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Getting Away With Murder

Last week some gal up Heber City way killed her boyfriend to keep him from beating her to death. Seems he had a habit of knocking her around and she'd grown tired of it. She finally decided that she'd rather be tried by twelve jurors than carried by six pallbearers and kicked the clown's bucket for him. Because of the circumstances, she wasn't even indicted.

I was listening to a local talk show host talk about it. I won't mention his name because I want to feel free to ridicule his opinion and I kind of like the guy. In fact, he happens to be the only one working for that particular station who wouldn't be doing society a favor by getting in Dr. Kervorkian's appointment book. Anyway, this local radio talk show host (let's call him Martin) commented about how incredible it was that this gal was able to commit this crime and get off completely free. I think he probably used the word impunity. He wasn't obnoxious about it (like his co-workers, let's call them Rick and Ty, would have been), he just wondered if maybe she shouldn't be punished somehow.

I cite the incident as a rare case where the system worked.

Martin (let's call him) seemed to believe that in order for the system to be working there needed to be a crime then a punishment. There was a crime and a punishment. The only thing is, this gal did her penance before she committed the "crime." Maybe ol' Martin (as we're calling him) would have been happier if the boyfriend had killed her then the system had dealt with it. The way "the system" deals with it is that the cops may or may not have tracked him down and he may or may not have done some time and some lawyers may or may not have bogged the system down for years. If that's his idea of how the system's supposed to work he can have it.

The purpose of the law is not to protect you and your family but to support you in your responsibility to protect yourself and your family. The law should actively try to keep the bad guys from bothering you but most of the time that's impossible. So when you take out a bad guy what their role should be is to get the hell out of your way.

The trouble is, the law applies only to the law-abiding. Here's the way the law works as it's presently structured. The court issues an order against some guy. If he's law-abiding, he'll comply and the case is closed. If he's not, he ignores it. In the unlikely event that someone does something about it and he's hauled into court again he will be issued another court order to fulfill what he was ordered to do. If he still doesn't do it the judge will say "Listen, I've told you repeatedly to comply with this court order. If you do not obey it this time you will leave me with no choice but to tell you again to comply."

Now consider the case of the guy in the ski mask who's in your house at 2:00 in the morning. Hey, he could have legitimate business there, just ask a defense attorney. Or your next of kin will have to ask the lawyer, 'cause after he kills your family he's going to take a stolen car to Texas where he'll live his life on the run which to him is exciting and glamorous. You've got a home and a family and a job. You'd rather go to work and then go home to your family than go to prison or live your life on the run. If you kill him to protect your family the system is structured to ensure that you will no longer be around to protect your family.

I salute the fine lady from Heber City. If the force of law is not sufficient to protect my family, I'm going to find a force that is.

Frank Leany

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