When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Lenient Judges

get-out-of-jail-cardRevolving-door justice is not a victimless crime.

Andrew Depuydt, 65, and Suzanne Depuydt, 57, traveled eastbound on Highway 10 when the accident occurred. Ryan Smith, 34, traveled west on Highway 10, and according to the Missoulian, Smith crossed every lane of traffic before crashing head-on with the Depuydt’s vehicle..

Andrew and Suzanne Depuydt and Ryan Smith all suffered blunt force trauma and died as a result of the crash. Officials believe Smith was intoxicated and traveling at a high speed at the time of the wreck.

According to the Missoulian, Smith was on a deferred sentence for assaulting sheriff’s deputies last year. In October 2015, Smith attacked officers with a two-foot-long piece of wood after resisting arrest. Police found a marijuana pipe on him during a search. In February, Smith and prosecutors agreed to a three-year deferred sentence as long as he submitted tests for alcohol and drug use.

Smith also had convictions in 2015 and earlier this year for driving with a suspended or revoked license, driving without insurance, and reckless driving, reports the Missoulian.

In other words, he was on a suspended sentence, got busted for more stuff, and they didn’t put him back inside. And this didn’t happen in some criminals’ paradise like Massachusetts or New Jersey. It happened in freaking Montana. 

If the judges in Montana, even, can’t be trusted to put high-risk convicts away, maybe it’s time to give up on the whole professional-judges thing for a bad job, and just establish Committees of Vigilance to put the habeas whackus on these guys.

25 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Lenient Judges

  1. Loren

    Modern Western justice seeks to reform criminal behavior by means other than punishment.
    Let them go to commit more crimes with more victims. More cops needed. More judges and public defenders, More jails to eventually house them when they get seriously out of control. All costs more money so more taxes. People complain of the cost so judges let more go free. Rinse and repeat.
    Singapore uses harsh punishment for any offense. Less offenders, less crime, less cops and judges, less taxes for prisons and funny enough less punishment handed out.
    Which system is kinder and more civilized? The one where a teenager commits crimes till he’s dead or locked up for decades or the one where he doesn’t commit those crimes in the first place cause he’s heard how much 6 stokes of a cane hurts?
    All Western countries think Singapore’s judicial system is barbaric.

    1. Bill T

      I recall a story a few years ago where a Teen-aged US Citizen was caught “Tagging” a building with spray paint. Local law called for 6 strokes with a cane, wielded by a Martial Arts Master. He was hospitalized for a short time. It was reported that, after he came back to the States, every time he passes the spray pain rack in Wal-Mart his behind tingles. He gave up his love for “Tagging”.

      1. Mike_C

        >the spray pain rack
        That is either genius, or a highly fortuitous typo.
        You’re thinking of Michael P. Fay who pleaded guilty to vandalizing cars and stealing street signs at age 18 while living in Singapore. The then rapist-in-chief personally appealed the sentence to Singaporean authorities, with the result that the sentence was reduced to four whacks. Now, I’d already decided that I despised Slick Willie at that point, but after that incident I despised him even more. Exactly the wrong kind of American exceptionalism. (Message to world: Americans are jerks who vandalize property without even the bad excuse of a protest or whatever, and worse yet, when caught, we’re whiny little pussies about it.) Hell, can you imagine what would have happened to Fay in the US if he’d been caught messing with a good ol’ boy’s F150, or more to the point, some vibrant and diverse recreational-pharmaceutical distributor’s ride?

        Fay did not keep his nose clean after the caning. Graduated to huffing butane and marijuana abuse. Because caning trauma, don’t you know.

  2. Jim Scrummy

    “Committees of Vigilance to put the habeas whackus on these guys.” Okay where can I sign up? I ain’t getting any younger…

  3. C Otto

    I grew up in Montana. Missoula is on the verge of not being Montana. Same with Bozeman. Missoula was always a liberal town. I’m only 37, but 15 years ago, Bozeman was still a cow college (Agriculture). I moved away and went south and out east, but came back. First to Wyoming, now Idaho, but my family is still there. But when i returned to Bozeman, it almost made my skin crawl. MSU is now an art/architectural college and is currently full of a bunch of intellectually inferior liberals who bemoan the lack of affordable houseing cause a shit ton of Californians and Coloradans moved to the area. But Missoula was always like that. Missoula is going through an identity crisis at the moment. It’s the only city to make you get a background check for private sales if your in city limits. Still hoping that will get sued out of exisitence. But the judges in Missoula have been liberal for a long time and this kind of crap doesn’t surprise me. A sad day for my home state, to be sure.

    1. Gray

      “…a shit ton of Californians and Coloradans…”

      The Coloradans are the offspring of the Californians who moved to Colorado in the 70’s and 80’s, despoiling that state like they do everywhere else that they go. When I see a CA plate, (just like I do when seeing NY, MA, CT, WA, OR, or other communist state plates) I view it in the same manner as if it were a deadly pathogen.

      1. John Distai

        Damn, it was bad in the ’80’s and ’90’s, wasn’t it? Colorado was definitely Californicated! They really wrecked the place.

        It’s very sad to hear the same is going on in Montana. The same sort of thing is going on in NC with New Yorkers. You can’t throw a stone without hitting 3 of them. It’s very sad.

      2. Aesop

        Right.
        Except the “Californians” you blame weren’t natives of that state either, then or now, rather instead being the toothless, banjo-playing kinfolk from the other 49 who gravitated here when their home communities suggested they shuffle along. At best, they are naught but stateless gypsies. Maybe try looking up the historical roots of the term “Okies”.

        If you doubt that, I’ll make you a deal: you pay me a nickel for everyone who merely passed through California last without having been born there, and I’ll give you a dollar for every actual native-born Californian you can find, and we’ll see who buys a Ferrari first with the proceeds.

        It’s trendy, but not too clever, to try and use soccer rules (“who touched it last?”) to tag the Golden State for all your ills, except that it’s like claims of Woodstock attendees vs. actual number there: If everyone you thought or claim was a an actual Californian was tallied, it would be ten to twenty times the state’s actual population, even now, and demographically impossible.

        There’s also the rather unavoidable but uncomfortable fact that your own state’s population has probably shifted opinions, and unless you’ve bucked protocol and more than two centuries of election tradition, you have no effing idea who voted for what at any point in time, because secret ballot. You could try to point to polls, but those would be the same pollsters who had Shrillary winning by ten to ninety points last week, right?

        Blaming a locale’s shift to the political left on California thus says rather more about one’s inabilities with math and logic than it does about actual reality. Sorry if that’s painful.
        But if you’d like to take back your own native-spawned leftist idiots (but I repeat myself), those of us who are Californians and still live here would be happy for the relief. Especially with regard to the traffic. The number of transplants here who can’t drive to save their lives is legendary. And due to our state’s draconian car registration fees, they helpfully leave the plates from their state of origin on long after they come here and f*** up the freeways.
        There were “Welcome to California. Now go home.” billboards and bumper stickers posted here going back 50 years. For cause.

        But don’t take my word for it. Go to Wikipedia, and look up such well-recognized “Californians” as Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi, or our recalled ex-governor, Gray Davis. Or 80% of “Hollywood” actors. I’ll wait.

        The final proof that “Californians” haven’t mucked up whatever pristine pond you call home is electoral: the ones who self-deported from here, and from wherever, are largely from the right side of the political aisle. Google the election results as late as 1988 for comparison.
        We have naught but the indifference of 98 other US senators and 390 other US representatives to what used to be known as an international border from San Diego to Yuma, and the blessings of the Defense Interstate Highway System, to thank for that. Prior to that, and Reagan’s 1980s Amnesty (minus the enforcement part, which Congress never seemed to find time to address) California was a reliably red state for decades. Which is why we didn’t used to elect Republican presidents by their fingernails.
        cf. this year’s electoral map of Texas, which looks rather more in tune with 1840 than 2016.
        Good luck with that next time around, and in succeeding years.

        1. Loren

          Aesop,
          Maybe native born isn’t the defining issue. Could it be the air or water? Pesticide? Something drives the left coast residents to be the narcissistic assholes that they are.
          I lived in Colorado during the transition (67-98) when Californicated became the local disease. Like the plague it is it felled the host and moved on.
          Lived in the north bay area for a year. The only folks more satisfied with themselves than the tech and strip mall millionaires were the native born who inherited their parents house. So, so liberating to have a 7 figure net worth.
          No offense intended Aesop, as you seem to be a stand up guy.

          1. Aesop

            None taken.

            But I think you’ve got it backwards.
            “What is it that drives the nation’s @$$holes to gravitate to the left coast from under their own village’s bridge, and how can we get them to stop leaving home?” is the question desperately needing to be asked and answered.

            (Nota bene that CA’s pop. grew from 67-98, and population here was in net influx every one of those years, so you weren’t experiencing Californication. New Yorkination, or New Englandization, possibly. Or most likely, the local children of CO’s 60s hippies and ski bums just grew up and switched sides.) The only native Californian notably exported thereabouts was Robert Redford, and he moved to the environs of Park City UT, not Colorado.

            If they’d started shooting them, there or here, in the 1950s it probably would have been a great start. Or at least deporting them back where they belonged.

            In the interim, based solely on a few million anecdotal exemplars, I will continue to correctly refer to our problem here as the toothless banjo-playing kinfolk from the other 49 states they are, and happily take the rap for the very few natives (Dianne Fineswine, Gov. Moonbeam, etc.) that we legitimately own.
            None of whom have moved to anyone else’s pond and befouled it, contrary to all the internet whinging.

            The last election proves that at least 47% of the country are a-holes. Our share hereabouts therefore comes in right around 4.7% of the total. Everyone else should ante in, and clean up their own problems, without trying to palm them off on us (or anywhere else) out of sheer mental laziness.

            As it is, the combination of Hollywood dilettantes moving down here to escape the hellhole they’ve made of L.A. county, and the illegals and their anchor babies moving in and growing up, finally pushed Orange County to go majority for the Democrat here for the first time in probably…ever.
            My acquisition of Camp Gotohell has been notched up; when the day comes that the republican nominee can’t carry Orange County, the waters are up to the promenade deck.

            And as an aside, I’m still waiting very patiently for Chicago to apologize to the rest of the country for inflicting Shrillary Clinton. They owe reparations to Arkansas and New York, at minimum. But at least she’s stayed the hell out of CA.

    2. Raoul Duke

      ^ THIS.

      Missoula isn’t the rest of Montana. I spent several semesters at the University of Montana in the early 90’s. Even then, it was being referred to as the “Berkeley of the North”. It was chock-full of hairy-armpitted females and Birkenstock sandals.

  4. Ken

    I read a story today on a prog website that was lamenting over the hardship a kid suffered because his big sister was sent to prison. Never mind that this woman murdered another young woman that left behind a four year old daughter.

  5. JAFO

    I’ve seen a couple of tough, aggressive prosecutors turn into judges who became tremendously sensitive to the feelings and aspirations of defendants once they got on the bench. I’m not sure what happened to them. In one case it was a woman who has a soft spot for anyone around her kids age, and in the other a guy who was soft on everyone, except for crimes involving elderly female victims.

  6. Gray

    None of this would happen if there was a system that assessed a penalty upon a prosecutor who plea-bargained for less than justice deserved, and any judge who accepted the above or who failed to impose the just sentence upon someone who then perpetrated additional villainy (within a specified time frame). The penalty would be whatever the convict was subject to upon initial conviction, full term, without parole.

    A prosecutor is just a lawyer; a judge is just a lawyer with a promotion. Make them put skin in the game.

    1. RLTW

      “A system that assessed a penalty upon a prosecutor who plea-bargained for less than justice deserved.” As a prosecutor, I’m interested in hearing your definition of what justice deserves.

      First, you go to war with the army you have. How would you handle cases where the law enforcement agency’s investigation was little more than a pencil whip? Cases where the witnesses are afraid to testify and can’t be counted on to hold up on the witness stand? Cases where witnesses flat out refuse to testify? Cases with unsympathetic victims like prostitutes and drug addicts? Cases with horrific crimes but weak evidence? These are just a few of the things I take into account when making an offer to a defendant. Does justice deserve taking crappy cases (which most cases are) to trial and losing? And, I’m sure you’re aware of the Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy, so I only get one bite at the apple.

      Second, remember that judges and DAs answer to the people through elections, impeachments, recalls, etc. While lazy and / or lenient prosecutors are a part of the problem, the majority of the reason we have a revolving door is that voters keep putting bad judges and liberal prosecutors into office. If you’ve figured out how to get hanging judges and hanging prosecutors from a citizenry that put Obama in office twice and gave a popular vote win to the criminal enterprise known as the Clinton family, by all means, let me know. It would make my job a lot more satisfying.

      1. Billybob

        Sounds like you mean it so here goes.
        All judges and prosecutors must ride along on a midnight shift in a high activity beat once a month.
        All citizens on officer review boards and whining city council members ditto.
        Anyone filing complaints on officers complete investigations and severe prosecution of false reporters, or of the officer if true.
        I used to be In charge of ordering gear for trunks.
        One day the city bean counter advised me we could have commercial grade disinfectant wipes or hand cleaner but not both.
        Being older and a little more mature I went to my beat and found the most disgusting older white male transient I could find.
        Confirming his warrants I transported him to our booking area but instead walked him down the hallway to bean counters office.
        You understand of course he had three days worth of feces and urine in his pants. Bugs literally crawling In and out of his long hair and beard, and hadn’t had a bath since the last time he was in county jail.
        I then gave a three minute presentation as to why we needed both.
        Yeah I paid for it later but we were able to maintain our health.

      2. Aesop

        We could start by doing a speedy trial the next day, and upon convictions setting a finite number of months for appeals, and then executing the original sentences.

        If we killed only those on Death Row in this state at the rate of one a day, we currently have a two-year backlog.
        If we could line them up and shoot them in batches, we could clean out Death Row by noon today.

        You decide which one looks more like justice, but I’ll take either answer.

        And I’m fine with prosecutors and judges standing for election, albeit seldom.
        So let’s improve the odds a bit.
        If judges are to be above the fray of the mob in court, well and good.
        Just require their home address to be public record, posted conspicuously on the courtroom door.
        And require all paroles given to parolees to be served in their neighborhood, within 1000 feet of a judge’s doorstep, by law. If necessary, condemn existing houses and build halfway housing for the purpose. I’ll not only vote for that, I’ll donate to the campaign.

        If you’re going to issue rulings from the bench, you must live among the consequences.
        We would have Japanese levels of convictions and sentencing within about 5 minutes.

        Anyone who wants to howl afterwards should be put on the list to receive and shelter parolees themselves, to have standing. Sauce for the gander.

      3. Mike_C

        > I went to my beat and found the most disgusting older white male transient I could find.
        Brilliant! Please tell me you had the malodorous gentleman sit in the bean counter’s visitor chair while you argued your case.

        >Just require [judges’] home address to be public record; […] paroles […] to be served […] within 1000 feet of a judge’s doorstep, by law. […] If you’re going to issue rulings from the bench, you must live among the consequences.
        Gotta admit I laughed when I read about the home invasion of liberal activist federal judge Susan Dlott’s 8-million $USD mansion by three men who roughed her up and pushed her “king of the mass tort” (disbarred) lawyer husband down some stairs in the process. Not proud of it, but sometimes you have to go with the schadenfreude. And Dlott and Chesley got off lightly.

    2. Ron Heinemann

      Ryan Smith spent 3 deployments in Iraq and had finally gotten accepted for PTSD treatment at Fort Harrison. Unfortunately It came too late.

  7. Christopher

    I wonder when the families of victims of lenient judges and law enforcement officials will start to issue writs of habeus whackus on those same judges and officials.

  8. John Distai

    I had a neighbor who had a substance abuse problem. At the very least alcohol. I suspect meth as well (but couldn’t prove they were manufacturing it). The guy was arrested for DWAI. Not once, but thrice. He was let off the first time. The second time, he continued that case for over a year. In court once a month, asking for a continuation. At some point, they figured they’d extracted enough dough from him, and they convicted him. He appealed, and quickly lost. His third one was resolved very quickly, again with a conviction. I think the most the guy got was a weekend in jail and a loss of his license.

    I realized that the “justice” system doesn’t rely on the removal of freedom, but the removal of cash and resources to the lawyers. After you’ve “suffered” enough, they mark your record and let you out.

    Oh, and if you want a criminal activity investigated, hire a private investigator.

    1. Loren

      “I realized that the “justice” system doesn’t rely on the removal of freedom, but the removal of cash and resources to the lawyers. After you’ve “suffered” enough, they mark your record and let you out.”
      Remarkably similar to doctors and cancer patients.

  9. Kevreg

    I live in Missoula County. I’m retired LE. Low bonds, deferred prosecution, and probation are pretty much how the prosecutors and judges roll here. I refer to the place as “Moscow on the Clark’s Fork (River)”.

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