Five state justices must be replaced

Washington State Supreme Court justices Debra Stephens, Charles Wiggins, Susan Owens, Anne Ellington and Chief Justice Barbara Madsen — if you make a New Year’s resolution, maybe you will agree with me and vote them out come their next election. Why? These five justices recently ruled that the people that helped Maurice Clemmons escape justice were punished unjustly.

Remember Maurice Clemmons? He is the man who, in cold blood ambushed and murdered the four Lakewood police officers while they were sitting in a cafe having coffee in 2009. Of the seven people who helped him escape, all but one, who will be early released next year, are no longer in jail. They bandaged his wounds, replaced his bloody clothes, gave him back his stolen gun in a shopping bag, and provided him with transportation. He could have easily killed again and they are out of jail in less than five years. Only the actual murder scene get-away driver, either the seventh or eighth accomplice I believe, will still be in jail and he is appealing his 420-year sentence.

One of the justifications for early release was that the folks that helped Clemmons had only “passing control” of another gun that Clemmons stole from one of the murdered cops. What, in the name of God, does “passing control” of a gun mean? They could have taken the gun away and called the police, but apparently didn’t think that was the right thing to do. Someone must have had “passing control” of their conscience. The majority of justices also agreed that the “exceptional” sentences were not legally justified. Imagine that. Five years or less in prison for helping someone get away with four murders is an “exceptional” sentence.

My second and last New Year’s resolution is to vote for candidates for whom the word “justice” means justice for everyone and work to see that the laws are changed to assure that the punishment fits the crime.

Don Curtis


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