Those in trial should be commendedPublished 7:37pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012
It is often that I call the district attorney’s office asking for DA Michael Jackson.
I have come to love when I ask Jackson for a quote about someone facing charges and he often states, “We want to send a strong message out to the community.”
As thrilling as it is to sit in court cases in the county, it is even more thrilling waiting for the verdict to come back from the jury and watch that verdict send a strong message to the community. This is exactly what happened Tuesday night.
So far I have covered two trials, the most recent one being the trial of Johnny Lee Dukes who was convicted of capital murder on Tuesday for the shooting death of a three-year-old child.
When Jackson and the fellow attorneys in his office say they want to send a strong message out to the community about such-and-such crime, I believe it. I have seen it in action.
When Shannon Lynch addressed the jury, I had to hold onto the edge of my seat.
“A drive-by shooting that kills a small three-year-old — that only happens in big cities. That only happens in movies,” Lynch said. “That doesn’t happen here in Selma, but it did. It happened here.”
After speaking with the family of the three-year-old victim, it was great to know that they can begin to piece things together now. The grandmother of the child, Cheryl Williams, said the last two years have been a rough road for her daughter who lost her child.
This family that was hurting will now get closure as Johnny Lee Dukes was found guilty and given a life sentence without parole. There are still three more suspects in the case that are awaiting trial for capital murder. But Dukes, according to testimony, was the one who pulled the trigger and sent bullets through the walls of the home and struck little Rosjah J. Butler. This mother deserved closure.
Lynch said to the jury that every single person deserves and has the right to feel safe in their homes. Every person has the right to tuck their children into bed at night and not fear the hate and crime on the outside of their home’s walls coming in and harming their children.
Ameryus Butler, mother of baby Rosjah who lost his life, deserved this closure just as she deserved to be safe in her own home but wasn’t.
The law enforcement officials who worked tirelessly to gather evidence to put those behind bars that were involved in this drive-by shooting should be commended. The District Attorneys office should also be commended for their work in bringing a somewhat happy end and justice to a tragic story that should have never happened in the first place.
I hope a life without parole sentence does in fact send out a strong message to Selma that drive-by shootings will not be tolerated.