Monday, November 14, 2005

Retired Submariner's Sad Walk

Darrel Johnson had retired from the submarine Navy. No doubt some of the older vets may have encountered or known him during their service. He had been living in east Tacoma since retiring from the Port of Tacoma as an electrician. Johnson was a few weeks shy of 70.

He set out for his daily walk last January, using a cane he needed after his hip replacement. Witnesses said an attacker knocked him to the ground, kicked him in the face, and stomped his head before running away. Johnson lingered in a coma for a week, and died. No motive was ever established, although robbery was alleged and gangs are rife.

A month later, 19-year-old Andrew Brown pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for dropping the death penalty. Under sentencing guidelines, 30 years was the maximum, allowable sentence.

When the judge sentenced Brown, a woman shouted 30 years in prison is unfair because the victim "wasn't going to live forever." The 20- second courtroom brawl that followed was captured on video. I have not watched it, and do not recommend that anyone should.

CBS calls the brawl strange and offbeat. No, the attitude expressed by the woman was strange and offbeat! I am saddened for Johnson and his entire family, some of whom had forgiven this senseless victimization of an honorable veteran.


At 10:34 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Sad, indeed. Personally, I think the kid got off light. He violently took the life of another person. I'd give a nod to confession and not execute him, but life in prison seems just to me.

The woman with the comments...insane. Frickin' insane. I wonder how she'd feel if the victim was her child?

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Rob said...

OK, I did watch the video. I am speechless...

What was that woman saying, that because the victim was 69 years old that his remaining life wasn't worth her relative's prison sentance?

Her comment is baffling...what drives people to think that way?

I can't even begin to comprehend how someone would even say something like that.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Vigilis said...

Rob, thanks for your feedback, particularly on watching the video.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger bothenook said...

just another indication of what is going wrong in this country. it's sad to think that someone would even begin to put that kind of morality on public display. i'm wondering how much of the "relative's" income is derived from actually going to work at a job where taxes are withdrawn.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Rob said...

We discussed it over lunch...and all of us (a few self-professed liberals, a few hard-nosed conservatives, a couple of PO1's, a few CPO's, a few junior sailors) agreed that it's a sad statement on morals and values. It's no surprise this kid ended up the way he did, given the famliy example. It in no way excuses his actions. But it is a stark example of how the influence of an obviously batty family with values and morals in the basement turns out thugs who murder innocent people.

Frankly, this bleeding heart liberal would gladly throw the switch on his electric chair, if he were getting the death penalty. I think 30 years is far too light a sentance. In light of the confession, I'd give him life.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Spectroid said...

The really sad thing is that if that state is like most other, he'll serve a lot less than 30 years. They will probably knock off at least half for good behavior, credit for time served and lots of other money saving reasons.


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