Now the 20 year-old Peden, thanks to a grand jury and a trial jury, will serve just 12 months for his crime, six of which he’s already accrued due to failing a drug test while out on bond.
How did this happen?
First, we have the indictment. A grand jury could have indicted Peden for a much more serious crime, but chose instead to indict him for only Manslaughter. If no gun is involved, the maximum sentence for Manslaughter in Alabama is 15 years. It’s also a Class B Felony, meaning Peden would have been almost assured of leaving prison in five years, taking into consideration Correctional Incentive Time.
Second, at this point, Peden could have taken a plea, but chose not to. There are many who condemn such pleas, but at least Peden would have been sent to prison for some period of time. No, Peden chose a jury trial and hit the jackpot.
The all white, all male jury convicted Peden of a misdemeanor for which the maximum sentence is 12 months in the county lock up. Peden will not have to work unless he wants to and will have decent food to eat. He’ll have to share his living quarters with a handful of men, not scores. He won’t have to worry about a lack of visitors since his family and friends will have only a few miles to drive, not hundreds. No, the county detention center is hardly prison.
We don’t always agree with Judge Mike Jones, but we do today. Kudos to him for the severe chastisement he gave both the defendant and the jury.
We recently blogged to request anyone having information concerning the Airsoft shooting of a five year-old girl in Florence to contact police. Did any of you see one comment we had on FB: We must not love Jesus. Blogs about drug dealers? Don’t we know they’ve changed and therefore shouldn’t have to pay for their crimes? Blogs about thieves, forgers, and druggies? They have such good hearts and if we say anything about their crimes, there’s a special place in hell for us—not for those who stole from hardworking innocent victims.
Do the well-heeled fare better than the poverty stricken? In some cases, yes. Money can buy a good attorney and usually ensures some sort of community corrections. In others, no. The crimes are just too serious under the current legal system.
Are some judges more lenient than others? Yes. If you’d like to see us blog that, keep checking back. We just might do it.