FLORIDA CRIMINAL LAW NEEDS TO BE PUT RIGHT
Jennifer Mee was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parole as a 19-year-old but her case highlights some serious flaws in the mindset of those responsible in her length sentence and the logic behind the law in Florida which says those who are a party to a fatal robbery are equally guilty of murder as the person who did the actual killing.
Jennifer arranged a date with a young man she had met on Facebook, however, her intention was to rob him with the help of two male companions. He only the other hand was under the impression he was going on a date with Jennifer. At no stage did she ever intend to kill him.
The question is “Who is responsible for the discharge of a firearm?”
It should really be the person in possession of it. To suggest others are equally responsible is the same as saying “The passengers of a motor vehicle are as equally guilty of driving under the influence as the person behind the wheel.” It is all down to placing the sole responsibility on the one in control of the firearm and no one else.
In Jennifer’s case, she had nothing to do with the actual killing. It was not premeditated or intentional.
Her crime does not fit the definition of murder but rather manslaughter.
What really stunned people was when her sentence was announced, “Life without the possibility of parole.”
How could any judge justify the sentence which Jennifer received when there are cases of premeditated murders which earn the offenders a much lesser sentence and they can see light at the end of the tunnel.
The Florida governor has the ability to grant clemency to any inmate so it is up to him to do the right thing in Jennifer’s case.
Why do the U.S sentence offenders to life without the possibility of parole when other countries do not have such harsh sentences?
It is beyond dispute some offenders cannot be rehabilitated but Jennifer’s is not one of these. Her crime seemed to be based on the rationale, “If she had not have done such and such then this would not have happened.”
Is this fair?
There was a media frenzy at Jennifer’s trial because as a 15-year-old she gained notoriety as the “Hiccup Girl” when she had incurable cases of hiccups. By the time she was 19 the hiccup problem was cured. There was a lot of emotion at Jennifer’s trial as you would expect at a trial where the victim is deceased, but Judges are supposed to rise above all of the emotion. It seems that this was not so in Jennifer’s case. How could there be any justification for Jennifer’s sentence?
I have written letters to politicians in the US but have not received a single reply. If that is how they respond to people who question the way they treat human beings is it any wonder that people resort to other means to get their point across as was the case with the Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
If only politicians would listen to what is being said and not try to politicise every single event which comes along whether it be coronavirus, the economy, or Black Lives Matter protests.
Is it any wonder the Black Lives Matter protests took place recently (2020). America needs to find alternative ways to deal with crime and not just lock them up and throw away the key.
What I would like
1. That teenagers should not be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
2. That when an older person is involved in a crime with a minor then the balance of responsibility should fall with the older ones.
3. That whoever is in possession of a firearm should be responsibility for any outcomes/fatalities after it is discharged.
4. That sentences be cut for those convicted as minors and the money saved by use for youth programs.
5. That many offenders be sent out into the community for voluntary community work.