Column: I'm giving myself athlete's scalp!
I've sure been doing a lot of head-scratching lately. It seems every day there's another story that comes across my desk that is completely perplexing. If I don't stop scratching my head soon, I'll have no hair left to scratch!
The "justice" system here never ceases to amaze me. We've got the loser who received 25 years for his role in a drive-by shooting in which no one was killed, then he gets just 17 years for killing a guy. The part that makes me consider purchasing a wig is that the sentences will run concurrently, meaning that Pasqual Acuna will do no time for murder.
What a county!
It wouldn't surprise me if his lawyer is able to reduce his sentence for the drive-by, which was too long, so he could be out killing again before he's 40. I'm going to have to get another bottle of Head & Shoulders on this one.
Then we have the case of William Cannon. This young man recently received eight years in prison for accidently shooting his friend, Duran Serna. What made me get to scratching was the fact that the court said he was being punished for lying to the victim's family and to law enforcement. Wow! That's one hard lesson. Eight years for lying? Are you kidding me?
We'd have to double our prisons if we put all the liars behind bars for eight years. There'd be more criminals than law-abiding folks. I just don't get it.
These unending plea deals around here really get me going. I realize they're necessary because of the costs to prosecute and so forth, but how far is too far? It seems to me that murderers should never be given a plea deal. They should have to face the families and friends of their victim in court, from beginning to end.
Yes, that means you, Darrell Ketchner.
Hey, criminals. You can help expedite these cases even more. When writing the note you plan to give to the teller while robbing a bank, throw in what you're willing to accept when prosecutors inevitably offer you a plea deal after you've been captured. That would give the County Attorney's Office a good place to start, and it might save you a year or two in prison.
C'mon. Help us help you.
We had a wonderful head-scratcher recently concerning Shawn Guerrero, who is accused of killing his father then burning down his house. In its efforts to discover whether Mr. Guerrero is fit to stand trial, he was sent to Phoenix for several months. Turns out, he can stand trial. It also turns out, he probably won't have to. Those two little words, PLEA DEAL, were uttered once again by the prosecution.
I'm not sure how much taxpayer money was spent to determine Mr. Guerrero's competency, but it seems like a tremendous waste of my money to determine if someone can accept a plea deal.
It would be great if only court cases made me scratch away my gray hairs, but, unfortunately, our local and state (and national for that matter) government provides more than enough opportunities to keep the Prell bottle filled.
I've written previously about the brainless action of our county P&Z, which thought it prudent to shut their doors on the public, and the fact that their bosses, the Board of Supervisors, could care less. Now we have the state and federal government working together to pull out every single hair on my head.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources along with the U.S. Geological Survey dropped a bombshell Monday when they told BOS that they wouldn't be finishing their seven-year study to determine how much water is under the ground here.
It seems like they've run out of money (join the crowd), so they decided to axe the study here in Northern Arizona once they found out we don't have as many people living here compared to King Phoenix and Prince Tucson.
Hey, cuts have to be made.
They said they will be able to complete 75 percent of the study, however, the real reason for doing the study, to give planners a method to determine how much water is available for, say, a 300-home master-planned community, well, that part will be left to the imagination. It's like someone giving you a 100-number dot-to-dot puzzle to do with 76 through 100 missing.
I'm not sure how long I can keep up this scratching. I'd turn to nail-biting, but I've already bitten my fingernails down to the quick over the antics of our local methheads.
Maybe I'll try grinding my teeth for a while. Unlike said methheads mentioned above, I still have all of those.