Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why We Can't Rest

There are those rare times when justice makes you sad. Not because the justice meted out seems unreasonable or unfair, but because the reason for it - indeed the need for it makes you wonder whether or not we are the enlightened, sophisticated people we claim to be.

On August 7, Grace Head, a 67 year old resident of Arlington, TX, was convicted of the December 2007 misdemeanor assault on her neighbor, Kay 'Silk' Littlejohn. Head was also convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief "for jumping onto the hood of Littlejohn’s Toyota Camry, stomping the car and hitting its hood and roof with a stick." Because it was judged that these crimes were racially motivated (Head is white, Littlejohn black) the two crimes judged as hate crimes and Head was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

The assault on Ms. Littlejohn, was particularly heinous, Head hit her repeatedly in the face with a two-by-four.

It is particularly troubling that Ms. Head's defense was an insanity plea.

Alan Bean gives an excellent analysis of the sad episode in his Friends of Justice blog.

Call it naivete, call it being overly sensitive to an isolated incident between two neighbors. I think the whole affair is said, because we should just be better than this...

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