Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Michael Phelps and the wheels of South Carolina justice.

Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott, has stated via a spokesman that he intends to prosecute Michael Phelps for marijuana possession: “The bottom line is, if he broke the law, and he did it in Richland County, he’s going to be charged,” Cowan said. “And there’s no difference between Michael Phelps and several other people that we arrest for the same type of a charge every day.”

According to MSNBC, The penalties for possession of pot in South Carolina is a $200 fine and perhaps a 30-day stay in jail for a first offense.

So, with that in mind I had the following questions: What is South Carolina like both politically and judicially? How aggressive are they in enforcing the laws of the land and protecting their citizens from harm?

Shamefully, it is not pretty. From Wikipedia:

On May 16, 2007, at about 3:45 am, Kennedy was leaving a local bar in Greenville when a car pulled up beside him, a young man got out of the car, came around and approached Kennedy, called him a faggot and then punched him hard enough that his facial bones were broken, he then fell and hit the asphalt. This resulted in his brain separating from his brain stem and ricocheting in his skull. He was left lying there and a little while later, one of Kennedy's friends received a voice-mail that said, "You tell your faggot friend when he wakes up, he owes me five hundred dollars for my broken hand."

[Kennedy] later died of his injuries. Stephen Andrew Moller, (age 18) was charged with Kennedy's murder. The warrant stated that the act was "a result of the defendant (Moller) not liking the sexual identity of the victim."

The case was turned over for investigation by the Greenville County Sheriff to the FBI for investigation as a hate crime, but the state of South Carolina does not currently have hate crime legislation.

Stephen Andrew Moeller, appeared at a plea hearing -no jury trial- where he received a five year sentence, suspended to three years, and he got credit for the time he served [at home] before he was released on bond - 199 days. In summary this means he will only have to serve an additional 10 months in prison, and then he will be eligible for parole. If he gets that he will be on probation for 3 years. He was also ordered to take anger management classes, 30 day community service and to have regular alcohol/drug testing and counseling.


But the history of prejudice apparently has roots to the founding of this country. From

"... On July 2, 1776, the "anti-slavery clause" was removed from the Declaration of Independence at the insistence of Edward Rutledge, delegate from South Carolina. Rutledge threatened that South Carolina would fight for King George against her sister colonies. ...

"... it is a matter of pride to many South Carolinians that their state was the first to secede from the Union and that Citadel cadets fired the first shot of the Civil War. ...


From Talking Points Central:

Arthur Ravenel, a former U.S. Congressman and state senator, has his own controversial history. A supporter of flying the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds, Ravenel referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the “National Association for Retarded People” at a flag rally in 2000, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Arthur Ravenel later said he inadvertently mixed up his words and apologized to mentally handicapped people for comparing them to members of the NAACP, according to the newspaper.



Glenn said...

Yeah... based on these facts, I'm pretty sure that sheriff should be going after Michael based on a blurry picture showing no smoke, and no actual evidence of any substance other than a guy holding a glass tube up to his mouth.

Can you say showboating? This is so obviously a case of a nobody trying to get a little fame off a somebody.

What a tool.

Charlie said...

What can you expect from a Red state.

Tony Austin said...

My first reaction was that we should build a fence around them but after looking at the Census Bureau demographics, that place needs help.

They need to talk to "outsiders" more, get some fresh ideas and truly understand why they have 12% lower incomes then the rest of the nation and why their doing "business" is hurting them and others in the long run.