Teens getting sentenced to life…How sad has our society become? This article will open a lot of eyes.

I was involved with a case where a teenager received three life sentences for a crime not involving a death or rape. Yes, you read that right. I testified on what goes on in prison and if this young man was rehabilitated.

After the case Graham v Florida was decided by the United States Supreme Court all cases where a teen was sentenced to life without parole for a case where no murder or rape was involved they had to be re-sentenced.

In the case I was on the judge sentenced the teen to forty years. I was shocked and very disappointed in our system. I know it is a flawed system, but before the judge made his ruling I had some faith that justice would be tempered with mercy. Sadly, it wasn’t. I will gladly debate redemption and rehabilitation with anyone, but someone has to have a heart to start the process.

A great case was put on by two very smart and capable attorneys Mark Germain and James Coulter. I look forward to their appeal. They had all there i’s dotted and t’s crossed and it all fell on deaf ears. The case from the outset had a lot of questions I think need to be asked.

I also think the judge had his mind already made up. Was he scared to overturn a fellow judge’s case? Maybe! It is cases like this that make you wonder where our judicial system is headed. I want to emphasize this, I feel for victims, but no amount of time will heal a victim unless they heal themselves.

I also believe if this teenager was white, he wouldn’t have received a life sentence from the start. This case stinks to high heaven. Another stain on Brevard county.

There are 129 cases throughout the country where a teen received a life sentences without parole for a crime not involving a death or rape. 77 are from Florida. Nearly 60% of all cases come from Florida. What are you doing Florida? Is that the kind of reputation Florida wants? Maybe so, but I will never give up on fighting a broken system.

People need to know about the injustices that go on. The next time you vote for a judge, politician, sheriff or anyone who makes decisions ask yourself; Do I want a person who understands justice, forgiveness, mercy and understanding? Or do I want a hard-nosed individual that only understands black and white. I’ll take the former rather than the later any day.

We had a police commander steal drugs from an evidence locker in West Melbourne and a chief cover it up. The commander was retired at a $3,200 a month pension and no arrest. When it gets exposed by a police officer in a letter to a councilmen, the councilmen is vilified. (kill the messenger mentality) The chief eventually gets fired, but get this, he sues. What planet am I living on? I know people in prison for 10 years who did less than the chief, no less the commander.

The system is broke. We wonder why it is getting out of hand and there is a big feeling of “us against them” mentality with regards to the police and civilians. I respect people, not badges. I honor the police officers who do well, and thank them daily, but we need to expose the bad ones. Not cover it up.

Read my book Gangster Redemption and it will open your eyes.

Expect a lot more articles that say it like it is. It will probably make the people who are doing wrong mad, but that is okay. I will gladly debate the system and justice with anyone.

Larry Lawton