This post is in regards to our recent post A Broken Justice System – Cases in Point – Part 2 – The Case of Courtney Bisbee.
Courtney, who is demonstrably innocent, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “touching” a 13-year-old. This was clearly the result of a false accusation, and was a “crime” that never happened.
Let’s put this outrageous sentence into perspective.
Mary Kay Letourneau was a school teacher in Washington who not only had sexual relations with a 12-year-old, but also actually bore his child, which she delivered during her trial. She wound up spending a total of 6 years in prison.
Debra Lafave was a school teacher in Florida who had multiple sexual encounters with a 14-year-old boy. She wound up with no prison time and three years of house arrest.
In all these cases, you have to question whether these weren’t actually victimless crimes. Regardless, Courtney’s sentence should appear to the logical, rational person to be excessively draconian and punitive. PLUS, she will have to be on the sex offender registry for the rest of her life – for “touching” – which actually didn’t happen. What’s wrong with this picture??
Is it any wonder that the US has only 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prisoners?
ADDENDUM, October 5, 2015:
Yet another case, Jennifer Mally, and this time in Arizona. Jennifer Mally was a high school teacher and cheer coach who was charged with 17 counts of sex with a minor. This was just two years after Courtney’s conviction. She wound up spending six months in prison – NOT 11 years!
My brother got 25 for the same thing! He had a stepdaughter who hated him and repeatedly told me and others that she would do anything to get him out of the house. He was who her mother turned to when she needed help with her out of control children. He lost jobs because this child would get in trouble with the school and law, he would have to go get her and bring her home. Her statement to the police was extremely different from her testimony in court. He spent 14 of his 25 years in prison and is now on parole. In order to get out on parole he was forced to say he did the crime, and in order to stay out of prison, he has to take a class where he has to repeatedly say he did the crime. He doesn’t know which is worse, being in prison where you fear for your life, or being on parole and have to admit to a crime that he did not do and literally makes him sick to his stomach to even think about!
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It’s simple. He’s a man, your examples were women. Justice in this area like many others is not gender neutral. This time it’s males who bear the brunt of society’s prejudice.
Please re-read. Courtney Bisbee is a female.
Thank you for reminding us about the Mally case. It appears as though the disparity in the sentencing was the plea bargaining issue: Mally was guilty and plea bargained; Bisbee was innocent and refused to plea bargain.
Could Bisbee’s real ‘crime’ be that she refused to plea bargain?! Certainly appears to be the case.
I am convinced that a lot of this has to do with luck. I’ve told you of my son’s story which was also a false allegation of felony rapes of a 12 year old. We (he) were very lucky when the prosecutor was changed and said he would have NEVER charged him with this story. Unfortunately, even with dismissal of all charges he still had to accept a misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child under 17 non sexual. He didn’t do that either but it was the best thing we could hope for. He had to accept probation and while now going through a horrible divorce this same family that created this nightmare is continuing to use this as leverage. It is quite unbelievable. There are no words to describe how a wife who was your biggest defender is now following your every move trying to catch you in a violation. There have been 7 calls of false allegations made to probation. What happens to people who do this? In my experience …. Nothing. I hope laws change for Courtney’s sake. She does not deserve any of this.
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