The LeCroy Shooting and Media Coverage

Officer LeCroy’s shooting is a tragic moment in Georgia. There are many unanswered questions about why Gregory Favors was on the street, having been convicted of three felons. Hopefully we’ll get some answers, though those answers won’t bring back Officer LeCroy. Our prayers are with his family.

In reading about this today, I noticed something . . . odd. The top of the AJC this evening is about the shooting. The top of Fox 5’s website was the shooting until the possibility of freezing rain trumped it, putting it into second place. 11Alive’s top news is also Gregory Favors, followed by the freezing rain. CBS Atlanta’s top story is about a missing girl. WSB Radio’s top story on their website is the shooting. WGST also had the shooting at its top until recently this evening.

Then there’s WSB-TV. God bless ’em, their top story is about a missing dog at the airport.

24 comments

  1. mountainpass says:

    This is a very tragic event. It’s the latest in a string of high profile shootings in GA where the suspected shooter was a felon that was out on the street, when he should have of been behind bars.

  2. Lady Thinker says:

    Erick,

    Thank-you for posting this article. The shooting is a tragedy in and of itself, but the underlying problems are the most tragic and in my opinion affect the core of how we operate as a society.

    There is no swift and sure punishment and how can there be with the sheer number of court cases? In my teens and early twenties, I have to admit that I was a bleeding heart liberal, even though I called myself a Republican. I thought criminals were made because they did not have a rubber ducky to play with at bathtime and that with counseling to understand their anger and a free rubber ducky, they would become “normal.” As I started a career in Criminal Justice, I found there were way more issues involved.

    While I believe in rehabilation and diversion tactics for first timers in an attempt to keep rebellious kids out of the system, I think we have gotten away from punishments and more toward “counseling” people out of bad behaviors. Not all people who grew up poor or went to bed hungry or were sexually abused become criminals and there is no way a 30-year-old nineteen time criminal offender should be out among the law abiding citizenry to perpetuate more crimes. He has gotten far too many free passes.

    Favors is a three-time felon but some judges have interpreted the “three-strikes, you’re out” as three violent felonies. Crimes like Burlary are deemed to be non-violent felony so some judges don’t count those when sentencing offenders.

    Since jails and prisons are so overcrowded, many of those systems institute the “two for one” with one day off for every day of good behavior, hence, a five year term can effectively be reduced to 2.5 years and with time spent in jail waiting for a conviction treated toward the 2.5 years as “time served,” it reduces sentencing even more.

    There is no bite in punishment so the losers in this senario are: society dealing with repeat offenders, victims feeling they did not get justice, and the offenders thinking “that wasn’t so bad.” Now we have a 19 time offender who could face the death penalty. He should have never been on the street so that he could become a violent offender.

    Now that I am older, I submit we incorporate punishment into the rehab. Bring back the chain gangs, which will never happen because of the Eighth Amendment Cruel and Unsual Punishment clause. Something has to give though, because we as a society deserve better.

  3. saltycracker says:

    AJC: ” according to Favors’ attorney, Michael Mann……..
    Favors is “depressed, he’s definitely scared. He’s a scared young man. Obviously facing charges like these, anybody would be scared,” Mann said in a news conference outside the jail Wednesday.”

    They got him on the police cam, they got his gun & apparently blood on his hands, so we’ll spend a fortune messing with this piece of trash and all those that will exploit the situation.

    How about a quick lane to the chair for those nailed dead to rights ?
    Say 30 days…..

    • Lady Thinker says:

      My point exactly in fewer words than I posted. While I support the Constitution in protecting the rights of the accused, we have swung so far in overprotecting, that there are too many loopholes for the perp and not enough for the victims.

      • B Balz says:

        Lady Thinker,

        Since you seem to care enough to spend time writing about this issue, let me share a tidbit formal education seems to miss: The average criminal (one who had missed the ‘window of being saved’) doesn’t ‘think’ beyond the next crime. They do not conceive of getting caught, if they do, they know how to game the system. Go to Court, watch and see.

        Point is, the death penalty will NEVER become a deterant. Coupled with mistakes in sentencing, as vindicated by DNA, the death penalty both lacks efficacy as a deterent (except for the ONE person getting killed) and as a just sentence of a civilized society.

        When society makes it unnacceptable for people to have kids at a young age, for fathers to bail on their responsiblilites, and for kids to get away with even small crimes without punishments, we are addressing the problem. For all people, Mr. Day. The socio-economic desparity that exisits is the source of our problem.

        Surely killing this man will prevent him from ever doing evil again, but his execution will do nothing to prevent another from committing the same type of act.

        • Three Jack says:

          why should the death penalty which is punishment for a heinous crime be subjected to deterrent scrutiny? who cares if it is any more of a deterrent than 10, 20, 30 years or life in prison?

          in this case, there is a video of this life long criminal shooting an officer who was coming to his aid after crashing. there is no doubt who commited the crime here so therefore this guy should be sent to death as soon as possible.

          • B Balz says:

            So if there is no deterrent factor, why kill?

            All too often we hear of errors in capital cases. Either errors of trial procedure, prosecution, or the wrong person.

            I agree, it ‘feels right’ to rid society of its’ social detritus by capital punishment. This case, like so many others, may deserve capital punishment.

            BUT if the Court did not send the “courthouse Killer” to death row, after spending millions on it, why pursue a failed strategy?

            What really troubles me is the ASAP clause. Are you willing to toss ‘due process’ to the curb? Our system is not fast for a reason, it inures to the benefit of the accused.

            • Three Jack says:

              balz,
              yes, in this case i am willing to give the man one hearing, then straight to the injection room. there is no doubt he did it and there is no doubt he is a habitual offender. he deserves to die and society will be better without him.

              a level of common sense needs to be applied in our judicial system. if there is absolutely no doubt that a person murdered another, then that person should be put to death asap. maybe then there would be a level of deterrence not currently in place since the scumbags know they will live for 20 years at taxpayer expense while working through the legal process.

              if deterrence is what you seek, then let’s go back to public executions, put them on pay-per-view with proceeds directed toward rehabiliting those who are incarcerated for non-violent crimes.

              • Dagny says:

                The only way the death penalty or even jail time will deter crime is if we make it tough; bring back quick executions and hard labor. The thugs these days don’t live much different in jail than they do out of jail and the death penalty really means life in prison with the extra cost of death row. We have allowed our laws to run amuck and criminals are kept in something that resembles a hotel when it should resemble hell. If you were living in the projects would you care if you took a chance by stealing knowing you will go to a place that will feed, clothe and shelter you? And will provide entertainment to top it off!
                We are a weak society! We have become so politically correct that we don’t even want to offend a murderer. We cater to the lowest denominator. We are to blame and we need to stop putting up with bad behavior.
                I am tired of housing murders. I am tired of paying girls for birthing babies. And I am tired of politicians making laws without thinking of the consequences; meaning they do not think of the possibilities or repercussions of change; in stead they only think of the narrow use that some lobbyist has told them.
                I am pissed and more people need to be. LeCroy should be shot, not today but yesterday!
                *stepping off soap box*

                • Three Jack says:

                  read this account of how fulton judges let lecroy walk 4x this year — http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/trooper-shooting-suspect-released-791184.html

                  “30 year sentence to serve 60 days”…htf does that ‘deter’ crime?

                  lecroy is a menace to society. liberals have been able to add ‘hate crime’ status to many laws…how about conservatives adding a ‘menace to society’ provision whereby after say 10 freakin arrests, the culprit is declared a ‘mts’ and dealt with accordingly.

                  • B Balz says:

                    There you go: Blame the liberals.

                    Your blog persona’s approach is less helpful than peeing gasoline on a sucking chest wound.

                    Unfortunately, and I do believe this, the liberal element is often antithetical to common sense, law and order.

                    Sure, as your point out, putting repeat, violent criminals back on the street often leads to terrible outcomes. Yet, strict punishment, such as putting a 15 year old in State prison as in the case of Mr. Boyer’s alleged killer, led to mayhem, a murder.

                    At issue is a vast socio-economic divide, a cultural clash causing huge suffering (paraphrasing Hesse). Wriggling around that fact by making this a pol Lib v. Con drama is both futile and tedious.

                    But then this is a pol blog……… and the issue we discuss cannot be solved by pols.

                • B Balz says:

                  I understand the anger of both new poster Dagny and longtime commenter Three Jack. I feel exactly the same way, frustrated, angry, and sad. I am really not disagreeing with your points.

                  The POINT I am making is that by the time we discuss punishment styles, be they death, hard labor, etc. somebody was already murdered. To me, the issue is that what are we, as good citizens DOING, other than arguing with pixels?

                  Until WE, that is, society becomes OUTRAGED, nothing will change. When divorce was socially unacceptable, people were rarely divorced. Today, divorce is hardly a blip on the radar of most people.

                  Will it ever become socially unacceptable to commit a crime, even a misdemeanor? Until then, discussing mode of punishment is like closing the screen door of the submarine after it is underway.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    agreed bbalz, it is time for citizen outrage.

                    imagine if favors had been arrested for dui 18x…would he be walking the streets? hell no he wouldn’t. say he killed a person with his 18th dui, would there be citizen outrage? hell yes! yet the crimes he has been convicted of commiting are arguably worse than dui, but here he is out on the street and nobody noticed.

                    i think society has become comfortably numb (had to do it) with so many news sources putting out so many horrific stories. people just try to ignore the 800lb thug in the room and hope he doesn’t decide to attack them.

                  • Dagny says:

                    We have become apathetic. We, as a society would frown apon unwed mothers and we were outraged at our pregnant teenage daughter; we were embarrassed to take unemployment, food stamps or welfare; we expected more from each other and when in trouble we helped each other. As we put up with more and tolerate failure, our country becomes weaker and more dangerous.
                    Who wants to bet he was raised by a single mother on welfare? I bet his mother was raised the same way. The system failed them and it has failed us.

                    BTW Bbalz – I am not new. It’s me….:)

          • Three Jack,

            As far as I know, the studies that indicate that the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder were all conducted on death row inmates. This would skew the results, don’t you think?

            I’m pretty sure that there are some folks walking around only because Old Sparky is sitting there.

  4. B Balz says:

    Erick,

    Thanks for posting this sad situation. I had asked that PP shine light on the murder of Mr. Charles Boyer and the ensuing dialogue:

    http://www.peachpundit.com/2010/12/23/happy-festivus/

    lead me to the conclusion that until EACH citizen DEMANDS change, there will be no change. The lifespan of Democaracy, judged by history, tends to be several hundred years as documented by this sequence of events:

    he average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    • From bondage to spiritual faith;
    • From spiritual faith to great courage;
    • From courage to liberty;
    • From liberty to abundance;
    • From abundance to complacency;
    • From complacency to apathy;
    • From apathy to dependence;
    • From dependence back to bondage.

    I think any objective observer would agree, regardless of faith, race, pol affiliation, or creed, America seems to be hovering around “complacency to apathy”.

    WE can change the paradigm, it will be hard. There will be those that cry ‘racism’, ‘elitism’, ‘ism-ism’ ad finitum, but we do not have to be into a failed paradigm.

    The younger generations seem more thoughtful, more open to new ideas. I pray for the Union, freedom, and that order will triumph over chaos.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Bondage = plantation mentality
    Lookin’ for the government to do something for me today….
    As long as we enable our children and the gov’t enables us the obamanation grows.

    BB, with you on the outrage. In the current system the death penalty is just some tax paid attorney’s career and rarely a deterrent. If there were a “dead to rights, redhanded, DNA proven….fast track to the needle” it would be the fiscally responsible approach for an incorrigible.

  6. Lady Thinker says:

    All of you have made excellent points and I agree that citizen outrage is the key to fostering movement from apathy to change. I understand these issues from a 20 plus year career in the field in Dekalb County, to my numerous degrees in the subject matter as well as my extensive research while I save for my future Ph.D. and in teaching these subjects on a college level. In all of these areas of knowledge gained, one thing becomes abundantly clear – a society can only become as corrupt as its citizens allow.

    BB,

    You make some good points on the death penalty argument but the origins go back to vengence found in the Bible, an eye for an eye, etc. From an economic standpoint, it costs four times as much for a death row inmate to live because of the numerous appeals on so many levels. You are correct when you say that that it is not as much of a deterrance as some believe, but like unlike England two hundred years ago or more, we have no newly founded territories to banish our social undesirables to, unless we want to use some of tribal lands of Africia.

    mountainpass and Three Jack,

    I agree with you because there is no way this guy should have been allowed to be walking the streets. This is where the court system has let us down. How many times should a person have his/her probation extended? It becomes a game, as one of you said, with the offender getting too many free passes with society and the original victim(s) being failed all the way around.

    Dagny,

    You are right regarding the morality thing. When I was in high school, just before cars were invented (just teasing), pregnant girls had to quit school because parents and educators did not want the “bad” girls around the good girls, contaminating the good girls morals. We no longer teach morality or civics in school because somewhere along the line, that was deemed the parents and the church’s responsibility. Paddling was taken out of school as being cruel and unusual punishment and a duty of the parents, not the schools. There has been a growing trend for at least thirty years to take offender responsibility for their actions away from them and to place that blame on entitlement programs and society. If parents don’t value their own education, they won’t value their childs and that chain becomes unbroken.

    We sent a teen-age girl to prison for 50 years, 36 in prison, 14 on probation, for a hit-and-run in which she killed five people in an accident that would have been a misdemeanor had she stayed at the scene. While I agree with her sentence and that of her mother’s in concealing the crime, Favors has never served out his full sentences for any of his crimes or he would still have been in jail. I am semi torn on who is at fault here, the sentencing judge, or probation/parole, or us for not demanding full offender accountability years ago.

  7. saltycracker says:

    Inconsistency, endless appeals with any improbable hypothesis, hyperbolic media & personal causes….all this & more in the legal system leads to outrage which leads to overreaction.

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