Monday, November 16, 2009

Hit or Miss Policy = Hit and Run Murder

Many questions remain following the tragic death of a 56-year old woman at Meyerland shopping center on Saturday afternoon: Brenda Romano was crushed between her truck and a stolen Range Rover driven by 39-year old George Theobald--who has confessed to killing Romano and breaking the leg of her daughter, Robyn--was on a crime spree that started in October. This piece of human trash has a rap sheet from 1987, and was sentenced as recently as July to a 7-month state prison stay.

So what was Theobald doing running loose in Houston this weekend? Here's a flawed member of society that has been convicted repeatedly for burglary, theft, forgery, and assaults, according to a story in this morning's Houston Chronicle. I'd like to know which judge thought it was a good idea for George Theobald to be released early--or had he escaped? I'd like to know which judge or jury thought that after being a repeat offender since the 80's, a 7-month sentence in July would be just the medicine he needed to turn his life around.

You're going to hear arguments from State Correctional officials, grasping at straws to answer these questions. They're going to tell you that because of prison over crowding, time off for "good behavior" behind bars, and a warped sense of "time credited" from the first day of Theobald's arrest for his latest offense, it seemed only fair to release him back into society.

Those arguments won't wash with Brenda Romano's widower. Those arguments will ring hollow in the ears of Brenda Romano's daughter, who's dealing with a broken leg and a broken heart. Arguments based on credited time and good behavior cannot salve the sadness of Romano's 14-year old grandaughter, who witnessed the entire altercation.

You're going to hear criticisms of Romano for placing more value on her damaged vehicle than on her life, by stepping between the Range Rover and her truck. Such choices should not have to be made; law abiding citizens should not have to worry whether the next person who dings their car in a parking lot is an incurable criminal or just a crummy driver.

Being sent to jail should be a deterrent to crime, and a public safety element that protects the citizenry against scum like Theobald--not a short respite between crime sprees.

Because of lenient state policy, a petty thief was on the loose in Houston this weekend...and a loving wife, mother, and grandmother is dead.

No comments: