The following commentary is MY personal opinion. An opinion to which I am richly entitled, but it is opinion none the less. Please feel free to disagree. ~~ Ron
About 14 years ago, a 19 year old local man named Erick S. Schmitt, was caught on video tape walking into a convenience store near Cynthiana and gunning down two people in cold blood. Mr Schmitt had an accomplice in this crime, but the accomplice was not armed and did none of the shooting.
The video tape of the event showed that Mr Schmitt gave absolutely no warning to his victims, and did not offer them them the choice of surrendering their money to him, instead of being shot in the face and head by him. He just walked in and blazed away, as if he were shooting tin cans or rats instead of fellow human beings.
Combat war veterans and some few police officers with police combat experience are about the only persons who can grasp the level of paralyzing terror and emotional trauma that Mr Schmitt inflicted on his helpless, innocent victims.
He shot the store clerk four times in the head, and he shot the lone customer in the store once in the face. It was all on the store video tape. The store clerk, a mentally handicapped person, such as my daughter Honey Sue, died while the customer survived the single, horrifying, disfiguring handgun shot to the face.
Mr Schmitt was sentenced to 75 years in prison for this cruel, despicable crime against humanity.
Yesterday, I read this article in the Evansville Courier Press —> ARTICLE
The news article says that an Indiana judge is releasing Mr Schmitt from prison after only 14 years. The judge says that Mr Schmitt is a reformed and changed man, that he is repentant of his crimes, and that he has “found religion” while in prison.
To that I can only say, Hog Wash! Mr Schmitt may have indeed changed, and he may truly have come to repentence for his horrible crimes, and he may of found solace for his awful guilt in religion, but that is not why he is being released from prison.
Mr Schmitt is being released from prison, because he comes from a rich family with much influence, who were able to persuade judges and politicians and a Catholic Bishop to go to bat for him and ease the way out of prison at the earliest possible moment. If he were being released in the interest of justice, why would they not also release his accomplice in the robbery who didn’t shoot anybody? The accomplice in the robbery, who shot no one, is still rotting away in prison, and he will continue to do so, because his family is not rich and well connected.
Thousands of young people from poor families in Indiana prisons will not be released early along with Mr Schmitt. Regardless of how much they have changed, or how repentant they are. Poor people who break the law in Indiana will continue to serve out their cruel, hard sentences without getting any influential help from politicians, Catholic Bishops, judges or lawyers. Even if, their sentences break the hearts of their mothers, or send their fathers to an early grave with grief.
This makes me ill with shame for our system, and I will not quietly pretend it is OK. It is NOT OK, it is political corruption at its very worst. Ordinary working people need to raise Holy Hell about it to both the Indiana state government, and to the Catholic Church, who helped to perpetrate this outrage. If we are going to let people out of prison early, let us release a few poor people, too. We have plenty of poor people locked up to choose from, and for much less serious crimes than Mr Schmitt committed, too.