Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bakersfield Justice

The Kern County D.A. has decided NOT to seek the death penalty for the man who is suspected of dousing his girlfriend with gasoline and setting her on fire. (Huh? ) Normally the D.A. would seek the death penalty for jay walking around here. The paper says, “The prosecution believes that Israel Evaro” set his girlfriend on fire last June. Jacqueline Ortiz suffered in a burn center for six months before finally dying.

Public records show that Evaro has been arrested twenty-four times since 1998. Most of the cases have been archived, so it’s hard to say what those arrests where for. The rest show that he had been arrested several times for spousal abuse, inflicting corporal injury on a co-habitant, threatening with intent to terrorize, and battery on a person. He never served any time for those offenses. He served 47 days for possessing burglary tools and resisting arrest. Does anybody else see something wrong with this picture?

I am not a proponent of the death penalty, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t help but think there’s something screwed up when the D.A. will spend years and years and thousands of dollars to send a cop killer to death row, but refuses to go after a man who terrorizes, abuses, and finally kills an innocent woman.

Or maybe that woman just isn’t as important.