An Open Letter to The Justice System

I am writing to you today as a concerned citizen of the public. I had the unfortunate pleasure of attending your court hearings on December 29th, 2022. I came there thinking I was only going to be present for my brother’s hearing. I was a bit taken back when I had to sit through two others first. The first case that we sat through still has me completely frustrated with the justice system.

This was the case of a violent rapist and pedophile. I am a survivor of a violent rape from when I was only a 12-year-old girl. I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of mental health issues that sole event has caused my life, even still as a grown woman today. As I sat there listening to the prosecuting attorney read the 14-year-old victim’s impact statement, I couldn’t help but to relive those same moments that I once endured. I thought, surely you, Judge, will put this rapist behind bars to keep the public safe; keep other young females safe from this so-called man who also lied about his age to his victim.

Unfortunately, once again, I was taken back when you handed down a sentence of only 3 years of probation stating that “jail time would be too easy”. What does that even mean? I think back to all these years that I have spent with paranoia and PTSD from my assault. I am certain that the victim in this case will wind up in a similar position knowing that her assailant is still out there, and that the justice system completely failed her. You failed her. What is the point of any victim coming forward with these cases if all the attacker is going to get is a slap on the wrist?

Which then brings me to my brother’s case. I know it is too late for this to have an impact on his sentencing. I only wish I would have known sooner whether you would have read our letters or not.  My brother has had a rough go of life. I won’t spend a lot of time giving you the psychology behind why he ended up the way he did. Though as a person in a Psychology Master’s Program I am very compelled to do so, I will spare you the longevity. My brother, though was completely wrong in the crimes he committed, was just a person struggling with his mental health problems that he has been self-medicating and self-destructing for many years.

One thing that his attorney failed to bring up, was that on the night of his crime back in May 2022, he not only did not have a weapon at all, but he also stated, to the clerk, how he wanted to die. That very morning, he had come back home to my house where he had been living with me for about 6 months by that point. He was certainly not himself as I questioned him after the cops had been over trying to locate him not even 30 minutes before him showing up. During our conversation he had stated multiple times that he was going to end up dead and did not want that to occur in my driveway where me and my kids would see. I firmly believe that night my brother was on a mission to die to escape his problems once and for all. Luckily, that was not the outcome of events.

Unfortunately, none of that was brought up during his sentencing and you handed him a sentence of 8 to 16 years stating that you had to “protect the public” from this violent criminal. How is this crime that my brother committed worse than what the rapist did? In my opinion, that violent rape is MUCH WORSE than a nonviolent robbery of a person in a mental health crisis. How can you justify these sentences? Everyone that was there that day to support my brother and even the people there for other cases we didn’t even know, were completely dumbfounded by what occurred.

I want to understand what you meant by “jail would be too easy”. I utterly believe that a rapist pedophile poses a greater risk to the community than my unfortunate brother. I know you likely receive many letters, and I am not expecting a reply, though it would be greatly appreciated. I just want you to think a bit harder on these sentences that you are handing out, especially to people that are an obvious threat to the public. You cannot say that what my brother did was more heinous than a violent rape of a 14-year-old girl. If you truly believe that, then I would really question your values and morals, especially as a person working in the justice system. I cannot fathom how all of this happened and it only impacts my already paranoid mind even more. How many rapists and pedophiles are you letting off with the slap of the wrist? How is prison “too easy” and not automatically given to protect the public from them reoffending?

Sincerely,

A survivor and concerned citizen.

3 replies to “An Open Letter to The Justice System

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