Texas Justice: 17-Year-Old Boy Gets Eight Years in Prison for Phone Threat

Terrance Taylor of Tyler, Texas is a seventeen-year-old boy who did a stupid thing. In a prank, he called his rival high school and said that he was going to come over an open fire on the students. The adults then did an equally stupid thing: the sentenced him to eight years in prison for the prank rather than giving him probation. It is an example of prosecutors and judges have lost any sense of proportion or logic in sentencing.

There is no question that it was appropriate to treat the incident as a criminal matter and that Taylor should have been severely punished with a criminal conviction (no small burden for kid today). Taylor, moreover, correctly accepted responsibility and pleaded guilty to making a “terroristic threat.” His attorney Don Davidson (it appears that everyone has alliteration in their names in Tyler, Texas) expected probation. He insists that another kid prompted him to call and that it was a spur of the moment thing.

That seems pretty believable since he had no known guns, plans, or intent to carry out the threat. It was a stupid teenager act that results in a stupid adult reaction. For the full story, click here.

5 thoughts on “Texas Justice: 17-Year-Old Boy Gets Eight Years in Prison for Phone Threat”

  1. As long as prosecutor positions are available as political stepping stones we will be faced with ridiculous outcomes such as this. Also, in a cultural sense vast amounts of citizens have bought into an interpretation of crime and punishment that hasn’t evolved since the Salem Witch Trials. A sensationalized media whose motto is: “If it bleeds, it leads” reinforces a culture of fear. Finally, the idiot pundits and pols coming on after 9/11 saying “Now this changes everything,” have made fear and cruelty acceptable American values for a sizable minority.

  2. She said “we now live in a time where safety is of paramount concern.”

    Yet another example of the continuing legacy of Bush instilling fear, paranoia and intolerance that I ranted abot on a different thread. It’s going to take 10-15 years to wring this sickness out of our society. The love the almost poetic oxymoron in the title: Texas justice.
    Now, that’s funny! Jumbo shrimp, anyone?

  3. rafflaw:

    Scooter “outs” our spy during war-time and gets his sentence commuted and likely pardon on Jan 14. A kids get 8 years for being stupid in football crazy Texas.

    The article cites a school spokesperson who may have said the most prescient and sad thing of all:

    “Angela Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the Tyler school district, said that while the sentence was “severe in this circumstance,” the school takes threats very seriously. She said “we now live in a time where safety is of paramount concern.”

    I suppose fairness, understanding, and liberty take a backseat in Texas. Is is too late to give it back to Mexico?

  4. From the land of George W. Bush comes the latest example of overreaction by local justice officials. This kid gets 8 years for a first offense and what did Scooter Libby get? This is also an example of how far right this country has shifted during the Bush Administration. Barack Obama has a lot of work to do. Remind me not to look for a job in Texas!

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