A Life-Saving Sentence
As you can tell from the pages of this paper, the past two weeks were busy ones in the courtroom of the Wetzel County Courthouse. Several defendants found themselves sentenced to prison, mainly for drug-related offenses.
At one point, despite two defendants being found applicable for the drug court program, the Judge David W. Hummel said he was following his gut instinct. He said he felt the two defendants would wash out. Therefore, he sentenced them to prison. Notably, one of these defendants is pregnant.
In another case, the judge lamented that he feels like a failure when he sees no other choice but to send a defendant to prison. In this specific case, both Kayla Gavula and Christopher Henderson were convicted of meth-related offenses.
There was honestly no other alternative in this case. Christopher Henderson continued to engage in meth even after being burned on 60 percent of his body. What choice is left? Sending Henderson to prison is, in essence, saving his life. Likewise, sending a pregnant defendant to prison is perhaps saving the life of an innocent child, especially when its mother had previously confessed to her probation officer to using drugs while pregnant.
Therefore, we can’t help but be a bit saddened at the fact that the peacemakers of our community, specifically our county’s circuit clerk judge, blame themselves for individuals going to prison.
We know the grasp of addiction is a strong one. And likewise, one can shift the blame wherever they wish – a bad childhood, the wrong crowd … however, ultimately the failure lies with the addict themselves. It’s a series of wrong decisions over and over again.
Therefore, when the doors of the prison cell shut on an inmate behind them, they have no one to blame for this failure, except themselves.