He was homeless and mentally ill. A judge sentenced him to 150 years. Is that justice?
The article tells a story about a man who they allege is mentally ill and was caught in possession of child pornography after he sat in public with his computer and was showing that porn to multiple passers-by.
In 2016, he walked into a Sweetwater Best Buy and snatched a laptop and other merchandise. When employees confronted him, he pulled out his own laptop, declaring, ”Look, I have child pornography!” He began publicly showing his computer screen, lying down between two sets of sliding doors and perusing the illegal images as customers walked by.
Prosecutors offered him a plea deal, where he would plead guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and receive three years. He refused that deal.
So they pressed on with 30 counts of possession, that being what was found on his computer. Throughout the trial, the defendant refused to talk to his attorneys or participate in his own defense. He also refused to undergo mental health evaluations.
So he rolled the dice, went to trial, and the judge gave him the maximum sentence for each of the 30 counts. The total was for 150 years.
After the conviction, after all appeals have been exhausted, now this criminal and his attorneys begin screaming that NOW he has submitted to a psychological exam, and the psychologist claims that he is “unlikely to reoffend.” Why is that? Have his psychological problems been cured? Why wait until after sentence has been passed? Sounds to me like the reactions of a logical mind that is now hoping for a second bite at the apple and using his schizophrenia as an excuse. You don’t get a “do over” simply because you gambled and lost.
Now the Herald whips out the race card. They claim that in a perfect world, Stephens would’ve received treatment for his mental illness. He would have never become homeless or walked into that Best Buy. No, in a perfect world, those children would never have been victimized, and in a perfect world, the defendant in this case wouldn’t have victimized them a second time by having photos of the crime, and victimized yet a third time by him displaying photos of their victimization to the public.
It’s hard not to wonder what Stephens’ fate would have been were he not homeless, mentally ill; if his family had been in court and not thousands of miles away in Michigan, where they didn’t even know that he had been arrested; if Stephens weren’t Black, factors that historically have put defendants at a disadvantage.
What the Herald fails to mention is that, after moving to Miami in 2015, he racked up a list of criminal convictions in Miami Dade – 8 of them for 2015 and 2016, everything from trespassing, to petit theft, and even felony battery. Now this. The man moved to Miami and became a one man crime wave. Through these 8 cases, his mental issues weren’t used as a defense by his attorneys once. Not once.
What next? Rape a child? Kill someone? At least in prison, society is protected from this menace. I am willing to be that this behavior didn’t just begin when he came to Miami. The Herald engages in typical liberal hand-wringing over this criminal’s need for psychological help, while ignoring the child victims of his crime. They merely wave away possession of child pornography by saying “Stephens wasn’t accused of producing or distributing the pornographic material.” which is false, because he was sitting there in the middle of the mall, showing the photographs to passers by. That is, in fact, distribution.
I am sick and tired of the left yammering on endlessly about the rights of criminals while ignoring the rights of the victims of their crimes. However, if my child were one of his victims, I would be sorely tempted to plea for his release so I could mete out the vengeance that his crimes are screaming for.
I am willing to bet that, should that happen, the Herald wouldn’t be running stories to celebrate my cause.