As previously discussed, Lady Justice’s blindfold does nothing more than provide her with the unique propensity to walk into walls and other stationary objects as she slowly feels her way to some sort of approximation and perhaps asymptotic approach to the truth.
And that’s particularly the case with my tri-level pursuit of the truth regarding the now 16-year-old Batavia High School student originally charged with possessing bomb making material.
Our first consideration is, despite what I’ve determined to be clear and convincing evidence in my theory’s favor, the 16th Circuit has yet to determine whether a blogger can legally attend a generally closed juvenile hearing. To be fair, those men and women in black are somewhat preoccupied with the potential coronavirus havoc to prioritize my quest for judiciary enlightenment.
I suggested the Chief Judge take the simple step of adopting the Vulcan salute as the official court greeting. C’mon! Who doesn’t like “live long and prosper?”
The bottom statutory line is, the “news media” is authorized to observe those hearings and the FOIA provision defines that term as:
a newspaper or other periodical issued at regular intervals whether in print or electronic format, a news service whether in print or electronic format…
Doesn’t that describe The First Ward to a T? With rare exception, I’ve produced three weekly 800-word columns since July of 2012.
Chief Judge Clint Hull and I continue to assault this issue collaboratively and proactively, but should that eventual ruling go against me, considering that statutory quote, I have every reason to believe I’d prevail in the Second Appellate Court District – pro se.
That leads to my second concern which is my motivation for attending that juvenile hearing. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office will be asking the Judge Kathy Karrayannis to try this teenager as an adult, and not only am I morally and journalistically opposed to that move, but I want to hear their argument firsthand.
While any similar adult court motion would quickly become public record, the only way to understand the State’s logic – or lack thereof – is to be in that courtroom.
That leaves us with our third and most critical element in this factual pursuit – the effort to determine the best possible outcome for everyone involved. My continuing conviction is trying this child as an adult serves no purpose. It’s too easy, and if he manages to survive an adult correctional center, this teenager will eventually emerge only to wreak even more havoc.
But there’s a bit more to this story than I thought. As a result of some stellar sources, I’ve learned that, not only are the contents of this juvenile’s notebooks somewhat disconcerting, but the County issued psych eval is equally disturbing. Thankfully, true psychopaths are a rarity, and those same sources say this kid is still retrievable.
That means the obvious solution is to remand him to a juvenile facility till he’s 21, and any subsequent probation should carry a severe adult consequence component should it be violated in any way.
Put more simply, please tell me we haven’t gotten to the point where we’re callously willing to throw away a 16-year-old!
But what’s standing in the way of this eminently reasonable outcome is assistant state’s attorney Bridget Sabbia, who former coworkers describe as a “traditional” prosecutor. And by, “traditional” I mean one who believes in vastly overcharging in an effort to get a better deal.
True to that narrative, Sabbia and her bosses recently amended the original charges to include:
- Attempted terrorism
- Attempted causing a catastrophe
- Attempted first degree murder
- Eight counts of possession of explosives
- Two counts of a misdemeanor hate crime
First, with so few public details, how can anyone possibly be charged with a hate crime? And second, these absurd overleveraged criminal counts are the equivalent of trying to kill a mosquito with a flamethrower. That’s a tactic most of the men and women in black find generally appalling.
And when you abuse discretion and vastly overplay your hand in that manner, not only does it play directly into exceptional defense attorney Gary Johnson’s hands, but it makes it much more difficult to negotiate the kind of deal that will truly serve justice.
Clearly, when it comes to the Kane County State’s Attorney under Joe McMahon, in the words of that great philosopher Jethro Tull, “Nothing is easy!”
Meanwhile, as previously stipulated, I will persevere in seeking the answer to the “who’s a journalist” question, as well as in my efforts to ferret out and uncover the truth here. Perhaps after that we’ll discuss why I have a particular interest in this case.
I will continue to keep you posted!