55 years for burglary?
Blake Layman fired no shot. He killed no one. He'd never even held a gun. So why is he being held in a high security prison in Indiana for 55 years?
He made a stupid, foolish decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A mistake which ended in the death of one of his friends. But neither he nor any of his friends pulled a trigger. They were all unarmed.
The choice he made was to try and rob a house when they thought it was empty. Am I denying that was wrong? No. It certainly was. Am I denying that he should have been punished for that? No. But surely the punishment should fit the crime. Burglary isn't murder no matter what you way. Blake Layman is not a murderer.
That one day and its consequences will reverberate in that young man's head until he himself dies. But it would have without an obscene prison sentence to top it off. Because that house wasn't empty and the moments that played out as a result of that decision left one young man dead. But Blake Layman did not pull the trigger.
The home-owner made the choice to pick up his gun. The home-owner made the decision to come downstairs firing at the teenagers. Yes, he didn't know they were unarmed, but he certainly didn't know they were armed. He made the choice to shoot first and ask questions later. But that's fine because that was a justifiable killing. He was defending his property.
The home-owner hasn't been charged.
Blake Layman has. At sixteen he was charged with felony murder. Despite being a minor he was tried as an adult. Despite not firing a shot he was found guilty.
He wasn't the only one. All three youths have been given between forty five and fifty five years. How is that fair? How is that right?
They're boys. Idiot, juvenile and bloody stupid. They're not murderers.
Two years is average for a first offence burglary. Not 55 years high security.
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/hand-blood-smeared-wounding-525988/ by stux