By Virginia Thomason Odessa
Within the past 30 days, there have been at least two letters to the editor I have noticed which have brought to attention the flaws in our local justice system.
One writer brought up the felony dispositions in which several who had pleaded guilty to indecency with a child received only probation while people with drug charges were sentenced to jail. Another writer brought up that her autistic son is in jail for stalking charges brought upon by a teacher.
Are the men who only received probation going to also be required to register as sex offenders and attend some type of rehabilitation? Was this their first offense? Why is a special needs person in jail for something that should have been handled by the school if the student was not violent? Whatever school this is needs to be investigated and the teacher needs to be evaluated. What kind of a teacher files charges against a special needs student without some type of meeting with the parents? And why are this young man’s medical records not being considered and why is he being denied medical care that would help him?
Why are there people with the exact same charges given such different sentences? On one hand, one judge sentences one person to probation and another judge sentences another person to prison. Where is the justice in these situations?
I have never paid much attention to the outcomes of felony cases in our city. But reading those two letters have made me pay more attention now. It is good that these two ladies are speaking up and exercising their freedom of speech. I applaud them for voicing their opinions. I believe that the citizens of Odessa need to pay more attention to what is going on in our community and voice our opinions when we see that there is something wrong going on.