Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My definition

of 1st degree asshole:

Maria Welsh, formerly Susan LeFevre, was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison 32 years ago, at the age of 19, on heroin related charges (which is the absolute height of stupidity in and of itself--but the insanity of the drug laws in this country is a subject for another post). She escaped from prison and now, happily married for 23 years and the mother of 3 children, she was finally identified and caught today, and is in jail awaiting extradition to Michigan from California on charges of escape from prison. The news story from the associated press says

She was arrested April 24 outside her home in San Diego's posh Carmel Valley area, wearing a sweat suit and driving a black Lexus SUV. Authorities say her cover was blown by an anonymous caller who tipped Michigan authorities to her new name.

IMNSHO, the "anonymous caller" is a definition by example of 1st degree asshole. I hope they get a serious case of boils, lice, and Bell's Palsy, and that they learn that their biological father never had any children.

There's my rant for the week.


Pam Hogeweide said...

harsh sentencing for drug use is one thing; distribution is another. i couldn't tell from the details provided which it is for her. so here's the thing: at age 19y if you are selling something like heroin to supply your own habit, that is also one degree of providing a dangerous substance...but if you become deeply involved with vast quantities of heroin and this is resulting in damaging the community you live in, well, harsh sentencing could very well be justified.

so i hear your rant, but am not ready to rant with you since i do not know the details of her situation.

years ago there was a heroin dealer in portland who was selling a kind of heroin that was very lethal. many people od'ed from this particular dealer's distribution. that is serious, different though, from a young person possessing a small amount for personal use or small distribution to support personal addiction.

incarcerating drug users just for using is ridiculous. with that, i totally agree.......

Benjamin Ady said...


I hear you. But what I'm saying is: she's been out for 3 decades! And she has built a ... normal life, has a family, is raising her kids. And *now* someone *anonymously* turns her in? That is just ... rude. They should at least have the gumption to make their name public. How have they made the world a better place? What is it--revenge? That's really helping the world (not). We have the highest per capita incarcerated population in the *world* in this country. So now the rext of us get to pay 30,000 a year to cage this woman like an animal?

Or something.

crystal said...

it's always weird to not know the "full story", you know? i have to say, i agree with pam and at the same time, i get what you're saying, benjamin -- after THIRTY FRIGGING YEARS!?! come the same time, it could be looked (by me :))at as attempted murder if she was dealing, you know? baffling. i'm not ready to "asshole" anybody just yet, without knowing the whole story, but i get what you're saying, totally.

by the way, hope it's ok to leave comments, without actually knowing you -- if it's not, just let me know. :)

Benjamin Ady said...


You are enormously welcome to leave comments =).

I hear what you're saying about not being willing to "asshole" anybody. Probably I shouldn't have. My makeup is such that I ... don't cope very well with people secretly hurting other people. I go a bit too far that direction--wanting everything to be open and clear all the time. My lovely wife has had to teach me to temper this--if she tells me something about someone else--when we were first married, I would lean toward repeating it to the someone else, good or bad. She has very graciously trained this out of me. =).

Should the U.S. be prosecuted for deploying nuclear weapons against Japanese civilian populations 62 years ago? I mean even if you admit that it was wrong--it was 60 years ago. Who would that help?

How far do you carry that "dealing is attempted murder" thing? Alcohol, which is a far more dangerous drug than heroin in terms of total number of deaths every year, is as we speak being distributed by truck drivers all over the country. Are all the truck drivers guilty of attempted murder?

D said...

I have to say, I agree with Benjamin.

That's like having a bad check come back ten years later and land you in jail once you had finally gotten back on your feet.

Yeah, that happened to (not to me, thankfully). The asshole there, of course, is some major bank that I hope tanks in the whole "i-tried-to-make-too-much-money-on-the-backs-of-the-poor" scandal we are all experincing now.

Three decades. Wow.

Liz said...

so would you feel the same way if it was someone being outed for a murder or sticking up a convenience store in which someone was seriously injured? Or most especially (due to the strong emotions it evokes) a child molester who had since gone into recovery and repented for his/her crimes and apparently hadn't molested anyone since the jailbreak?

Anonymous said...

my personal opinion, as someone who came real close to making a career out of making these kinds of decisions is this: I would be looking into this persons background to see truly their character since the jailbreak. If that was on the up and up, I would not waste jail space and taxpayer dollars incarcerating them. However, I would put them on probation and sentence them to some serious community service. Preferably in the area of drug abuse prevention amongst the young. This woman DID probably ruin some lives even if she has no clue about it and for that there does need to be some sort of penalty or restitution even if that penalty is not incarceration.