. "Armed robbery, rape, and murder cannot be laid at the door of mere immaturity or youthful exuberance," noted the commission. "The victims of these crimes are no less traumatized because the offender was under age."
The commission recommended trying those who commit "adult crimes" as adults.
"It is unacceptable for a juvenile who commits murder to serve only a year in custody. Imposing such a sentence implies to both the killer and the victim's family that expiation for the life taken can be accomplished in 12 months."
Tell that to the family of John Weed. His attackers will not get even a year in prison.
With crime and violence surging across the country, it is increasingly being committed by younger people. Yet both parties are paralyzed by a system of racial obsession rather than blind justice, so they refuse to implement stronger deterrent. Imagine if the roles in the Frederick case were reversed. How much time do you think the offenders would serve in such a case? How much media coverage would there be? Well, I think we know the answer to the latter question based on the dichotomy in coverage between George Floyd and the case of Cannon Hinnant, the 5-year-old white boy who was allegedly gunned down in cold blood last week by a career criminal who happened to be black.
This travesty of justice comes on the heels of a sickening video from Portland, Oregon, showing a mob of BLM/Antifa rioters surrounding a motorist and dragging him out of his car while beating him unconscious. These motorist attacks are occurring across the country with impunity as our deterrent level has dropped to that of a third-world criminal justice system.
Then there is Damire Palmer, the 18-year-old caught on camera beating a white Macy's employee in Michigan in June. It appears he will now avoid jail time and will have his felony record expunged after he finishes probation.
Why can't we all agree as a society that all violent crime needs to be strongly deterred and severely punished – and that punishment meted out equally regardless of the identities of the offenders and victims?
Finally, if randomly beating people to death and receiving no punishment creates a lack of deterrent, what about self-defense from the standpoint of potential victims? If the government won't deter and punish crime, can citizens at least exercise their God-given natural right to self-defense? Well, Maryland has that figured out too. Most people are barred from carrying a concealed firearm of any caliber under any circumstance, especially at a place like a county fair. So, if you are walking or driving with your family in a blue state or city, you just better pray that you are not preyed upon by a mob of juvenile criminals.
Unfortunately, with the current trajectory in the country, most people are more likely to die at the hands of the mob than from coronavirus. And there is no vaccine for this ailment – at least not one that our governing elites are willing to administer.
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Blaze Podcast Host
Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.