Keith Dekker brings up a good point in his letter “Sentences should be just” (April 2). The comparison I like to use is between Charles Lynch’s case and the pending case of the San Luis Obispo County sheriff deputy arrested by the FBI for child pornography.
Both cases involve arresting federal agents, both involve Sheriff Hedges to some degree, and both include nonviolent crimes, though kiddy porn is damaging to kids who are victimized: Where’s Sheriff Hedges when you need someone to stand up for the kids and a community that prides itself on family values?
Lynch is free on $400,000 bail that his family posted with their own money and their own property. To put that amount into perspective, that figure is just shy of what the Drug Enforcement Administration has admitted to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee it has spent on medical marijuana raids in the last few years. The DEA figure does not include salaries, training, or equipment, but does include the raid and arrest of Charles Lynch. The sheriff’s deputy accused of child pornography is out on $5,000 bail.
The sentencing guidelines for Lynch range from five to 100 years, plus four years of probation once he gets out of prison. The sheriff’s deputy faces up to 10 years in federal prison and most likely will get far less.
I believe Lynch was raided, arrested, and convicted because a former employee allegedly sold marijuana to an undercover, paid criminal informant in front of an undercover SLO County sheriff’s narcotics deputy, at least 12 miles from the medical cannabis facility, in a parking lot of a Big 5 sporting goods store. How come Sheriff Hedges hasn’t been arrested on kiddy porn charges yet? I mean, if Lynch is going to be held accountable for an employee’s actions away from work, shouldn’t Hedges be held to the same responsibility?
One thing I learned by witnessing Lynch’s federal trial is the Justice Department needs to change its name to the Department of Injustice.