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Justice is blind, but should it be deaf and "dumb" too?

A Column by the Editor
web posted December 9, 2008
COLUMN – It may not be my place to second guess a Circuit Court Judge, but it is obvious, at least to me, one certain judge may need to pull her head out of the sand long enough to understand that people in Edgefield County see justice in a different light than she does.

Monday was the first day of General Sessions Court (High Court) in Edgefield County where the most serious offenders are tried on felony charges. Call me stupid if you will, but a career criminal walking away with no jail time after pleading guilty to robbing a dead man and his son on the day of the funeral deserves at least some time behind bars.

Not so, according to Circuit Court Judge Renee Alison Lee who is presiding over this week’s General Sessions Court in Edgefield County. One year of house arrest and five years of probation is more in order.

Forget the fact that David Wayne Todack, 41, of Langley, has a criminal history that crosses three states that took several minutes to read in open court prior to his sentencing on charges of burglary and grand larceny.

Forget that Mr. Todack not only knew, but also worked for the two victims - a son - and his father, who died of a sudden heart attack.

Forget that while the son and his family members were attending the funeral of their father that Mr. Todack admitted to being guilty of burglarizing not only the home of the son, grieving over the loss of his father, but robbed the home of the deceased father as well on the day of the funeral in September of  this year.

Forget that the son stood before Judge Lee and explained the hurtfulness of the crime against his family in a time of mourning prior to sentencing.

Yes, forget all that, because Judge Lee sure did.

Judge Renee Alison Lee may be trying to be nice because it is almost Christmas, but she sure as heck does not need to be the Grinch that Stole Justice from the citizens of Edgefield County.

If anyone ever deserved to have the “book thrown at him”, Todack is the prime example. Yet, to Judge Lee, he deserved a pinch, not even a slap, on the wrist and was basically set free.

The only saving grace in this convening of General Sessions Court is this fruitcake of a judge will be gone by Friday. Let’s hope this is her first and last appearance in Edgefield County General Sessions Court.

The only sad aspect of this is that news of a liberal and lenient judge spreads faster throughout the county jail than a brush fire on a hayfield during a drought in August and everybody will want to plea before her and get the most ridiculously improper sentences possible.

I agree that justice should be blind, but nowhere does it say that justice should be blind, deaf, and dumb.

This is a prime example of why Circuit Court Judges in South Carolina should be elected, not appointed.

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