PAYING ATTENTION! With TOM DUGGAN
By: Tom Duggan – November, 2006
Upon learning that Deval Patrick had fought to free admitted cop killer Carl Roy Songer, I, like many of you, was outraged that this man was a finalist for the top seat at the State House in Massachusetts. Songer pumped five bullets into Florida State Trooper Ronald Smith after escaping from prison. Two hunters witnessed the shooting, shot, captured and held Songer until police arrived. There was never any doubt about Songer’s guilt from the moment of the shooting.After being convicted and admitting to his crime, Songer was sentenced to die. Only after all this did Deval Patrick as an ACLU lawyer step in to have the sentence of Carl Roy Songer reduced to include parole. Because of Deval Patrick, every three years family members of Trooper Smith must now relive the nightmare (in public) of how Carl Roy Songer gunned down the man they loved, the man who stopped on the side of the road to HELP him.
And there is no guarantee in any given year that the trooper’s family will succeed in denying Songer parole status. There is a real possibility that some day in the near future, the man who shot a police officer five times the LAST time he was free, may be out there lurking in their neighborhoods once again.If Patrick had been retained to defend the cop killer before Songer’s guilt was established, before he admitted to his crime, before eyewitness accounts were made in court against him, you might be able to brush it off and say, “Hey, Patrick was doing his job and everyone is innocent until proven guilty.” But that’s not what happened. Patrick willingly took on a case to free a convicted and admitted cop killer, Carl Ray Songer it is an “issue” that some of us cannot, and will not overlook.
THEY REALLY DON’T CARE … And Here’s Why
By: Tom Duggan – November, 2006
Last week, I approached several of the Merrimack Valley’s state representatives, state senators, local mayors and other elected officials to find out why, in light of the fact that Deval Patrick fought to free a cop killer, they would publicly support him for a job that entails appointing judges to our criminal justice system.
“Well … my understanding of that whole thing is that Deval was really defending the process, not necessarily the killer,” one Lawrence representative said, informing me that the real issue was about the way this was being “exploited.”
I am sure the wife of Officer Ronald Smith would be comforted to hear that.
“Come on, he was just doing his job,” a state senator told me in a dismissive tone as he eyed the buffet line and scanned the room for someone more “comfortable” to talk to.
One valley mayor responded with, “That whole thing is being blown way out of proportion. Deval’s my guy! Besides, it was a long time ago.”
When I reminded another official that Patrick’s efforts have now resulted in the family of a slain cop testifying before a parole board every three years to ensure that the man who killed their loved one remains in jail, he responded with, “Abe Lincoln was a defense lawyer,” and that he had defended many unpleasant characters.
It was an answer you would expect from a former defense lawyer (which he was), yet I doubt Abe Lincoln ever fought for the release of an admitted and convicted cop killer who committed his crime the very last time he was free (he escaped).
I was puzzled. How could these people stand by Deval Patrick? How could they publicly tell the voters that this guy would be a great pick to appoint judges for our criminal court system? These were the movers and shakers in the Merrimack Valley.
They were the people in charge of police departments (mayors), people who are in charge of passing our criminal laws and the sentencing guidelines criminals will face. These are the very people who campaign year after year, talking tough on crime, and appearing with police officers in campaign ads and press conferences.
Yet, every single one of them had an excuse for Deval Patrick’s long record of empathizing with vicious criminals instead of defending victims of crime and standing with police. Each of them found a way to dismiss Patrick’s ACLU efforts to raise false accusations of racism in an effort to free a hardened, violent criminal onto our streets to jeopardize the safety of you, me, and everyone we love.
Not even one could bring himself (even privately) to acknowledge that Patrick’s behavior and philosophy on coddling vicious criminals was something they disagreed with.
The more excuses I heard, the more I began to realize that their “excuses” and partisan “talking points” were really just… lies, and that their defense of Deval Patrick’s actions was really a defense of themselves and their own values – or lack thereof.
Each of them was saying in their own way of political double-speak: “Look, I just don’t care! Deval is my guy and nothing (not even freeing a cop killer) is going to change that.”
To these confused and selfish elite politicians in the Merrimack Valley, cop killing, rape, parole, and early release of prisoners are just abstract political “issues” to explain away at election time as they climb the ladder of political opportunity.
What they really care about most is advancing in party politics and being on the “winning team,” because that’s far more important than keeping real cop killers in real jails. It’s more important than a real rape victim who was really beaten over a period of hours by a man whom Patrick himself has really described as “thoughtful and humane.”
As for the horror these victims and their families continue to go through every single day as the result of people like Deval Patrick, well, they simply do not care.
And they are not going to care.
I only wish they would be honest about it, spare us the excuses, put away their lies called “talking points” and just say the words, “I really don’t care!”
But, they won’t do that because they don’t want the public to see how selfish and detached they are from the real world of real criminals and real victims.
They don’t want us to see that part of their humanity has died, along with their ability to empathize with real people who really have to bury a loved one and then sit before a real parole board to keep a dangerous killer from really roaming free.
Here’s the kicker.
Each of the politicians I spoke with knew that my father had been a police officer killed in the line of duty.
They each knew that my father’s killers (Willie Rodriguez and Doris Ortiz) got off on a technicality after admitting to (and bragging about) their crimes. Yet each of them found a way to look me in the eye and dismiss and dehumanize the family of Trooper Smith … all the while defending their political bread-and-butter candidate, Deval Patrick.
Saddest of all, these Valley politicians will continue to be in charge of police departments and passing laws which determine when criminals get released to victimize your family and mine yet again.
All the while keeping up the phony public pretense that they “really care!” about “real” victims of “real” crime.
The sad and lonely truth for real victims of real crimes is … they really don’t care … and neither do the voters!
We get the Government we deserve.