Monday, July 11, 2011

New Protective Order - Worthless?

Steve Nunn, a onetime Kentucky legislator and governor-aspirant, shot and killed Amanda Ross, a state employee, in late 2009 after she had obtained a protective order against him in Fayette County Family Court. Since the two were not related, one wonders why anything was done through a Family Court. It would seem that the protective order should have simply been secured in whatever other court has always administered them. Recently, Nunn confessed guilt instead of going to trial, thereby bargaining his way out of a possible trip to the execution chamber, whatever it is now.

As a result of this sordid event, the state legislature spent an inordinate amount of time in 2010 – instead of passing a budget – debating and passing some sort of law requiring anyone with a protective order against him to be tracked via GPS, necessitating that he wear some sort of device at all times. There was great debate – much ado about very little – and a weak bill of some sort was coughed up. Some counties are not equipped to satisfy the law and all the counties are strapped for cash and probably won’t do much anyway. The budget was finally signed on May 30 in, of course, one of those boondoggle-for-the-lawmakers “special sessions.”

How does the tracker, assuming someone has to be monitoring the appropriate devices, know how close an offender is to the aggrieved, anyway, if he/she doesn’t know where the aggrieved is? Or, does the wearer of the device just have to stay away from a particular area, meaning that the order is virtually useless and assuming that the protective order doesn’t amount to house arrest?

There’s nothing new about protective orders and “domestic” violence. An inordinate amount of time and resources are expended by law-enforcement agencies and the courts in taking care of this stuff. While it’s true that in some instances vulnerable people need help, in many if not most instances the people who need these orders, or think they do, have brought much of their difficulty upon themselves and then expect the officials to bail them out of the messes into which they’ve gotten themselves.

Ross and Nunn had co-habited, apparently had fought, had split, and apparently Nunn figured the publicity had cost him a good state job. Who knows what else had been going on in this seamy business? The point is that the two had done their part in bringing about all the mess, including the protective order and murder. This happens all too often, especially with women who take their panties off one time too many and wind up with a problem when they turn the old boy away, perhaps for another old boy.

This may sound crass but taxpayers have a right to be unhappy when they spend money to clean up the messes caused by these woeful indiscretions, whether through domestic violence that often costs the lives of law-enforcement officers or just piling the courts with junk, the supposedly aggrieved either participating in the violence (he warn’t all that bad so the police [or po-lice] shouldn’t have been here even though I called them) or rescinding the orders.

Bottom line: Nunn would have carried out his objective even if he’d been wearing a GPS bracelet on both ankles and around his neck. The ladies need to understand that they should choose wisely, not party indiscriminately, stay sober, and avoid adultery and fornicating. Sound insensitive? So what!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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