In the wake of a terrible tragedy that has affected friends both from my past and present, I have decided that I am tired of sitting around and watching more and more families suffer. We live in a time where kidnappings, murders and sexual assault are not something that shocks a community and for that I am outraged.
Heather, Celina and Wayne Jackson were not friends of mine but they were acquaintances and we had many friends in common. On September 8, 2012, 23 year old Heather Jackson and her two children Celina, 3 and Wayne 18 months, were found dead inside their home. The suspect, Curtis Clinton, a 41 year old convicted felon was charged with aggravated murder on September 10, 2012 in connection with their murders.
Curtis Clinton had just gotten out of prison in February of 2012 on an assault and involuntary manslaughter charge. Mr. Clinton had already strangled and killed an 18 year old girl in Fostoria, Ohio and served his 13 year sentence and was released. Because Curtis Clinton did not intend on killing his first victim he was not charged with murder. Does anyone else see a problem?
We as citizens in Ohio, in the United States, have a right to be heard. We have a right to stick up for our children, family members and friends that continue to be victims of these heinous crimes. Why can someone murder someone, whether it be intentional or not and be released from prison? Or in many cases live off of our taxes for 20-50 years because they avoided the death penalty either by getting a life in prison sentence, or because they appeal their sentence over and over while they wait on death row. Why should anyone that commits a crime against an innocent child be allowed to walk the streets to do it again?
I do not know about the rest of Ohio but I am tired of seeing repeat offenders be allowed to have that title, “repeat”. Second chances for murders, rapists and abusers should not be allowed. We need to take a stand! Had Curtis Clinton been thoroughly punished for his FIRST crime, he would not have been walking the streets to kill Heather and her children. Instead of this man having just one victim he now has four. Instead of our justice system giving this man a death sentence for taking the life of his first victim, we now have another family and community mourning the death of three innocent people.
Our justice system has failed Heather, Celina and Wayne. They suffered through sexual assault, torture and then were murdered because our justice system has failed them, it has failed us all. We need to be heard on this. We need to express our anger, pain, fears and let them know that we will not stand for another innocent life to be taken, for another child to cry out in pain because of an abuser. We must stand up for the people that no longer have voices so that we can protect the ones that are still here.
Any person that commits a crime against a child, physically or sexually should be sentenced to a life term in prison. Any person that has committed murder should be sentenced to death. These people should not be allowed to appeal their cases without evidence that they were not the person that committed the crime. These people should pay for their selfish, sickening crimes. If we do not do something to change this who will? In Heather, Celina and Wayne’s honor, we need to take a stand.
Write local judges; write the senator, governor, the president! Make phone calls and do not stop until we are heard. Do not allow another person to suffer like the community of Sandusky, Ohio is. Do not allow another family to feel the pain that so many others have felt at the hands of a disturbed and sick person. For Heather, Celina and Wayne help us honor them and the many others that have been victims of murder, sexual assaults and abuse. Take your place in this fight for REAL justice. Work together as a community, a state and nation to say that we will not allow this to continue. Together we can take a stand to change the laws that have failed us for so long.
So today I bring to you an idea, a way for us all to take a stand against the acts of violence that are growing; Heather’s Law. This is a law that consists of a new set of regulations for people that commit murder and crimes against children in Ohio. If we can succeed in getting the Ohio government to listen then maybe we can get the nation too.
No person should take the life of another without receiving the death penalty. Whether it was a pre thought out act or just a random act of violence, those who take it upon themselves to end someone else’s life do not deserve to walk the streets that the rest of us do and do not deserve to live out their lives eating three meals a day and receiving medical care on our dollar.
The second part of this proposal to the government will be just as controversial as the first part. ANY act committed against a child, whether it be physical or sexual abuse will be an automatic life term in prison. I know that the first thing many will think is that that is on our dollar, but in reality do you see that you are protecting our children from pain and suffering? What message do we send when we allow a person to abuse a child and then release him to do it again? There is no proof that these people get better. You cannot give me as a parent and victim of molestation as a child any concrete evidence that says that there is a cure for people that do these selfish acts.
It is time that we stand together as a community and fight the fight that has been ignored for so long. We must protect the people in this country because no one else will. We have to protect our kids because no one else will. We have to start somewhere and I am asking that you start here, today, in Heather, Celina and Wayne’s honor. Help us protect our future.