Wrapping up the week

First, the bad news:

As the week went on, things kept looking bleaker and bleaker in the case of a young mother whose car was found, still running, with her baby inside (alive and well), in New Hampshire, no sign of the woman.  Her body has now been recovered from a pond.  There are few details at this point about what cops think happened to Krista Dittmeyer.  They’re playing it close to the vest, saying only that the circumstances of her death are “suspicious.”

And, once again, dozens of Americans died in an outbreak of tornadic thunderstorms in the South (which, once again, I don’t really understand — the National Weather Service issues watches and warnings literally hours in advance of these severe-weather events, so how numerous people are “caught off guard,” as one survivor told Fox News, remains a mystery for me).

Now, the good news:

The suspect in that attempted Colorado mall bombing has been apprehended.

And, both Garridos — the couple who kidnapped, raped, and imprisoned Jaycee Dugard and her two children (fathered in the course of the rapes) — have now entered guilty pleas to multiple felonies committed against Dugard and her children.  Mr. Garrido will spend the rest of his life in prison, and Mrs. Garrido likely will, too (she’ll be about 90 years old before she even gets a shot at parole).  This closes the criminal case without Dugard and her children having to testify at two trials, so at least now the victims can go on with their lives as best they can, with the assistance of…a $20,000,000 civil settlement from the State of California for its failure to monitor Mr. Garrido, a previously-convicted sex offender, closely enough to have found Dugard (and later, her children) on his property for almost two decades.

And finally, something else that I really just don’t understand:

A black pastor appeared on The O’Reilly Factor this week and said that today’s American justice system remains racially-biased because the percentage of black inmates in the incarcerated population is disproportionate to the percentage of black citizens in the general population.  Ok, so one hypothesis to explain that disparity is that police, prosecutors, and juries are intentionally ignoring/exonerating guilty white people and/or intentionally targeting/convicting innocent black people.  In my experience with our justice system, which is substantial, and in my travels around the country, which are extensive, I’ve never met a single person involved with our justice system who wanted to keep guilty people on the streets based on race, nor have I ever met a single person who wanted to incarcerate innocent people based on race.  I think that the pastor’s hypothesis is incorrect and insulting, both to the 99.99% of law enforcement professionals who try to do the right thing for our public safety day in and day out and to the 99.99% of American jurors who, when called to serve on juries, take their duties seriously and also try to do the right thing.  If this pastor really wants to address the incarceration disparity in a constructive way, then I think he needs to start by considering alternative hypotheses to explain its origin.

Have a great weekend!

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