Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Judge Rochester has a Change of Heart?

I've been following closely the story about Clay County Circuit Court Judge John Rochester's son being busted for trafficking in cocaine and marijuana. Rumor has it that John Alexander Rochester will turn states evidence in exchange for the trafficking charge being dropped and will be whisked away to treatment in the dark of night.

I spoke to some Clay County folks who want to participate in any protest I organize once Rochester Jr. is given treatment. I learned from them that this is the second time John Alexander Rochester has been arrested for drugs. They were unsure if the previous charge was for trafficking or simple possession. When I told them Rochester Jr. would likely be given treatment they reminded me of what Judge Rochester tells the souls that come before him on drug charges who ask for treatment, "There's a substance abuse program (SAP) in prison." So, that is what some of our signs for this protest will say. How bout them apples?

As I noted before Judge Rochester is notorious for handing down harsh sentences for simple possession. I saw him sentence a guy to 5 years in prison for simply possessing meth for personal use in Jan. of 2007. Lawyers from out of town won't take a case before him for less than double what they usually charge because they hate him so bad and they know it is futile to go before him on a drug case and expect a fair ruling.

So, imagine my surprise when I heard last week that a friend who had asked me for help on a trafficking charge got a 5 year probation sentence for trafficking from Rochester!! And he was on tape selling to an undercover twice. He also had a prior but it was granted youthful offender status. And he is BLACK! I've never seen Rochester sentence anyone to probation on a trafficking charge. NEVER! Especially not a black kid. And I grew up in Clay County and have sat in his courtroom many, many times.

I guess until Judge Rochester's boy is sent away to treatment under the cover of night we will see him hand down very light sentences for possession and trafficking. My guess is that once his young'un is taken care of he will return to being the jackass that he is known to be.

But not without a little input from others who have suffered his wrath in the past. I detest blatant hypocrisy, special treatment based on who your daddy is or how much money you have or both.


Christie O'Brien said...

Unbelievable. Guess the rules don't apply when it comes to dear daddy's precious lad.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, just perhaps, Judge Rochester will open his eyes and have a change of heart. Now that this "war" has come home to roost, the honorable jurist may see the devastation that he has caused to so many people. I look for the good in people.....Judge Rochester, can you look in the mirror? What do you see?

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you are talking about!! Where ever you are getting your information is WAY off!!! Alex will not turn states evidence and we know the charges will not be dropped!! Alex's family knows that Alex will have to take whatever punishment he receives (which I'm sure unless he goes away for life everyone will think is less than enough). You don't know the family or probably anyone involved. As far as hypocrisy goes, let the one without sin cast the first stone.

Loretta Nall said...

I am getting my info from inside sources. As I stated in this post what I am hearing are 'rumors' meaning just that...'rumors'. I will say however that my information is coming from some very reliable sources.

If you had bothered to read any of my posts relating to this matter you would know that I do not in fact want Alex Rochester or anyone else to go to prison for any drug violation for any length of time. That is why my career of choice is in drug policy and prison reform.

What I and others want is for justice to be meted out fairly, which probably won't happen in this case. We want to see punishment based on the charges and not on who you are related to or how much money or power you have. Others (who aren't judge's sons) in the same situation receive horrible sentences. From this young man's father. Surely, you can understand why the community, which has had so many young people sent to prison by Judge Rochester, would be very interested in the outcome of this case involving his son and some very serious drug charges. We all want to see that justice is equal and fair. Do you think it will be?

As to whether or not I know the family....I grew up in Clay Co., live in the next county down and still have a large number of family and friends there. I've never been to the Rochester house for dinner mind you....but I am well aware of who they are and the players in this game.

I never claimed to be 'without sin'. My 'sins' are widely known, as a matter of fact.