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Sparks Shower Judge, Clerk at Arson Trial

By Absolutely ·

"By Associated Press
Wed Feb 15, 1:09 PM

PONTIAC, Mich. - An arson trial was interrupted when sparks from an electrical fire showered the judge and his clerk while a fire chief was testifying.

Despite the problem, the trial continued in Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Daniel O'Brien's courtroom, and a jury on Tuesday found a teenager responsible for setting fire to a home in Brandon Township.

"Sparks were falling all over the judge and the clerk," the teen's attorney, Larry Kaluzny, told The Oakland Press. "It was crazy."

No one was hurt from the sparks, which apparently came from a light fixture while the Brandon Township fire chief was on the witness stand.

"It was ironic," said Jeff Franklin, the clerk, who added that there was a popping noise, then the sparks flew from the ceiling. "We had to proceed with fewer lights."

Maintenance crews fixed the problem overnight.

The 15-year-old boy was accused of setting fire to a house in September 2004, causing $80,000 in damage.


Information from: The Oakland Press,

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."

The story itself is slightly amusing, but the arsonist's sentence is not at all.

True, the sentence is not cited in the story and I don't know exactly what it is, but we all know what sentencing guidelines prescribe for minors, and that those perverted guidelines allow the little prick to not fully compensate the victims -- the owner(s) of the house & the insurance company that will foot the bill, which actually means all holders of fire insurance policies with that company, because all their premiums are increased by this little prick, who is able to live its entire worthless life in a mostly civilized society, where it can one day work 8 hours a day, never learn a skill, and destroy 10 (or more?) times more value in its worthless lifetimes than it produces.

It would not be cruel and unusual punishment to sentence the little prick that set fire to somebody else's home to work at any job it was able to acquire, live in a tent, crap in a hole in the ground or its own tent for all I care, survive on military rations and pay all its wages to the victims until it has fully reimbursed the $80,000 it did not earn but had the arrogance to destroy.

Debtors prisons were eliminated because they were unjust, and rightly so. Willful, malicious destruction of property is a completely different topic, but for some reason all property crimes are handled with about the severity as painting graffiti on a concrete wall, which may deface it, but doesn't degrade its ability to serve its function. Crimes should be punished according to damage done, not according to fuzzy, "compassionate", irrational wishes that kindness will rehabilitate everybody.

The destruction of another person's home is not a minor act of mischief. It is not an exaggeration to say that all arsonists choose to take gamble that the inhabitants of the buildings they burn will die. They are as casual about life as murderers but get their thrills from fire, not blood. Arsonists should not be treated by courts as victims of unfortunate circumstances, even if they happen to also be victims of unfortunate circumstances.

Please, disagree, and explain why the victims of crimes are entitled to something less than full restitution of all damages done, paid by the criminal, regardless of how long it takes the criminal to earn the money at whatever work it is able to be hired to do.

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