Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Warnings

The Uma Thurman situation is further evidence of mishandling of potential troublemakers.

December 12, 2007

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Actress Uma Thurman has good reason to be uneasy these days. A former psychiatric patient has rejected a plea offer that would have put him into a mental health facility and settled the charges against him for stalking the 37-year-old actress for nearly two years. Jack Jordan refused to plead guilty in New York to attempted coercion. It is a felony the court would have reduced to a misdemeanor once he completed at least a year in a mental health program.

Jordan is free on $10,000 bail. He is accused of following and contacting the actress since 2005. The coercion charge stems from Jordan allegedly saying in an e-mail that he might kill himself if he saw Thurman with another man. He is a graduate student at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and is now living with his parents in Massachusetts.

Can anyone blame Uma Thurman for being more frightened than ever and hiring full-time security? Time and again we encounter unbalanced and aberrant people, who show every sign of doing harm to someone, but let them circulate in society until they resort to violence. Consider the mass killings at Virginia Tech earlier this year and the way danger signs about the intent and behavior of the murderer were ignored.

Consider that the 19-year-old mall gunman in Omaha, Neb., had in past times made it clear his goal was to kill people. Would the lives he took in the shopping mall been saved if someone had taken sufficient note of his attitude and intent?

Celebrities repeatedly are hurt or killed because someone somewhere is too timid to stand up, say "no more" and put people where they cannot do harm to satisfy some personal demon. One needn't be in the public eye to be a target, as illustrated at Virginia Tech and in the Omaha mall massacre.

We certainly will hear from people who contend that courts should be more rather than less lenient with potential troublemakers. But how many times do judges allow these people freedom only to see them maim, kill or engage in some other type of violence?

The Thurman incident seems to be a classic case of setting the stage for tragedy. Courts are designed to protect innocent people. Why don't they do a better job? Let's hope we don't have to watch as Uma Thurman becomes one of the latest victims of such a "tolerant" philosophy.

Comments

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm try John Lennon on for size or maybe President Reagan.

Kathy Getto 7 years, 4 months ago

They don't care until someone gets hurt.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

I was thinking Reagan, as the shooter wrote letters to Jody Foster saying he was going to hurt someone, but never said who. No one dreamed it would be the President, but James Brady would have been saved a lot of pain and suffering if the threats would have been taken seriously.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

Actress Rebecca Shaeffer was shot at her front door by her stalker. It wasn't Omaha style, but it was a case where he wasn't taken seriously.

antney 7 years, 4 months ago

Who wrote this opinion?
Why are you blaming the courts for a problem that is perpetuated by our own culture?
- Prisons are underfunded and overcrowded. They don't do a good job of corrections but rather foster environments that make better criminals.
- Any idiot can own a gun in our society but requires a license to drive a car - TV ratings are based on sex and not violence. 24 shows people being tortured and that's OK but Janet Jackson shows a little skin and everyone's at an uproar - Video games teach our kids to kill without remorse or consequence and people line up for days to buy the latest

Its just to easy to blame it on the judge who hears thousands of cases every day. You know, the cases that don't make the news because it doesn't involve a celebrity or has enough carniage.

pomegranate 7 years, 4 months ago

Ant: Of course any "idiot" can own a gun--it's a "right" to bear arms. And of course a driver needs a license as it is a "privilege" to drive.

Confrontation 7 years, 4 months ago

"The coercion charge stems from Jordan allegedly saying in an e-mail that he might kill himself if he saw Thurman with another man."

Okay. Here's how we solve this: Lock the idiot in a room, give him a handgun, and show him pictures of Thurman with other men. One loser down.

jayhaitch 7 years, 4 months ago

"Would the lives he took in the shopping mall been saved if someone had taken sufficient note of his attitude and intent?"

No. They would still die. Their lives may, however, have been prolonged.

saxplayer24 7 years, 4 months ago

Confrontation, I like your thinking....clear and to the point.

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