Those living in the Atlanta area probably know about a man who was convicted yesterday of brutally beating to death a cyclist on the Silver Comet trail whom he was trying to rape. She was a feisty woman who bit his penis when he tried to put it in her mouth, causing great damage. He then beat her to a pulp. I won't go into the gory details, which have been printed repeatedly during the trial.
What hasn't been printed much during the trial is that the assailant had been in prison for 10 years previously for a rape he committed in 1991. With this in mind, I wrote the following letter to the editor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today:
The guilty verdict in the Jennifer Ewing slaying was a welcome end to the trial in the Silver Comet slaying, but there’s a far more important trial needed – against the U.S. justice system.
This slaying should never have happened. Michael Ledford should’ve been locked up for life for his rape offense in 1991. Rape is one of the most brutal acts against another human being and should garner the assailant an automatic life term. But a male-dominated justice system and legislative branches have never taken the crime as seriously as it should be taken.
Instead, our puritanical society puts more emphasis on drugs, locking away tens of thousands of people for the victimless act of doing drugs or selling them, thereby cramming our prisons and making it almost impossible to then impose extended sentences against those who commit violent crimes against other human beings.
Let’s end drug prohibition and greatly extend sentences for violent crimes now. Had we done these things before 1991, the lovely Jennifer Ewing would be riding blithely on the Silver Comet today enjoying our wonderful spring weather and flowers, and her family would not be grieving.