A perpetrator-friendly mentality

Jan 16 2010 - 6:20pm

Does it seems to you, or am I the oddball in thinking that our criminal justice system and some of our collective U.S. citizens have a perpetrator-friendly mentality?

Now you probably want me to cite an example before you start nodding your head in between your sips of coffee or tea.

Joshua Powell, the husband of interest in the disappearance of wife Susan in West Valley, got emotional and physical support from some of his neighbors in moving from Utah back to Washington state last weekend.

He is moving back without his wife. What do his former classmates, friends and relatives say to him when he moves back to his home state minus a package he brought to Utah from Washington state? Do you think Mr. Powell's friends and relatives who attended his wedding would reverberate words in their etched memory where both partners agreed to be loyal to each other and always be concerned for the other's personal safety and welfare?

Mr. Powell has not been charged with a crime. For that matter, he is not even a suspect.

What can we collectively do to think of ways our legislators could help law enforcement officials to do their job, in my opinion, more properly when a spouse goes missing?

In other words, is our criminal justice system so limited that it has no absolute power to deduce that suspicious and circumstantial evidence could lead to prosecution?

Do you remember the runaway would-be bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, when she bolted from Georgia? Some people immediately suspected her fiancAfA(c), which came at the heels of Lori Hacking being murdered and declared missing by husband Mark Hacking in 2004. Then in 2006 we had to sit through another media-blitzed story when Stephen Grant of Michigan declared that wife Tara went missing.

In 2002, Michael Blagg hit the airwaves crying crocodile tears that his wife and daughter went missing as well. Later in that year Scott Peterson cried and lied to us that Laci was last seen walking the dog. Drew Peterson, an ex-cop from Decatur, Ill., declared that his wife Staci ran away with another man.

Now let us count the ways how many of those missing cases panned out. Tara Grant's partial torso was found in her home in the garage after several other pieces of her were found in nearby woods. Lori's body was found in a Salt Lake County landfill similar to Jennifer's body being found at a Mesa County, Colo. landfill.

Although Abby Blagg's body was never found, she was never heard from again. Like Abby, Staci was yet to resurface after three years. Laci Peterson's body washed ashore with a dead fetus also being discovered within a day or two of each other.

One thing we do know, you can turn a "truth" into a "lie" but one can never turn a "lie" into a truth.

In other words, those husbands lied to us on national television about the whereabouts of their wives. The truth told a different story from what their original accounts stated.

The West Valley Police Department is doing all it can in the case of Susan Powell. The Constitution limits them on what they can do. All persons are innocent until proven guilty according to the Constitution.

For the record, this is my public opinion, and I have the right to voice my opinion; Susan Powell, in my opinion, is not coming back to us. Spouses and children will continue to go missing until Jesus puts a stop to all this foolishness.

In the interim, we can encourage our lawmakers to develop an anti-perpetrator stance, Legislators against perpetrators!

Lee Johnson is a sociology major and resides on the campus of Weber State University in Ogden. Please visit the campus organization's Web site at www.menofweber.org.

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