A Judge Of Character

Judge Timothy Feeley comes up a lot in the Salem News. Lately, his claim to fame is stepping on the toes of his colleagues whenever they make a finding he doesn’t agree with. Usually, this is because he appears to have a soft spot for dangerous offenders, or more specifically, dangerous offenders who have “performed service” or “worn a badge”, or “have a penis”.

Consider the emergency services worker who was a first responder to the World Trade Center following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disaster sites. For all intents and purposes, he should be celebrated for the efforts. But does that service to others justify assaulting his wife while she was trying to call 911, then leading police across city lines on an 80 miles-an-hour chase that ended with him aiming a rifle at police in what the paper calls an attempted “suicide-by-cop”.

The judge from the area where he was arrested rightly considered him a dangerous offender, who should not be trusted on his own. Judge Feely decided that he really was just a misunderstood, unsung hero who needed a hug and maybe a nice bottle of beer and a fluffy pillow upon which to rest his head.

So why do I imply that Judge Feeley is a teensy bit sexist, if not looking at certain defendants through the lenses of his rose colored glasses? Because there is a woman who was recently involved in altercation with police. She bit off part of a female officer’s ear, and would very likely have taken more off the officer didn’t jab the suspect in the eye.

Please understand that I am no way, shape, or form downplaying the severity of that situation. I, like at least one letter to the editor, agreed that the issue was not this woman’s mental illness, but the fact that she tried to make a meal out of an officer’s ear. She was nineteen and tried to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol, which was in violation of a previous order not to do so. Rules obviously didn’t matter to her.

Judge Feeley decided that she was a danger to the public, who would not adhere to the terms he set, and maybe she should get a thorough paddling while she’s in lockup. There is no excuse for such a dangerous offender to be released onto my streets, unless HE has a record of service somewhere, sometime ago.

Again, not downplaying what happened to the officer, who if I’m not mistaken, was a rookie just two months into her job. But it could have been much worse. She survived the ordeal, minus part of her ear, and she’ll have her brothers and sisters in blue to pick her back up, as well as a grateful community.

Suppose it was the other way around. What if the joyriding first responder were replaced with Mike Tyson’s kid sister? If he had been the one to bite the female officer’s ear off? Would the good judge reverse the order then, just because the guy had done some good stuff in the past?

You, faithful reader, may of course read the Salem News articles in question and decide for yourselves if my level of snark is too high, or if I’ve used just the right amount.

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