Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Power to Ruin Lives

Hi All!

I got a bee in my bonnet last Friday when a couple of kids of my kid's acquaintance were involved in a tragic accidental death.

I posted a bit much about it in a bit of a heat of passion. I pulled two posts and modified a third and I'm glad I did, because all the same facts have now come out elsewhere.

Now that Ron Rosenbaum has devoted his KSTP show to a serious questioning of why County Attorney Susan Gaertner is seeking to try Mike Lemay as an adult for 1st degree manslaughter, I can no longer withhold comment.

God help Gaertner if there is the slightest whiff of politics involved in this. She is being challenged for re-election by a fellow DFLer who portrays himself as "tougher." If Gaertner wants to "get tough" this is not a very smart way to do it.

She hemmed and hawed and stonewalled Rosenbaum, repeatedly citing precedents that were not, in my view, precedents at all, having involved adults.

I got thru and put on hold, wanting to ask why Mike was still being held with no idea of when he might have a chance to go home, but she hightailed it off the air when she had had enough of Rosenbaum's pointed grilling.

Gaertner also intimated that not all the facts are out. Perhaps. However, by throwing out hints she is only generating rumor and speculation to fit people's assumptions. It there is more to be told, let's hear it.

The worst part, so far, about this is that Mike Lemay is being held with no promise or hope held out for being released to his parents until the Adult Charge hearing on July 12. That is just plain cruel and unusual.

Perhaps he is being held until Derrick New is buried. That is a rumor I heard, but no one has confirmed that to the the LeMay family or their lawyer. That would be tomorrow. I hope it comes to pass.

I also hope that the power of the County Attorney's Office is not employed to further ruin another family. Further. Damage is already done and seeking to lock Mike Lemay up for 5-7 years, even if it is posturing, is doing nothing to help him try to deal with this horrible accident.

In the end, if justice be served, the conviction will be aggravated assualt by a juvenile and Mike can start his life over again. Nothing can bring Derrick back, but even his family seems to understand the unintentional freak tragedy. His dad and other relatives have been as understanding is one could possibly be under the circumstances.

I suppose the lawyers haven't gotten to them yet. The civil matter of wrongful death might still loom, no matter how the criminal end turns out.

In closing, I think I sensed that Gaertner was a bit defensive this morning. Perhaps she didn't realize how public opinion would fall out on this. There will be those (liberals, perhaps) who will get on a soapbox and spew fake indignation. God help them too.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart is heavy; not only for a young man who died too early, but for a young man who certainly did not intend to have the young man's life end so abruptly, due to as one as reported, "a-million-in-one punch". Mike was a student of mine for the last four years and as I know Mike, he will be living with this tragedy for the rest of his life. To prosecute him as an adult and put him into the prison system would be tragic. Does he need to pay for this action? I believe so. But I do not believe an adult prison term is the answer. Questions to ponder: Will he do this again? I believe not. Was this act intentional (to cause death)? I believe not. Is there some type of community service that he can perform that will make young students aware of dealing with anger, using alternative behaviors that do not include violence (punching someone in the face)? I believe so. We often stress rehabilitation. Why not use it here, with a young man who could certainly benefit, as well as benefit other young people telling his story? I believe sending young Mike to prison will not be in his best interest. I feel terribly for Derrik New and his family. What a tragedy for them. I pray that they can find the strength and love to get them through this terrible situation. I also hope that the system can find a solution for Mike to pay for this unfortunate event, but not put him into a situation that might affect him negatively for the rest of his life.

3:26 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derrick was my friend also is mike lemays sister. When derrick died nothing made sense to me anymore recently was derricks 18th birthday and i know mike did not intened to kill derrick but either way derrick wasnt at all trying to fight mike so why would mike even hit derrick in the first place? i know he was far drunk but still isnt and esxcuss to hit one of your friends. the papers never stated that derrick gave back mikes thing and were already made up so why mike couldnt let it go is my question. i dont hate mike at all for what he did and i understand that he will live with this the rest of his life but in my mind he killed derrick he killed his friend because he let alchohal get to him. the one year he got..he is lucky i wasnt his judge. i pray for both families...i seen the affects of both of their close relivtives and the affects of me and my friends. to me it doesnt make sense everyday i miss derrick every single day i wake up hoping too see him but i know i wont people told derrick to not go to that bonfire party but he went just to say hi and quick stop by and straight up told mike he didnt want to fight him.. one of his last sentences that night was "mike calm down your gonna regret this in the morning" in my eyes mike deserved what he got even tho he didnt try to kill derrick. but the thing is he did kill him. derrick has never been one to fight mike knew that derrick broke up a couple of big fights from happening so why did the one kid i knew from my highschool who wanted to change the world not have drama and gave everybody a chance have to die that night.

11:26 AM  

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