A guy who shot the priest he accused of abusing him has been acquitted of all the major charges. Dontee Stokes shot a Baltimore priest earlier this year, but was convicted this week of only handgun violations. And now he will serve 18 months of house arrest and be placed on probation for three years.
What kind of message does that send? If Stokes was really acting out a psychotic episode as his lawyer claimed he should be hospitalized until he is no longer a danger to himself or others. But the lawyer said he wanted to avoid a finding that Stokes was mentally incompetent because that would put him under the care of the state Department of Health for an indefinite period. In other words, when it’s convenient he is incompetent, and when it’s not he isn’t.
The Washington Post story has Stokes saying that it sends a message, but claims that it isn’t that vigilante justice is appropriate. Really? A guy shoots the priest he accuses of abusing him, standing on the street, and literally gets away with attempted murder. I think there’s a strong message there.
I read somewhere this morning, “The innocent want trial by judge, while the guilty want trial by jury.” Seems fitting. Just ask OJ.