Here we are again- another mass shooting of innocent people. This time children. But, what are we focusing on? The killer of course. Every day I work with people and their families because families are the consequences of crime. This case is no different. We are already forgetting about the victims and their families. Instead we are looking at why and how, and if the killer had OCD and other issues. Of course he had mental issues. I am sure there will be a long list of things he has done, but that does not make a true evil killer. True evil is just that.
The media also is dwelling on the fact that this happened in an upscale white neighborhood. When are these cases not in white upscale neighborhoods, and when are the killer’s minorities? Rarely, if ever. Gang killings are different. They are gang to gang and not on a mass, random scale.
As my fans and readers know, I am a big believer in change. I think that change is possible in most cases. But, this is not one of them nor are cases with severely mentally ill people. Mental illness is an ILLNESS, and without treatment only gets worse. This is what happened with my client Johnny Lewis. The judge ordered him to rehab, and as I knew he was not a drug user. I would bet the same is true here. 12 step and rehab does not cure all things and in fact often masks the greater issues. Judges wake up!!!
There are so many lessons to be learned from this tragedy; from our absurd gun control laws to how our sentencing system works. After all, our prisons are filled with drug offenders who often face mandatory sentences. Just this week I had 2 women begin 9-year prison terms for being non-key players in small drug cases. A true shame.
I suggest we look at this case and really start to make and lobby for change. The more we give the killer power, the less we think about the victims and their families. Even the family of this killer is harmed forever. But, to effect change we must admit there is a problem and look at solutions, not salacious media speculation. Our criminal justice system is a giant mystery just waiting to be exposed by insiders like me. Please join me in looking at the what now instead of the many reasons this killer did what he did.
Again, change is possible but this time let’s change the way we look at the case instead of worrying about the killer himself.
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org