Teacher gets 30 days for rape.  Is he an elected official?  

This week in the various news outlets, a story has been going around about a 54yr old now former teacher that received 30 days as a condition of probation for raping a 14yr old student, that later committed suicide.

As I read this story in various articles, it reminds me of what is the strongest argument for punishment in the criminal justice system.  This argument has a few names, but essentially gets at protecting the prospective future victim.  In practicing criminal defense, I attempt to focus my client’s on protecting their clean criminal record if they have one.  A great lawyer once told me that in this country, we brand our criminals for life.  We do that with their criminal records.  I believe that.

In this situation, I think the judge should have asked himself if even with any length of probation, what prison sentence will properly address the severity of this crime, and prevent the prospective future victim from being victimized by this person again?  I don’t think 30 days is enough.  I think it is obvious that his now dead victim, or her family, or her friends, think that 30 days is a proper length of time to be spent in prison to drive home the fact that this man raped a 14yr old girl.

I would urge anyone reading this blog post to read the articles, and remember that many judges are elected.  Keeping up with the news and letting your voice be heard through your vote is how you let your elected officials know that what they do is in alignment, or is completely against your ideas of what our criminal justice system should be doing.

You can read the CNN story by clicking here.

You can read the USA Today story by clicking here.