Saturday, September 22, 2007
The Lancaster County Court and local prosecutors do the right thing to avoid another "Jena 6" situation here. Lancaster County Judge Gayle Pokorny sentenced Earl Richardson III to six months in jail yesterday for "criminal mischief." Journal Star.com What was his crime? Richardson an Omaha resident was randomly shooting a harmless paintball gun while riding in the back of his friend's Lincoln Towncar. One of his shots found the back of a three year old girl's head, and it knocked her to the ground. He plead to two counts of "Criminal Mischief," Section 28-519. Criminal Mischief can be a Class IV felony, or Class I, II, or III misdemeanor. The article does not say whether the judge sentenced the defendant to concurrent six month terms or whether the defendant received two consecutive three month sentences. Naturally the public is outraged at the seemingly light sentence, especially since the Defendant had a rather long rap sheet, 5 pages of computer print-outs. But good Judge Pokorny and the prosecutors who watered down the charges did the right thing. After all, we don't need any Jena 6 marches or more Ernie Chambers lawsuits around here do we?