Adult court for adult crime
After listening to testimony from both sides, Anderson County Judge Edgar Long made the difficult decision Friday that 15-year-old Jesse Osborne should be tried as an adult. Given the gravity of the charges, it appears the judge made the right decision.
Authorities say the teenager killed his 47-year-old father, Jeffrey Osborne, at their home; then drove to Townville Elementary and opened fire on children and teachers on the playground on Sept. 28, 2016. Six-year-old Jacob Hall, a first grader, died as a result of injuries in the shooting and several others were injured. Osborne was 14 at the time. He faces two counts of murder; three counts of attempted murder and five counts of possessing a weapon during a violent crime.
If convicted, he will likely go to jail for decades. Had the case stayed in juvenile court, Osborne would have been released at the age of 21 if he was convicted.
Before making his way to Townville Elementary School, Osborne researched school shootings in Columbine and Sandy Hook, authorities testified this week. He watched videos of kittens being tortured and talked about killing people on one of his social media accounts, according to testimony. He told detectives he would have taken more firepower to the school, but he couldn’t get into his father’s gun safe, according to testimony.…
Keeping the case in juvenile court may have provided Osborne with a second chance at life. But trying him in adult court means that if convicted, he will spend a large part of his life behind bars. That seems like a more suitable punishment for taking two lives.
Santee Cooper is more than power
The owner of the manmade lakes Marion and Moultrie, Santee Cooper was created more than a half-century ago to bring growth and development to rural counties by supplying electricity. Water was and is a logical extension of the mission.
But will the mission continue if South Carolina leaders decide to sell Santee Cooper in an effort to recoup money paid by customers of the utility and the electric cooperatives it serves for a failed nuclear reactor project in Fairfield County? Santee Cooper is a partner in that project with SCANA Corp., parent company of S.C. Electric & Gas Co.
With the primary focus on Santee Cooper as a power provider and suitors likely being big power producers, it is unknown what would happen with Santee Cooper’s other missions.…
Just as the governor and lawmakers must look at the big picture beyond customers paying for the failed nuclear project with regard to SCANA, the same applies with Santee Cooper. The state owns Santee Cooper and must be cognizant of the multiple roles it plays.
Tougher sentences for politicians
Another case in point that would indicate crime isn’t as risky surfaced this week when a judge sentenced former state Rep. Rick Quinn Jr. to two years on probation, 500 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine when Quinn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor corruption charge.
The former House majority leader was caught up in a Statehouse corruption investigation in which Quinn was accused of taking $4 million in unreported lobbyist dollars and doing their bidding on behalf of his father’s political consulting company. Quinn’s father, Richard Sr., has had a list of high-profile clients. In exchange for his son’s plea deal, and by cooperating with investigators, the elder Quinn avoided corruption charges himself.
One might argue that it’s not the penalty that comes from the commission of such crimes that acts as a deterrent at all, that those who commit these crimes get so full of themselves and think themselves too smart and too powerful to fail. That, to a large degree, makes perfect sense. Still, we’d like to see stiffer penalties and real time served behind bars, if not to test the theory, then to at least mete out more just punishment and give victims a little more satisfaction.