Is anyone else confused about the verdicts in several high-profile cases decided lately?
When Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller were convicted for the dog mauling of a Diane Whipple, it makes me wonder about our justice system.
Whipple‘s tragic death was probably avoidable and certainly the dog owners deserve punishment - but life imprisonment? No matter what you think about any display of cold-heartedness and negligence by the defendants, Whipple‘s death was a terrible accident. There is no evidence that Noel and Knoller ordered or allowed the dogs to attack anyone. Diane Whipple was not murdered.
On the other hand, Andrea Yates was convicted of murdering her five children and also received a life sentence. Is Marjorie Knoller‘s crime of inadequate pet control equal to Andrea Yates methodically drowning each of her children? I don‘t think anyone of sound mind can argue that Knoller‘s acts begin to approach the magnitude of Yates‘.
And how does Yates avoid capital punishment in Texas, a state that is known for frying the accused and asking questions later? Yates‘ mental state was not factored into her case, so the court concluded that Yates knew what she was doing during the crime.
If so, if anyone ever deserved the death penalty, it was Andrea Yates. Her case is one more example of why capital punishment should be banned. It never has been, nor will it ever be applied fairly.
The Pride of Petoskey.
On a lighter note, what a difference 15 years can make.
He was a nice kid but also the quiet one in a family of frequent communicators. He seemed mostly interested in playing cowboys and Indians though his father, brother, and uncle were all accomplished jocks at a young age.
Of course, the last time I saw Trevor Huffman he was only six or seven years old. These days he is often on national TV discussing his team‘s surprising rise to elite status in college basketball. Huffman is the star point guard for Kent State University, threatening to become the first Mid-American team to win an NCAA basketball title.
A graduate of Petoskey High School, Trevor Huffman may be one of the three most accomplished athletes ever to have origins in Northern Michigan - Dan Majerle of CMU/NBA fame and Mark Brammer at MSU and the NFL, the others. To put it mildly, he got game. Huffman definitely has a shot at making it in the NBA.
Talk about underdogs, the Kent State Golden Flashes are like no other prominent college basketball team in recent history. Until now, a university that is still known mostly for the tragic deaths of students shot in 1970 rather than sports, four of Kent‘s starters are 6‘3“ and under - Huffman is 6‘1“ and guard Andrew Mitchell is only 5‘11“. Squads this short would be towered over by many high school teams and are virtual midgets on the college level.
After impressive victories over Indiana last year and Alabama and Pittsburgh in this season‘s NCAA tournament, Kent State has proved they are for real. As we go to press, Kent State‘s tournament run has allowed them to join the final eight teams vying for the national championship. If Huffman can somehow propel Kent past Indiana again on March 23rd, a Final Four spot awaits this ultimate Cinderella team.
No matter what the outcome, Trevor Huffman has put Petoskey on the national map for the first time since... well, the discovery of the first Petoskey stone. Go Golden Flashes.