I am having a problem with a case that will be coming up and would like to hear some other opinions regarding the plea offer involving a 3degree felony possession of coke by a reserve cop who is known to be dealing as well. My DA thinks everyone should be treated the same..ie probation offer 10 for10 I know it would be heartless to put a first offender in th pen but don't we hold law enforcement to a higher standard than others? Is it unfair to punish them more severely just because of their job?Am I too harsh for not wanting to offer probation?Do you guys make the Judge do the dirty work by pleading the Def open?
Speaking only as a cop, not as a man of letters,
what I would suggest is, the crook violated the trust of your citizens, let them be the ones who say what is done to him. It is too bad for a first offender to go to the pen, but your guy shouldn't have put on a badge, taken an oath and held himself out to be a public servant while he was doing the same things he would put someone else in jail for. Let your taxpayers decide what his punishment should be (if he's found guilty, of course)-- it was their families, neighbors, kids who were and are exposed to the dirt that drug abusers and dealers stir up in a community.
Your letter reminds me of a Perry Mason episode that made a big impression on me when I was a kid.
Mason was hot on the trail of the real bad guy, which, it turned out, was one of Lt. Tragg's men. Finally, Mason is in a room, where he finally gets the evidence that conclusively shows that the detective working the case did the dirty deed. Just then, the door opens, and in walks the bad cop, with a pistol in his hand.
After exchanging sarcastic pleasantries, the bad cop announces that because Mason has the goods on him, he's going to have to rub Mason out. It looks like this will be the end of the series, as Mason is cornered and defenseless against the armed man.
Just then the door opens, and there stands Lt. Tragg, with his .45 drawn. The camera focuses on Tragg's .45, as he blasts away. The bad cop he's shooting at is off-camera, but from the muzzle of Tragg's gun, it's apparent he's following the decsent of his (now) former suborndinate as he falls to the floor.
After he finishes emptying his magazine into the man, Tragg puts his weapon away. As he and Mason stand there looking at the well-ventilated bad guy, Tragg remarks: "If there is anything I can't stand, its a dirty cop."
I guess I feel the same way. I'm not suggesting you empy a .45 into him, but justice calls for a stiffer sentence than the run-of-the-mill doper.
I believe that some people place themselves in a position of being held to a higher standard by virtue of their position. I have no problem holding cops, corrections officers, and teachers to a higher standard and giving them harsher punishment. It's not only hypocritical for someone in law enforcement to violate the law, but I agree with A.P. that it's a violation of trust. Not only the trust of the public in general, but of others who wear the badge.
When I started out in Harris County there was an ADA who was popped for cocaine. I was furious that here I was working at a job that paid much less than my former classmates were making at civil firms and this woman had the audacity to sully the reputation of the office. In your case, I'd probably either try the cop and let the jury decide, or let him plead open to the court and let the judge take the heat. Especially if you have evidence that he's dealing.
If this cop was testifying on one of the cases that he worked - would he recommend probation? Of course not. He'd probably testify that the proper punishment for the Defendant that he was testifying against was pen time. Let the jury decide.
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