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Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
August 30, 2006
by Tony Zizza

"I shouldn't be doing this, but I'm going to. I see positive things about participating in football."
-- Judge Gary McKinley

If you are one of those rare individuals who believes judges never inject their personal beliefs into the cases that are in front of them, perhaps the above noted quote will force you to think otherwise. This quote is attributed to a man who should not be a judge. Not even in traffic court. In my opinion, he is a disgrace. His judicial incompetence is proof positive that being an athlete in America's public schools, means there is always someone waiting to hand you a get out of jail free card.

A few weeks ago, this retired Union County juvenile judge from Ohio had the audacity to delay justice in a horrible automobile accident. Sure, two teenagers, (who happen to be school athletes), were not driving an automobile that caused another automobile to crash, but they might as well have been. The two teenagers are criminals just the same.

Here's what happened in Kenton, Ohio. Two football players from Kenton High School thought it would be fun to watch automobiles on a dark country road - swerve. That's right, swerve. You see, they knew automobiles would swerve once they put a plastic deer in the middle of the road. Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard made a clear choice to seek out free entertainment. Watching automobiles swerve on a dark country road away from a plastic "deer" isn't fun and games. Sounds like a desire to see a "live accident." That's not a prank.

So why aren't Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard in jail? After all, there was a horrible crash. No one died on the scene, but you might as well call it attempted murder. The driver, Robert Roby Jr, has suffered through eleven surgeries. He's a young man with a rough road ahead of him. As for his passenger, Dustin Zachariah, he has brain damage. The medical bills for both of these victims will hit one million dollars.

Their lives are in shambles, but Judge Gary McKinley, made a personal ruling from the bench and told the teenagers responsible for the accident - play ball! They are actually allowed to play football, and have fun, while two accident victims fight for their lives. Someone ought to bounce a pigskin off this alleged judge's head. Perhaps this would knock some sense into him, but I seriously doubt it. Justice delayed is justice denied.

We could talk forever on end about what can be called, the cult of the athlete in America today. Talk show hosts all over the country bring it up daily. Everyday it seems yet another athlete, whether they are in high school or in the pros, is being coddled and given incredibly "special" treatment. This case in Kenton, Ohio is especially troubling. Talk about an activist judge! I know the Kenton High School football team won state titles a few years ago, and this year looks promising, but where is the respect for the rule of law?

Kenton Schools Superintendent Doug Roberts supported Judge Gary McKinley's decision to delay the 60 day sentence in juvenile detention. Why did he support it? Is this truly in the interest of the school district? What kind of message is being sent to high school students accross the country? I guess it's - "if you're a jock, you walk." This is terrible.

Again, the medical bills for the two automobile accident victims will reach one million dollars. Their lives will never be the same, and they are completely innocent. Don't you think their families deserved to see justice handed down in this case? I don't think they expected to be slapped in the face by both Judge Gary McKinley and the two teenagers responsible for the automobile accident, and their families. The judge, the two teenagers, and the families of these two (criminal) teenagers should be ashamed of themselves. What have they done for Robert Roby Jr and Dustin Zachariah? What about their families?

Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard are under house arrest, and have to perform community service. What a joke. They have to pay some fines and are on the hook for restitution. An even bigger joke. Where are these thugs and their parents going to get at least one million dollars? Now, for the sickest joke I have heard all year. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Judge Gary McKinley actually ordered the pair to write an essay titled, "Why I Should Think Before I Act." Talk about a punishment - not fitting the crime. Remember, Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard were experiencing pleasure when they watched automobile after automobile after automobile swerve to miss the plastic deer they purposefully put on a dark country road. An automobile finally crashed. They watched.

And now, they will each become authors of their very own 500 word essay titled, "Why I Should Think Before I Act." Will Parade magazine publish the essays? Will Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard read the essays during halftime of the 2007 Superbowl? The denial of justice in this country to victims and their families is getting harder to watch, and tolerate. It's absolutely unacceptable. It's tearing a hole in the heart of this country's soul.

The way I see it, Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard should have had the moral fortitude to not play football this year. Out of a sense of sacrifice for the horrible crime they committed. It's pathetic that the judge in this case showed no adherence to the rule of law and common sense. Who then, are we left with? Curiously, the parents. Ah, yes. The proud parents of Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard. If they were actually good parents, they should have gone against the incompetent judicial order and physically prevented their sons from playing football at all this year.

Oh, I forgot. They can't do that. They probably think young Dailyn and Jesse are going to wind up on ESPN.

Zizza is a freelance writer who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes frequently about social issues.

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