Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Hard Truth From Orlando

And the tragedies continue. While we’ve come a long way in
recognizing domestic violence, legislating against violent crimes
targeting women and children, the murder of 23 year old Alissa
Blanton in Orlando, Florida, this week by 61 year old stalker
Roger Troy, highlights how much further we have to go in
getting the judiciary and law enforcement proactively on the
side of the human targets of random dysfunctional freaks. Who
knows what Brevard County’s Judge Dean Moxley was thinking
– or even if he was thinking – when he denied Ms. Blanton’s
petition for an injunction against her stalker-murderer, Roger
Troy. Plainly there was enough to send up alarm bells if the
judge was paying attention, and certainly enough to err on the
side of caution in issuing an emergency injunction. The
stalking/harassment had gone on for two years, and if
that wasn’t enough, the emails and complaint plainly
indicated that Troy was willing to travel over 40 miles
in one direction from his home in Cocoa Beach order to
stake out Ms. Blanton’s home and work place in Orlando.
That alone shows a real obsession and scary determination
on the part of this fruitloop which should have triggered
all kinds of alarms in Judge Moxley’s mind.
But I bet I can guess what Judge Moxley was thinking. He’s
a white, older, middle-class male – deep down, he doesn’t get
it. He’s never been victimized by a member of the opposite
sex; never been stalked; never been put in daily fear for his
own safety simply because of his gender. He looked at this
petition, as he’s looked at dozens of others, said, well, she used
to work at Hooters, and she can’t be that nice, not and be a
Hooters girl. And the stalking has gone on for two years and
she’s just now getting upset? There’s something wrong with
her. And it’s not like a domestic violence case where there are
mandatory legal requirements – this guy is just someone who
used to be a customer where she was a waitress, no reason for
them to be in contact.

So he denied the emergency injunction, scheduled a hearing
two weeks out, notice was sent to the bad guy, and Alissa died
at the hands of her stalker. And, even if Roger Troy didn’t
receive the notice of the pending action against him, chances
are that, in effect, such notice would have signed Alissa’s
death warrant, just as it has in so many other cases where
the victims had active injunctions in place against their killers
and the paperwork proved the trigger to the final violence,
rather than the solution.

Advocates are trying to end the legal notification of abusers
until the restraining order is a done deal. And that’s for the
protection of the petitioners. It doesn’t mean the respondent
– the accused – doesn’t have any rights. They absolutely
have the right to legally challenge the restraining order in
court. But frankly, there’s no reason they can’t challenge
the order after it’s issued. Civil rights advocates would say
that’s a violation of the respondent’s Constitutional rights to
confront witnesses against them in court. Well, an injunction
is a civil action – not a criminal action, and it’s there simply
to give the police legal backing to confront an abuser and
probable cause to arrest if necessary if the situation merits.

And I wouldn’t be too concerned about the perpetrator’s
rights when he’s so patently in violation of his victim’s rights.
But the other lesson from this hideous event is simply, an
injunction does not make you bullet-proof. If you’re waiting
for the police or the judicial system to save you, you’re dead.
Safety is in your hands. Pacifist idiots preached the juvenile
silliness of maybe getting in trouble for standing up to bullies
until law-abiding, decent citizens are afraid to do more than
cringe, lock their doors and try to hide from the predators.
If we’re going to curtail this phenomenon of people being
casually murdered by losers who kill because they’re too
dysfunctional to get a date, maintain a relationship without
violence, or just plain socialize in a general population, then
instead of trying ineffectively to play protector, we need to
teach our daughters to be aware and to get tough. A
predator needs to know if he reaches out and the touch
isn’t welcome, he’s going to pull back a bloody hand – and
his target will be the one drawing blood. An obsessed freak
sending emails and hatching bizarre plots in his twisted brain
needs to be brought sharply to reality with criminal, not civil,
charges shining a public spotlight on his destructive activities.
And rest assured, there was any number of criminal charges
that could have been leveled against Mr. Troy early on in
preceding two years which would have been much more
effective in stopping his vicious campaign of intimidation
and eventual homicide than a civil injunction.
Our daughters need to know that being nice doesn’t have to
mean being weak. Our daughters need to know more than
how to dial 911 on a cell phone if they’re in a dangerous
situation. And when all is said and done, if every legal
means is ineffective or impractical and the wolf is at the
door, our daughters need to know they should tell the bad
guy to come on in while she has her finger on the trigger –
and pull it point-blank. It’s not a pretty solution, but it
beats the alternative of her family in mourning, playing
forever the woulda, shoulda, coulda game that resolves
nothing and brings no one’s daughter back.

Prayers for Alissa Blanton and her family and all the
victims of self-absorbed losers everywhere.

Florida Cracker

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