by Timothy Rollins
"Beneath the Surface"
FEBRUARY 7 In what can only be called a breath of fresh air, Montgomery County (Maryland) District Judge Stephen P. Johnson sentenced convicted rapist and disgraced boxer "Iron Mike" Tyson to a year in jail and that he be held without bail. This was for assaulting two motorists in a minor fender bender near Gaithersburg, which occurred last August.
In a day and age where celebrity status seems to confer license to act however one pleases without regard to consequence, it renews ones faith in the criminal justice system when a judge and/or jury steps up to the plate and makes a difference. Ordinarily, the term criminal justice is all too often an American oxymoron.
Most Americans believe O.J. Simpson, who got off the hook for a double murder in California, should have received an all-expense-paid trip to the San Quentin gas chamber. Unlike Simpson, Mike Tyson has now been sentenced a second time for behavior that was most accurately and recently described by Judge Johnson as a "tragic example of potentially lethal road rage". The judge further went on to say, "He repeatedly acts and speaks impulsively and violently," and also added, "He's almost predictable in this way."
Say what you want, but Mike Tyson is not some poor misunderstood soul. Through his ongoing pattern of vicious assaults, he has demonstrated that he is indeed an animal that should be caged. Like Judge Patricia Gifford in Indiana before him, Judge Johnson has shown great moral courage in sending a message that the law applies to all people, and that the rich and famous (or in Tysons case, notorious) must live by the same rule of law as the rest of us.
Speaking of Tysons rape conviction in Indiana in 1992, let us remember that although convicted, this scumbag was treated with kid gloves while in the Indiana prison system. Bear in mind that at the time of his rape conviction, he was 25 years old. In any other case, convicted rapists 18 and over usually go to the State Prison in either medium or maximum security wings, and they usually draw a 10-15 year sentence.
Tyson, on the other hand, goes to the Indiana "Youth Center" yeah, right. On his first day there, he gets in trouble for giving an object of value to another prisoner his autograph. Why anyone would want Tysons autograph is beyond me. Tyson serves only three years of his sentence before his celebrity status gets him out on parole.
Did Tyson learn anything from his extended stay as a guest of the State of Indiana? It does not appear so. If anything, it only deepened the rage and further advanced the course of depravity with which this individual views human life. Since his release, there have been numerous scrapes with innocent people, mostly with women, and almost all of whom had their silence bought with five, six or seven-figure settlements not to tell. Kind of like Michael Jackson. Ever notice he doesnt take on men in his own age group? Perhaps there is a reason for it. Hey, you never know.
Judge Johnsons ruling not only reminds Tyson that he is not above the law, but it also alerts Judge Patricia Gifford in Indiana that Tyson has violated his parole and should be considered for parole revocation. In doing so, Gifford should make Tyson serve the balance of his sentence only this time it should be in the regular prison and Tyson should be made to live with the rest of the general population.
In order for Tyson to fully appreciate the consequences of his actions, he should live with the general population of other hardened criminals, for that is not only what he is, but has in fact, shown his preference for that lifestyle. Let him live in fear of bending over in the shower to pick up a bar of soap he drops.
Perhaps then we will find out just how tough "Iron Mike" really is. ***
© 1999 Timothy Rollins and RIGHT Magazine