Saturday, March 14, 2009

You mean a lighter sentence wasn't the answer here?

The hell you say...

A man accused of arranging a drug cartel hit that ended with the wrong man being killed in a Houston parking lot was already on probation for a murder he committed seven years earlier.
Steven Torres, 27, still had an electronic monitoring device strapped to his ankle when he was arrested in December in the 2006 shooting death of a man mistaken for the boss of a rival drug gang.
He was 16 when he committed his first murder and tried as an adult, but a jury gave him probation.
Two jurors said Torres got probation because was he was young, had a newborn child, and could possibly turn around his life.
“They wanted to give him a second chance for killing somebody; I had a very hard time with that,” recalled one juror, who said he was finally persuaded to join the majority but wishes he had stood firm.
Oscar Tamez, a family friend, remains bitter that the jury didn’t send Torres to prison.
“The blood of Mr. Perez, who got murdered at that restaurant, it is on their hands,” he said.
Now, you all know I'm a huge advocate of personal responsibility, but still I find it very difficult to argue with what that family friend said. That jury had the chance to put him away but they didn't. Call me a hardass, but once you do something like what Mr. Torres did ten years ago, you don't deserve another chance. No matter how old you are. When I was 16 I would never have thought of settling an argument with bullets. And somehow I doubt I am alone here. You'd think that being responsible for a newborn child, he'd have figured out another way to settle the argument with the guy he killed. That all by itself should have been a sign to those jurors that this guy was a danger to society and should have been put away for a good long time. Maybe justice will be done now, but it's just a damn shame someone else had to die for it.