Convicts are 2014’s newest celebrities

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In recent news, it appears that convicts and criminals are becoming celebrities.

Ray Jasper, a Texas inmate who has been given the death penalty, will be put to death today.

He has written a letter in regards to how jail has played a negative role in his life as well as how he feels his death penalty is a tad  extreme.

Jasper was convicted in 1998 for a robbery, which resulted in the death of studio owner David Alejandro. Jasper was a teen at the time of the robbery and was sentenced to death row.

Controversy has risen about Jasper’s sentence because although he participated in the robbery, he did not kill the victim. Jasper slit the victims throat, however, the autopsy report stated that the victim died from being stabbed 20 times, which was done by Jasper’s accomplice.

Personally, I do believe that the justice system has been a bit extreme in their sentencing. There have been cases and instances where there was clear evidence of murder, yet the verdict was found “not guilty.”

Other abiders of the law feel differently. Many believe Jasper is getting what he deserves and feel that his letter is a means to cop out of a punishment well deserved.

Dallas News reporter Jacquielynn Floyd wrote an article called “Stop turning death row inmates into tragic celebrities.” In this article, Floyd begins with “Want to end the death penalty in Texas? Quit being a sucker.”

She concludes that Jasper’s letter in which he makes references to Gandhi and Martin Luther King is manipulative, and although well written, it will not be enough to change hearts on the matter.

Floyd makes vital points especially since her feelings of convicts being celebrated is a mutual feeling I have in regards to George Zimmerman.

Since the Trayvon Martin trial, Zimmerman has been in the news for gun charges, rumors of domestic abuse, and two instances where he would participate in a celebrity-boxing match.

This past weekend, he allegedly shot himself and his conditions whether dead or alive were unknown.

Why is this acceptable? It is frowned upon for a man who has served time for his actions to write a letter to prevent his death, but a man who killed a boy and got away with it is one of the most infamous people talked about.  

Our community is also responsible for a lot of Zimmerman’s highlights, especially when rumors of Zimmerman fighting DMX in the celebrity-boxing match arose.

The attention criminals are getting is utterly disrespectful and is not justice.  Fighting DMX is not seeking justice for our community, but it is celebrating actions that have affected our community.  

Situations like this make you question the policy and motives of the judicial system. Although laws vary from state to state, instances like this make you question the motives behind these laws that are being enforced.

—Email Meagan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @itsme_agannn

  • Meagan Jordan, Opinions Editor