Bill Fences is moving to the Shoals; we're calling this hypothetical richest man in America "Bill Fences," since we wish no ill luck on any real person...and Bill Fences will meet quite a bit of that in these hypothetical tales. Yes, one of the world's richest men is moving his family here--possibly because of the bass fishing, fine dining, and lure of watching those 1,800 rail car workers clock in and out each day. Alas, Bill soon meets unexpected trouble in our little Shangri La.
Scenario One: Bill and his family settle into their gated community only to be awakened one night by Clovis "Mad Dog" Smoot who has wrecked his chopper and scaled the electrified fence to reach a telephone. Mad Dog likes the way little Bill looks and decides to take advantage of him, ultimately choking him to death. Mad Dog tries to cover up his crime by shooting Bill and claiming his death resulted from a suicide. When forensics prove this is impossible, just what kind of sentence will Mad Dog receive for killing the richest man in America?
Substitute the name Jennifer Helen Bragg for Bill Fences, and you could anticipate a sentence of only 25 years. Link
Scenario Two: Bill's wife is out of town and he invites his new friend Mad Dog over to bring the refreshments. Surprisingly, after enough refreshments, Bill and Mad Dog begin to argue. When Mad Dog shoots Bill, he claims to have been trying to save Bill from suicide (popular defense, isn't it?). Forensics prove the shooting couldn't have happened the way Mad Dog described, but since both men were overly "refreshed," what kind of sentence would you anticipate in this case?
Substitute the name Melissa Kenney Garrett and you could expect 20 years at most. The nurse's killer David Darryl Thompson has not yet been sentenced, but he was convicted of only manslaughter. We will give praise where due: Will Powell and the Lauderdale District Attorney's office did try Thompson for murder.
Scenario Three: Bill's a friendly kind of guy and accepts an invitation to a party on the 12th floor of Courtview Towers where he runs into his old friend Mad Dog. The two men retire to the balcony, enclosed by a four-foot wall. Sadly, only Mad Dog leaves the balcony the traditional way, grabbing his coat and running out of the apartment. After Bill's broken body is found much later in the evening, four of those at the party give statements. Only Mad Dog does not come forward, but has to be located by investigators almost two days later. After questioning, Mad Dog admits Bill's death was not an accident, and authorities arrest him for murder. Mad Dog refuses to say more about Bill's death, and calls a local minister as a character witness. What kind of sentence would Mad Dog deserve in this case?
Substitute the name Bryan Christopher Tackett for Bill Fences, and his killer would receive a plea deal of only one year actual prison time. Tracy Scott Lyndon, claiming to be a friend of Tackett, never offered any explanation for the strange death, but accepted the sweetheart deal the day before the trial was to begin.
Ah, justice in the Shoals...is it all who you are or who you know? We hope not. Yes, some contribute more to society than others, but there should be no throw-away people.
Are there those among our readers who fondly remember Charles Gaisser at UNA? He oft stated: If they can bus your children to a certain school, they can bus you to pick cotton.
Now the above statement may be overkill, but it does come to mind with the new laws concerning the purchase of pseudoephedrine. Because of a certain few--those of low standards and even lower IQs--many no longer buy the sinus medication at all.
Will restrictions on this drug stop those who cook meth? Hardly. Will the next step be banning growing poppies in our flower gardens? If so, perhaps the American Legion can intervene...