Did you happen to see the mugshot for the suspect arrested in connection with the shooting of a ten-year old girl on a Milwaukee playground last week?
Eighteen year old Sylvester Lewis is shown well, mugging for the camera just moments after being arrested for what could still turn out to be a murder (the little girl continues to cling to life in the hospital). He has his big, fake Eddie Murphy smile on his face and his eyes closed--like being booked into the Milwaukee County Jail is a big joke to him. I bet his friends and family get a big kick out seeing the picture on all of the TV newscasts and websites too. "Did you see Sylvester's picture on the news? Oh my god that was funny!"
Actually, being booked into the jail isn't a new experience for Lewis--so we shouldn't blame his clownish behavior on being nervous or scared--since he has been arrested more than 15-times dating back to his juvenile days. (In the old days of law enforcement, Lewis would have been one of the "usual suspects" police "rounded up" whenever there was a crime committed in the city). That means as many as 15-times Lewis has gone before a judge or a juvenile court commissioner. Having been in these hearings I can tell you there was a prosecutor urging harsh punishment to 'send a message", a defense attorney asking for leniency since Lewis "is still young yet and can learn from his mistakes" and the judge ultimately sending him back out onto the streets--maybe with a stern lecture about "heading down the wrong path" and likely ordering him to finish school, see a counselor and get a job.
We hear all the time how we spend too much on prisons and that we send too many people away for too long for too minor of offenses. But how would that ten year old girl be doing today if Sylvester Lewis had been made to take the criminal justice system a little more seriously before his 16th criminal offense? I doubt she would be lying in a hospital bed--severely brain-damaged. And I doubt that Lewis would be
Oh and for those of you who feel the gun used by Lewis is more to blame for this crime than he is--please keep in mind that the gun control laws (as they often do in these cases) worked perfectly. Lewis didn't buy the 9-milimeter at a gun shop or from an on-line gun seller or at a gun show. And after shooting the ten year old girl in the head he claims to have sold it to "someone else" for $250. So tell me what new restriction on my ability to buy a gun is going to prevent that same thing from happening again? Other than criminals like this sitting in prisons where they belong.