On hope

The “South Bend man” referred to in this headline is a former student. He was a bright, inquisitive, funny and honest student when I had him in 6th and again in 7th grade; his older brother was one of my DC kids and was a member of my single favorite class of students I’ve ever had. There are still pictures of both of them on my phone.

He was just sentenced to 45 years in jail because he and a high school student planned to steal another man’s gun and then beat him up. The “plan”– and I strongly suspect I do not have anything even close to the full story– went badly sideways for them, and the man killed the high school student and shot Makyi “at least” eight times. Somehow, another person’s decision to kill a child and attempt to kill a second person rather than be robbed of a gun has led to the person who was shot being convicted of murder and sentenced to jail for 45 years, more than twice as long as he has been alive.

I am not interested in you attempting to justify the existence of “felony murder” charges, and I can guarantee you that attempting to do so will be the last thing you ever say around here. I don’t care if you think this is okay or justified. You can keep that shit to yourself. I loved this kid. He was smart. He had a chance. He should be in fucking college right now. And instead he’s 20 years old and somehow has been convicted of a murder that everyone involved in his sentencing knows that he absolutely did not commit in an incident that led to he, himself, being shot eight + times, and will be in jail until he’s 65.

I hate it here.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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