September 21, 2016
This critically thinking Newsdog has oft been critical of the prosecutorial paradigm in Jackson County that allows violent criminals to roam the streets freely on a regular basis. This time, however, the problem hit right at home in our own building here on St. John Avenue.
A few weeks back the Northeast News building was shot up during an aggravated assault. The glass in the back storm door was shattered when it was shot out by someone intent on causing harm to another individual. For the record, there’s still a round in the back door. Police were called to the scene and a full investigation was launched in the process. One individual was taken into custody at the time.
Since the Dog knew that the shooter was a convicted felon in possession of a gun, we naturally assumed (operative verb) he would remain in custody and be automatically sent back to the big house for five years. Oh, how wrong we were. Not only did that individual roll back out after a 24-hour hold, but the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office opted, when presented the case by the Police Department’s Assault Squad, not to prosecute. Let that sink in for a moment, will you? The top person in charge of making sure bad people go to jail opted not to prosecute a convicted felon, illegally in possession of a firearm, who shot an individual and caused property damage to a nearby building in the process. This news writing canine remembers when the Felon in Possession law was passed and how it was sold. No questions, no shortcuts, no plea agreements. An F.I.P gets an automatic nickel. Translation: a Felon In Possession gets an automatic five years in prison. Instead, the shooter remains free, apparently with relative immunity from any kind of legal action or lack thereof by the County Prosecutor. That’s called an epic fail in this dog’s book.
Here’s the bottom line. If you want to know why criminals come to Jackson County to commit crime, look no higher than the County Prosecutor’s office for the answer. Time after time this news-pooch has heard tales from hard working LEO’s about the Prosecutor’s office not accepting or opting not to prosecute violent crime. Instead it’s plea deal after plea deal, or in this case, declining to prosecute a convicted felon who was illegally in possession of a firearm, ultimately jeopardizing the safety of the citizens of Jackson County through the inaction of the prosecutors you oversee. You talk a big game when it comes to NoVA call-in events and when called on by the Mayor to deliver anti second amendment rhetoric, but time and time again, your office fails to successfully prosecute those responsible for the violence in our communities. In this Dog’s eyes, that’s an epic fail.