judges and court

Judges and Juries – Domestic Violence Sentencing

A study in why judges and juries should use caution in domestic violence sentencing.

A young mother in Florida had a problem with her car being impounded. According to her statement in the affidavit of arrest warrant, she sought some help from an older man that she trusted. Upon arrival at his house he raped her five times, told her she reminded him of his ex-wife and she must die. She ran to a glass door and only succeeded in breaking the glass. The alleged rapist then grabbed a piece of broken glass and placed it in her vagina and threatened to cut her.

In May 2004, the Friday before Mother’s Day, twelve years prior to this sixth occurrence, the alleged rapist was before a jury in El Paso, Texas being tried on charges of murdering his ex-wife. The jury convicted him of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced him to 10 years in 2 prison, which he served.
Since his release from prison, there have been four arrests on charges of violence against women, prior to this occurrence. He has been arraigned in this most recent attack and except, for the charge of “Armed Forced Sexual Battery,” he would  be eligible for bond of $15,000. The armed force sexual battery charge prevented him bonding out.

What is important in this case and why are we highlighting it? Only because people need to stop ignoring domestic violence like the elephant in the room! It really is there and must be acknowledge! Innocent women and men have to be made aware of the lethal nature of these violent relationships and trained to recognize them in the early stage. They must know how to avoid them because so many end in homicide.
The public has  to be educated so the people on the jury panel will stop looking for reasons to blame the victim. The nature of the domestic violence only escalates unless it is recognized and treated. People simply must stop listening to the horror tales and then going home and saying, “Isn’t that just awful!” and rolling over and going to sleep.

If it seems we have a little more interest in this case, it is because we do! It is because we want people to learn about the red flags of domestic Violence. We want recognizing those red flags to becoming as much a habit as looking both ways before they cross the street. We want no parents or relatives or friends to feel the pain of losing a loved one. We know the feeling because we are the parents of the ex-wife the abuser was talking about in this story.

We are Fix the Hurt working to end Domestic Violence using the performing arts and setting the stage for change. See our story on our website www.helpfixthehurt.org.

John L. King