Lack of Investigation Leads to Lack of Evidence Leads to Lack of Punishment

We’ve talked a lot about Audrie Pott and the ensuing investigation by the Sheriff’s Office after this young woman’s death.  We’ve discussed the impact of decisions to delay justice.  Today, the Mercury News gave us real, tangible proof that the Sheriff’s Office failure to act in a timely manner in the Audrie Pott case, because of decisions made higher up the ladder had an impact on the case as a whole.

“But while an attorney representing Audrie’s family said early on that the photos went viral online, the new information reveals that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to prove the boys circulated the photos widely.”

Evidence in the form of cell phones and Facebook posts that if they were collected immediately, would have impacted the sentencing of these three boys.  Three boys who have admitted what they did, but seem to have failed to learn the lessons of what they did as evidenced by their continued misogynistic activities.

Because of the lack of evidence to the secondary part of this crime — the viral distribution of the equivalent of child porn — two of these criminals have spent 30 days in jail, on weekends.  The third little criminal is spending 45 days in jail.  Yes… 30 to 45 days in jail after being charged and convicted of 2 felonies each.  It pays to know people in Santa Clara County and it pays well.

For sexual assault, distribution of child pornography and who knows what other crimes that have not been fully released because they are protected by their ages, these young men barely got a slap on the wrist for a crime that has gotten other nationally covered cases 1-2 years in jail.

I guess, considering the outcome of the De Anza rape case and the lack of investigation there because a captain didn’t want to dent his over time budget, we should be thankful these rapists received any punishment at all.  Improvement, but barely and mostly because of dumb luck, not because of any action taken by the Sheriff to make clear to her top level personnel that crimes will be investigated without delay due to budget, hurt feelings or any other reason.

To think, the Sheriff, if she cared more about her office than her own status, could have prevented such ludicrously insignificant sentences by simply allowing the deputies in her office to do the job they were hired to do in a timely manner.

Undermining her personnel for her own political benefit has turned into undermining the victims of violent crimes again and again.

It’s time for a new Sheriff in town.  Vote Kevin Jensen for Sheriff in 2014.

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4 thoughts on “Lack of Investigation Leads to Lack of Evidence Leads to Lack of Punishment

  1. Casey, my post was not a snip at the line level staff, sergeants or Lt’s, it goes farther up the food chain. I know most everyone involved in those investigations and would trust any to do the right thing. It’s from the top these things take on a new and ugly reality. It’s time for those at the top to be changed, the change is Kevin Jensen.

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    • Fair enough. I know you support the line level staff. I just wanted it to be crystal to anyone that reads this blog that it was not line level that found the lack of effort on these cases acceptable and that line level personnel have paid a professional price in some cases trying to get administration to do the right thing.

      I want people who read these blogs to understand they still have a lot of amazing and capable personnel in their Sheriff’s Office — both in corrections and in the SO itself, no matter how badly she tries to divide them to drive down morale — I want people to know that this office can still be turned around at this point and there are hundreds of people who work there that are ready to do what it takes. But they need a new leader to do it… and they’re counting on the voters to make that happen.

      Another 4 years of Sheriff Laurie Smith will bring entirely different dynamics. Much like while Measure B was on the plate in SJ, deputies are talking about what happens in she wins. Many are reaching out to other agencies now, many are considering an early retirement rather than deal with it. In an office that is already short staffed by as many as 75-100 people, they could easily look at losing another 50 or so in the first 6 months after a Laurie Smith win, already at the cliff’s edge, will be unsustainable.

      There is an impact to allowing political favors to rule the Sheriff’s office for another 4 years.

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  2. This story (Potts Case) must tear at any parents heart. The sentences handed out, if you can call them that, cry out “lack of justice”. This family lost a daughter and Audrey lost her dignity due to the decisions made that night. Just because you live in Saratoga, it should not allow for this poor performance by the Sheriff’s Office and all involved. May she rest in peace.

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    • Fed Up, let’s be clear — whether it was the Pott case, the De Anza case, the Lamar case, it’s my understanding that line level personnel and line level management (Sergeants) did fight to make the right thing happen. Case after case, orders come down from on high and they come from people who clearly either know nothing or care nothing about the role of law enforcement.

      It is clear the only way we can get change and protect the citizens of this county is to vote for a new sheriff. She has again and again proven that she will allow the status quo that has resulted in these cases to remain. She has had years since De Anza to change the way things happen. She has made her choice, the public has clear evidence of that choice now, unfortunately at the cost of the well-being of far to many young women.

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