The Florida criminal justice system is well-known for its failures. High profile cases like Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman make the Sunshine State the laughing-stock of American justice.
Case in point: 57-year-old Dennis Eugene Emery of Pinellas Park had contact with police thirty-four times, including three arrests in the past five days for aggravated assault, domestic battery, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.
Emery had previously been convicted of OUI, concealed weapons charges, and public intoxication. He was charged with domestic abuse in 2013 but the charges were dropped.
This man obviously had issues with anger and violence. Florida has what’s called the “Baker Act,” which allows family members or officials from the state to have someone with Emery’s issues held for twenty-four to seventy-two hours for observation.
Judges can also refuse bail or deem someone a threat to themselves or others. How this man’s issues were overlooked is a testament to the uncaring nature of the justice system of not only Florida, but most red states.
Three arrests, five days — two of them for violent offenses — yet somehow this man was allowed out of jail to do more damage.
Unfortunately for him, the karma train stopped at Emery station.
While arguing with his wife, Emery took out his revolver, cocked the hammer after threatening to shoot her, and accidentally shot himself in the face.
Emery was pronounced dead at the scene.
No death should be taken lightly, and certainly this is no laughing matter. You do have to wonder had the incident not gone the way it did if we’d be reading Mrs. Emery’s name in the news instead.
Florida failed this man, his wife and their family. He should have been locked up tight and given either the sentence he deserved or the help he needed. Instead, he was allowed to post bond or was released on recognizance, his anger obviously unsatisfied.
At least the state doesn’t have to worry about botching his prosecution.
Image: Charles Topher