Judge Pat Murdoch reversed himself Friday and sent Elton John Richard II home to his family with time served, a five year probation, and the bill for Daniel Romero's funeral. It was a step towards righting a wrong that started when Richard plead guilty to manslaughter and ended when Judge Murdoch initially sentenced Richard to 2 years in prison and four years of $500 a month restitution to Daniel Romero's family.
There were a lot of wrongs in this case starting with Daniel Romero who made the wrong decision to try to pay off a drug dealer by stealing a vehicle from the wrong man. Romero's string of wrong decisions continued when he refused to be taken into custody to wait for the police, when he attacked the Marine whose Bronco he had tried to steal and when he ultimately turned to attack him for the last time.
Daniel Romero wasn't the only one to make the wrong choices. District Attorney Kari Brandenburg made the wrong choice when she decided to prosecute a man who only did what any police officer would have done in the same situation. Billy Blackburn, a high power attorney (one of the best really) was wrong when he advised his client to take a plea rather than go to court. Judge Murdoch was wrong when he accepted the plea and doubly wrong when he imposed his initial sentence.
Finally after all of those wrongs, Judge Murdoch did the right thing by reducing Richard's sentence. The problem is one right doesn't undo all of the wrongs that preceded it.
We have to admit that we initially struggled with this story. No one wants to see a fleeing man gunned down. But as we looked into the story we became more and more convinced that Richard acted in the best traditions of law enforcement and the Marine Corps. He protected his family and the rest of us, while restraining himself from using deadly force until he felt his life was in danger.
Ultimately, the only way that all of these wrongs can be righted is for the Governor to pardon Richard. Mr. Romero is dead because he was continually in the wrong. Mr. Richard lost the life he knew because of the wrongs done to him. Governor Richardson has the power to return a man's life - he should exercise that power and right all of the wrongs that came before.
The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes