Sunday, February 08, 2004

Last Words on the Subject

Now that a week has passed, Janet's boob (and I'm not referring to brother Michael) has been put back where it belongs and the furor has died down. Apparently, Justin had no idea of what Janet had planned. I'm still not convinced she did it for any reason but to get some cheap publicity. She got publicity, but I think it backfired on her.

Carlie's Law

I live in Bradenton which is just over the county line from Sarasota where young Carlie Brucia lived and died.

There is a lot of talk about the why's and wherefores about how Joseph Smith, the SOB charged in her death, was out on the street and able to get to her. From what I've read in local papers, the dirtbag was on probation and his Probation Officer (PO) was trying to get him revoked and in jail - he was apparently behind in paying court costs or other money ordered by the court to be paid. The judge wanted more evidence showing that he was behind in payment. I'm not faulting the judge (for this), but judges have been known to accept the word of PO's or at least order the probationer to court to prove they are not in violation of their probation. Once in court, if the probationer can't prove they are current, the judge can order their immediate incarceration.

I have a feeling that someone will introduce a bill into the Florida legislature that will be called Carlie's Law. I'm not sure what it will cover, but I hear it coming.

Death Penalty Choice

Florida's death penalty allows the convicted inmate to choose the method of execution - either lethal injection or electrocution. If they don't make an actual choice, the law calls for lethal injection (the convicted inmate has to specifically request electrocution).

This is one time when I would like to offer this choice: death the way the victim died. The convicted inmate would not know when it was coming and just as he's about to die, stop and let him recover. Then, at a later date, do it again. Keep it up until he thinks he'll be allowed to recover and at the last minute, tell him this is it and let him die.

I know: cruel and unusual punishment. But I guarantee two things: he'll really understand how it was for that child to die and he'll never do it again.

Oh, and before anyone starts in on that "innocent until proven guilty" crap, I've already written on that. Once again, it only applies to the court proceedings and specifically to the jury. The jury has to ponder the evidence with an open mind and without personal opinion. The general public, however, can make a decision on guilt or innocence at any time.

Amber Alert

Somehow, for some reason the Amber Alert was not activated until 24 hours after Carlie was abducted. I've heard that Sarasota Sheriff's Office (SSO) didn't enact the Alert because children of her age often run away. She was 11 years old! I don't care if everyone of them run away, SSO should have issued the Alert. That would have meant thousands more eyes looking for her. If she were still alive, maybe Smith would have been spooked enough to let her go. I haven't heard any details about the time of her death, so I don't know if the Alert would have done any good if it had gone out on Sunday.

She was abducted on Sunday afternoon or early evening. I know I didn't hear about it until Tuesday morning as I was going to work - something like 36 hours after the abduction. I assumed that it was a very recent event (either sometime Monday or Tuesday morning). Since Smith was arrested sometime on Tuesday, it's pretty evident to me that Carlie was already dead by the time I heard the alert. She might have still been alive when the Alert finally went out on Monday, but personally I doubt it.

I heard a news report that the Governor (JEB Bush) was livid that the Alert didn't go out earlier and ordered an investigation. I don't know if Gov. Bush ordered it or not, but Attorney General Charlie Christ has said an investigation would be done.

Closed Circuit Televised Arraignments

News reports stated that Smith didn't "show up" for his arraignment. He couldn't. He was charged in Sarasota County but is being housed in the Manatee County jail (probably for his own safety, and he waived his right to be at the arraignment). While arraignments are held by closed circuit television from the Manatee County jail to the courthouse in downtown Bradenton, it doesn't allow for transmission to Sarasota County. A Not Guilty plea was obvious, since the death penalty is on the table. I haven't heard specifically that it is, but I would be willing to bet not only my next paycheck, but my pension on it. He would have been represented in court by an attorney, paid or court appointed, so his rights were well taken care of. Fear not, from this point on, there will be no violation of his rights.

Too bad he didn't have the same consideration for Carlie's rights.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has set up a fund to benefit Carlie's family. To make a donation, checks should be made out to: The Family of Carlie Brucia Foundation and sent to, Sarasota County Sheriff's Victim Service Center, 5957 Cattlemen Lane, Sarasota, Fla. 34232