[Nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 93°F  
Feels like: 102°F
Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Connections garner a lighter sentence

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

For those convinced there is unequal justice in our society, the following case may give them ample ammunition. The case involves a troubled man with a powerful father.

Unfortunately, it seems in this case, the power of the father has provided his son with opportunities afforded few others. And in a nutshell, it stinks.

Joseph Lehman Jr., 38, entered a guilty plea last week to raping his two-month-old baby daughter. That alone is enough to turn your stomach and, regardless of the circumstances, it should qualify him for years if not a lifetime behind bars. Lehman's father heads the Corrections Department in Washington state and though everyone is denying it, it appears the father/son connection is extremely powerful.

If a judge agrees with the court's recommendations, Lehman will serve only six months behind bars, followed by treatment as a sexual deviant and lifetime corrections' supervision. So for raping an infant, he'll serve six months behind bars. I'll bet his fellow inmates - if given a chance - will make that the longest six months of his life.

The story actually gets worse. Lehman also acknowledged to the courts that he had fondled a 9 year-old girl back in 1997 though that case was never reported to police. And in 1989, Lehman was convicted of orchestrating a robbery of a bank security vehicle. He served one day in jail for that crime.

Granted, there may be more to this story than meets the eye. Perhaps there's a mental defect and Lehman will eventually spend his life in a hospital somewhere receiving treatment. But from the information available, it seems that Lehman is nothing more of a sicko who has eluded justice on more than one occasion. Is it because of his "connected" father? Or are the courts in Washington state just a bit more lenient than others around the country?

I am literally sickened by the criminals in this country who constantly play the race card and accuse society of providing a double-standard for some crimes. I think that argument is divisive and wrong. But then when you read stories such as Joseph Lehman Jr., you begin to understand why some cry "foul."

In some instances - though I hate to admit it - maybe they are right. A good way to help erase that argument would be to sentence Lehman to years and years behind bars. But in this case, that is apparently not in the cards.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: