When is Law Not in Our Best Interest?

I am currently helping advocate for a young man, “Joe”, who’s only “crime” was being in the wrong car at the wrong time. This poor guy is looking at the possibility of 15-20 yrs because he was just out with some friends after getting home from Afghanistan and out of the Marines after a 6 year hitch which was suppose to give him college funding and choices.

“Joe’s” grand parents live in our senior complex and I’ve been helping them steer through the mountain of paper work and legal files and offering what Spiritual support I can to the family. I’ve been to see the young man, held on $500K bail, and he is a true Marine and his eyes tell you he honestly had zero to with any of this crime, but our laws dictate he must be punished along with the rest.

His parents (daughter of my neighbor) are good, lawful, hardworking people who brought up 3 amazing children, one getting ready to graduate high school with honors and 4.0 gpa…”Joe” also graduated the same hs with honors in 2006 and his youngest sister is on her way, also graduating 8th grade with a 4.0 gpa. “Joe” took a 6 year enlistment because it offered him a chance at college he might not of otherwise been able to afford and was discharged just a few months ago.

Upon  returning from Afghanistan, “Joe’s” old high school buddies decided to party it up for his homecoming. “Joe” was in the very back seat of his buddy’s SUV, when four of the six other fellows jump out at a mini-mart supposedly to get some snacks. 3 old friends sit talking and hamming it up since quite a bit of Life has transpired since they last saw each other. While they are laughing at bad jokes and getting caught up, they had no idea the other fellows were inside the store with handguns in the two clerk’s faces.

The only sign of anything bad happening to the guys in the SUV is one of their friends runs out of the store and heads down the street, running as fast as he can. Then one of the other’s comes out and jumps in the SUV telling the friends “You won’t believe what’s going on in there!” It is then they hear a shot and then the driver and his brother come running out to the van and race away.

Moments earlier, there was a struggle and one of the banditos decides shooting one of the clerks is “self defense” because the clerk grabs a bat and comes at him. All the details are too numerous, but the whole time the robbery is going on “Joe” is sitting in the stolen SUV (unknown to most of the passengers) talking with his other two buddies, oblivious to what is going inside the store.

The 28 yr old driver and his 24 yr old brother have become gang bangers since “Joe” left high school and went over seas, and weren’t exactly forthcoming about that fact when deciding to throw their old friend a party. One of the other passengers is a high school coach’s kid and the two he stayed in the car with have both hence graduated college and are working decent jobs. None of the lawful young men knew much, if anything, about how involved in gang life the other two brothers had become…these two simply showed up with a cool car an offer for a homecoming party.

Now this is a case of 2 of 7 people in a car deciding that armed robbery, attempted murder and mayhem are what will give them the “goods” needed for a fun night welcoming an old friend home from a war. The 2 that went in with the driver and his brother say they didn’t know until they got inside what the driver was up to.

All 7 face the same charges and 5 of them had absolutely nothing to with any planning, thought of or enactment of this violent crime.

The clerk that was shot recovered from a minor shoulder wound, but refuses to work the family store because of his fears. The one that ran out as soon as he saw what was going on didn’t warn the 3 sitting in the SUV and was arrested the next day at his home. Of course the 2 gang bangers “swear” everyone in the car knew what was up and the older driver has now been elevated with the Soreños to some sort of “sergeant” due to his wanton disregard for law.

These are exactly the type circumstances where our legal system is wrong, wrong, wrong but has been created by people living in fear who support all the wrong ideals within society.

I mean think about it….when you were 25 and an old friend from high school shows up and says “Let’s go play some pool“….would you have thought to ask him if the car he was driving was stolen? if he had a handgun on him? if he planned on robbing a store to fund the pool party? if his brother’s intended to shoot a clerk? No, I didn’t think so.

If the driver of this SUV and his brother had “Right” on their minds, none of these young men would be in the situation they are in. Had the driver been a good example, being the eldest of the group, there never would have been a stolen SUV or robbery, or wounded clerk and so forth…had he but “Doing that which is Right!” on his mind instead of crime. And what gets me the most about that young man, he’s punked his own brother and friends by trying to paint a picture they knew what was going to happen…that is a weak, fearful person.

It’s situation like this any one of us could be involved in at almost any time and the bottom line is no law has ever prevented a crime, it only give prosecutors leverage at trial for sending someone to prison.

Outlawing guns or creating more laws doesn’t do squat to change an already fearful public from dealing with crime. Only changing the mindset of individuals that would perpetrate such crimes is going to be effective in maintaining everyone’s freedoms.

“Joe’s” family is working hard to to get him a good lawyer, but with current laws in effect, it’s an uphill battle to get him off on any one or all of the half dozen crimes he’s been charged with.

Please help us keep “Joe” is our prayers and send him good energies…after all, a boy that went to war, defending Democracy and came home a man, does not deserve to have his life cut short because of one bad choice he didn’t even know was a bad choice in getting in the wrong vehicle with the wrong people at the wrong time.

Blessings of Peace,


One response to this post.

  1. Unfortunately they can and will prosecute your friend. My BIL served 5 years I think for the very same thing. The fact that he wasn’t a participant should get him off lightly, though certainly 5 yrs is far from what anyone in that situation deserves.

    Good luck to your friend.


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