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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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.



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