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Mount Vernon Police Officer Mike McClaughtry ought to be home with his family for Christmas, not fighting for his life in Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.
Ernesto Lee Rivas is a thug, a career criminal who should be living out his days in a Washington State prison. He is not.
Washington State's Hug-A-Thug pandering to violent repeat offenders like Ernesto Lee Rivas (with his 8 felony convictions) put the career criminal back on the street instead of behind bars for life, where he belongs.
Unfortunately for Officer McClaughtry and his family, state prosecutors felt it was more important to give Rivas a plea bargain than to send him to prison.
Yakima Police were furious. They wanted Rivas off the street for life, given his long and violent criminal history. Prosecutors disagreed and Rivas laughed his way out of jail with this jab at police.
“I take this plea bargain to avoid a third strike. Oh, by the way, does that mean I got four balls and a walk?”
I suppose I'd be laughing in the face of police too, if I was a scumbag like Ernesto Lee Rivas and I just avoided a life sentence by making a deal with moronic state prosecutors.
Rivas is back in police custody, though, after a long standoff with police at a Mount Vernon residence. Unfortunately, despite repeatedly firing on police officers outside that residence, those fine officers restrained themselves and did not riddle both the residence and Ernesto Rivas' body with bullets.
My prayer is for the full and complete recovery of Mount Vernon Police Officer Mike McClaughtry as well as for his family, friends and fellow officers as they deal with McClaughtry's fight for survival instead of celebrating Christmas with him.
I also pray the Washington State prosecutors who made the deal that put Rivas back on the street suffer from intense and excruciating intestinal discomfort for the next year or two and, should Officer McClaughtry lose the battle for his life, they join Rivas in prison for the rest of their days.
That would be most fitting. In fact, they ought to rot in prison for the rest of their lives, regardless.
When the justice system places criminals above mere citizens, this is what happens.