I agree this ruling is a sad situation.
There are many things coming into play here, one of which - why did the District Attorney's office agree to this plea bargain?
Yes, the DA's office is stressed for financial resources. If they had not agreed to a plea bargain, it would have lead to a trial. Every trial costs the taxpayers some money. If they spent the yearly budget on this trial, they would have had to cut back on another case - possibly one that was more horrific.
That said, it is overwhelming that the DA's office chose not to send a signal to other teachers in the area. They could have pressed for a trial and forced a 145 year term. I doubt no teacher in the district would have the nerve to do this crime ever again. Yes, one should rule with compassion. However, it should be backed-up with a strong arm.
Judge Peed had his hands tied as there was nothing illegal or questionable about the plea agreement. He can not or should not rule based upon what he likes or dislikes. Having reviewed the deal and finding nothing to stake a claim on, he had to agree to the deal - as bad as it was.
In my humble opinion, it was the DA's office that let us down.
gawalkman I am not a lawyer and am not too well versed in the inner workings of a courtroom but I have never heard of a Judge being forced to accept a plea deal. Yes the DA should not have been so lax in his judgement nor should the Judge. This ruling screams IF YOU'RE A WOMAN THIS IS LESS OF A CRIME THAN IF YOU'RE A MAN!
I don't like the deal either.
However, a judge can only overturn a plea bargain only if there is something legally wrong with the deal. What law did the terms of the deal violate? There was nothing legally wrong with the deal - even though it stinks worse than a chicken house in mid-July.
What teenage boy don't want to get with his hot teacher? But she was the adult here and she should be punished. Was this enough? NO! Is it the Judges fault? NO! Is it the DA's fault? Maybe? For sure it was her fault!
Judge, DA and Jackson all at fault here in one way or the other. The only one who did a great job was her Defense Attorney, I will be sure to hire him if I need to get out of a jam.
Once again (and yes I am a one topic poster), I will address the concerns of an ill informed public. No one is privy to all details, but apparently you are not privy to most. The gravity of this sentence is devastating, for many reasons and if you want anything harsher, I would have to question your motives or sense of justice. Educate yourself on similar cases throughout the country and the impact that this ruling has on all involved. Ms. Jackson is neither evil nor predatory. Of course anyone is entitled to an opinion, but you may find that yours is not consistent with common sense or in the best interest of children. Please post responsbily and remember that there are many factors to weigh. Most of which are not a matter of public record. No this ruling was not fair, but neither in the direction you are going or for the reasons you are stating. This is painful for all parties, both the accused and the victim. As citiizens, we have the obligation to make decisions based on facts and circumstances. I encourage you to secure yours before you propose any lightness of this sentence.Ultimately we all lose if you cannot open your minds and your eyes to this.
community, I question your motives, common since tells me that this is wrong. Not only was what Ms. Jackson did wrong but so is the judgment. Devastating to Ms. Jackson, maybe but devastating to justice defiantly. You are allowed to have your opinion and I mine. In the court of public opinion I believe you will find yours in the minority.
I think you should have ALL the facts before you start casting stones and making accusations.
Mrs. Jackson did violate the law and yes she was the adult, HOWEVER the judge stated the 14 year old held some responsibility but she had the greater responsibility.
She is NOT a sex offender. She made a huge mistake and is being punished.
However the TRUE victims in this case is her family.
Everyone deserves a second chance. I assure you she has learned a lesson the hard way.
But really folks, you don't have all the facts so how can you know what she did or did not do?
I think if I were Mrs. Jackson, I would have taken my chance with a jury trial. All it takes is one person on a jury to say not guilty and then she goes free. In a jury trial the victim and his parents would have to testify and I don't think anyone wanted that to happen.
... Ms. Jackson is neither evil nor predatory...
community, im pretty sure you would have a different opinion if ms.jackson were actually mr.jackson and this were your 14-15 year old daughter.
but then again, maybe its just me. there are folks out there who see nothing wrong with having sex with minors. it appears you may be one of them.
common sense tells me that im not one of them. common sense also tells me it is not in the best interest of my child for my childs teacher to be coming to my house with intentions of having sex with my child.
maybe you should look up COMMON SENSE in a dictionary......
Regarding wildturkey....you are obviously proving my point. Your inference as to my beliefs regarding any harm to a minor could not be farther from the truth. And I assure you common sense is my strong point. For this reason, I will refrain from writing any inference of my own. May God bless you - afterall, He is the ultimate Judge.
Community/Rayd8nq this blog is not really about Mrs. Jackson it is about what I perceive as a poor job by our Judge and DA. If you are the Judge or the DA I invite you to enlighten me as to why you screwed this up. If you are not then just shut the hell up I don’t care about your winy little complaints defending a convicted child rapist.
You don't have to make this personal. So objectively, again I suggest you do your homework. On similar cases - even without the specifics which would enllghten you. No one is defending a 'child rapist'. And our officials should not be challenged to answer a question when the answer is easily obtained by a little work on your part.So do your part - whining won't get you an answer either.
Watchpig, obviously you do NOT know the facts of this case, or do you? If so then maybe you should enlighten the rest of us.
I am not whining nor am I condoning what she did. As Christians the Bible teaches us to love the sinner and hate the sin. God forgives us and therefore we forgive others. If we were all saints, then why would we need churches? If I harbored hate in my heart, I would be a miserable person and I choose not to be miserable.
rayd8ing you are DELUSIONAL. She is too a sex offender you idiot. A 14 year old is a kid and she is one sick woman to have sex with a kid!
Not predatory? Are you kidding me? Not evil? If she seduced and had sex with your teenage son you'd be nutting up!
How can ANYONE justify how this woman violated the student/teacher trust, used her authority to get sex from A KID??? How can you rationalize that?? Please somebody tell me how it is OK that she had sex with a kid!!! A 14 year old is not emotionally capable of good judgment, especially when an authority figure t ells his hormone-filled mind it is OK. She was 35!! Please tell me how this is acceptable and HOW SHE IS NOT A predator or sex offender!!!
There is no justification. Wrong is wrong. Just clarification. Evil is a matter of opinion. A sex offender is someone who has committed a sexual offense against a minor. For which she will register. Not debatable. A sexual predator is anyone who was designated by the court to be a sexually violent predator(suggesting future offenses are likely).Which was not proposed or suggested to my knowledge. Hope this helps.But there's no sense in demonizing an already convicted person.Despite what any of us 'think', apparently she is a also a mother. And regardless of any following remarks, a good one. And therein lies the reality of her mistake. So after the fact, should these victims not be considered as well? Yes her own doing. But does that make us any better to deny a child just because it was her fault? Does that make it right? What is the answer? For the good of everyone? It's a sad situation. And for all involved. At least we can agree to that
Thank you community, well said. The true victims here are her children.
She made a mistake, her punishment has been passed down to her, now lets move on.
watchpig - I can tell you like to stir it up:). I chuckle everytime you post. Good for you. Stick to it. But I will say I am pretty versed in the progress toward crtiminal justice reform and statistics. And it is quite the opposite of your direction. But I've always been one to admire anyone who takes a stand for what they believe. So carry on....keeps people involved.
Unless you are privy to facts and details of this unique case, I can see where you might conclude this was just a slap on the wrist. Consider yourself "in the dark" which is why it just doesn't add up to you. Just to shed a little light for you, Mrs. Jackson's time served does not count towards her 600 day sentence. Thirty days from her sentence date, so about 24 days from today, her time starts getting counted off the" back end" of her sentence. That means off of 600 days. Keep in mind that she is the only female who has not been released on bond since she turned herself in last July. Do your research, and see what other female teachers having multiple encounters, with multiple students get sentenced with. The facts involved in her case are also certainly not what they seem by what you read in the paper. Go ahead, go to the clerk of courts and pay to see this discovery and see for yourself why it isn't at all what it seems if all you know is what you read in the paper. Our Bulloch Co circuit is known to be one of the toughest in the state, Judge Peed is known to be the toughest judge in the state, maybe even the U.S., so think about it people, obviously there is a lot about this case you do not know. If Mrs. Jackson was truly a predator, a threat to other minors, and the minor involved in this case had no fault of his own, she probably would have been sentenced more harshly, although what she got is in the top percentage of harsh compared to what other women get in these situations. So the question I'm sure you're harping on now is, why are women treated differently in these situations? Because women and men ARE different especially when it comes to sex. Don't even try to tell me differently either b/c it will only show your ignorance. I assure you, this was not a bad day for that kid! That being said, Do I condone what Mrs. Jackson did, absolutely not! She obviously has some mental issues going on that need to be dealt with, bc no one in their right mind would take such a chance on losing the perfect life she had with her career, friends, and mostly her family. Do I believe she will get the mental help she needs sitting in Bulloch Co jail for a year and a half waiting to be shipped to a detention center, NOPE! Quite the contrary. But if she somehow survives mentally while in jail, she will forever pay the price for what she did last July. She can't take her children to school, pick them up from school,or attend any funtion at their school. She will not see her children play any sports, she can't go to birthday parties, water parks, sports parks, etc....she will not see her children go to a prom, graduate high school, or even be able to go to orientation once they start college. In fact, she won't even get to do those things for her grandchildren all because of this horrible day last July! So trust me, she is and will continue to pay the ultimate price for this crime for the rest of her life!
soulshinefree this is a proper punishment:
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A former north Alabama teacher is going to prison for having sex with a 15-year-old student.
A Colbert County judge sentenced 39-year-old Amanda Watkins to 10 years in prison on Thursday. She will spend 30 years on probation after finishing her time behind bars.
The former teacher at Sheffield Junior High School was arrested in December 2009 after being caught having sex in her car with the 15-year-old-boy. The youth is a former student of hers.
It's unclear whether Watkins will appeal her conviction. She took the stand to apologize to the youth and ask for forgiveness.
Or this: LEBANON, Ohio (AP) -- A high school teacher was convicted Thursday of having sex with five students, some of them football players, after a judge rejected an insanity defense that argued the teens took advantage of her.
Stacy Schuler was sentenced to a total of four years in prison for the encounters with the Mason High School students at her home in Springboro in southwest Ohio in 2010. She can ask a judge to free her from prison after six months.
The 33-year-old Schuler, who could have faced decades in prison, cried as she was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.
The five teens testified that Schuler, a health and gym teacher, had been drinking alcohol at the time of the encounters and was a willing participant who initiated much of the contact. The teens were about 17 at the time
Here is one from Coweta Co, Georgia:
Newnan, GA (AP) Elementary school teacher, 39, jailed for FORTY years for her affair with boy of 14. An elementary school teacher has been jailed for 40 years for having sex with a 14-year-old student.
Shannon Alicia Schmieder, 39, was told she will have to serve 20 years - by far the toughest sentence ever handed out by a U.S. court to an educator accused of underage sex.
Judge Peed is Toughest Judge in the Country MY ASS!
I can go on and on with better examples if you would like!
Well I don't know what the average Teacher sex offender gets in terms of punishment but those examples are much more in line with what I think would be fair Watchpig.
I am assuming you understand that for every one of these cases there are tenfold the number of relatively lenient sentences for female teacher/male student sexual charges. (K Pomerenke Troy Texas – serves 3 days for sex with 14 year old student; B. Sheperd Reno, NV sex with 7 minor male students – 60 days jail and 5 years probation). These cases are much more indicative of the norm, although I am not suggesting this is an appropriate alternative to extremely heavy sentencing either. But surely you are not suggesting that the current sentence or case is similar to an act involving five separate students in one of the examples you cited?? and involved alcohol?? and note she may be released after six months. The Amanda Watkins case has led to a public outcry in her defense if nothing else - noting the lack of reason even from avid children rights activists. Which is why it is assumed it will be appealed. And also why Georgia is consistently criticized for its harshness without sound justice. And the other case you mentioned involves a teacher, but apparently she did not teach the victim. There is obviously an unknown story here that even the DA admits was the purpose for his pursuit of a harsh sentence. Apparently the nature of their contact, specific details in electronic messages over a significant period of time, and accusations from other teen boys were all compelling enough to warrant the outcome. My reason for outlining these details is this: each case is different. And each case deserves individual analysis, investigation, and the resulting ruling of the court. A crime is a crime, and wrong is wrong. But if we cannot use logic in judgment and sentencing policy, why do we need lawyers or judges in the first place? Why not just write down mandatory sentencing and throw them in jail without regard to circumstance or consideration of relevant factors such as length of contact, intention, prior history, etc. etc. You get the picture. If that were the case, perhaps anyone who gets an abortion should be convicted of murder of a child. Since we cannot distinguish between what constitutes individual rights or fetal development and how that is different from killing a 9 year old. Blanket statements and minimum sentencing is unjust is its own right – and that cannot be the answer either. After all, we are humans who are given brains to reason. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that comparing apples and oranges ultimately leads to nothing but a whole lot of confusion and unjust sentencing in both extremes. So perhaps this is not so much about this individual case and what our DA or judge did or didn’t do – but about the need for reform and a new method to determine what constitutes both the nature and the severity of the alleged crime. And then determine appropriate repercussions
If you say so community but the short internet search I did produced about a dozen or so with tough verdicts and only a few with lenient ones. Guess your internet Kong fu is stronger than mine.
Good people do bad things. Everyone is not perfect and without sin. I know that what Ms. Jackson did was wrong. We all do. I am sure that she would never even consider doing anything like this again. To lock her away for a long period of time for making a very very very bad decision is also wrong. She is of no danger to anyone but maybe herself. I don't think we can use other examples of teacher activities to determine Ms. Jacksons fate. I think some of the cases above are extreme. These are not murderers and should not be treated as such. This woman should be allowed to be rehabilited and return to her family (if they will still have her). She is no threat. She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. This is a mistake that has changed her life forever. Watchpig I sure hope you don't have to eat your words one day. Your life is not over yet. You don't know what may be thrown at you. Romans 14:10,1310 Yu, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 13...therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another... .
So Watchpig instead of passing your sentence here why don't you just say a prayer for Ms. Jackson, her family, the victim and his family and let GOD deal with this.
golfman, I am sure you are a very wise person. If there were a God I am sure he would have to be compassionate for no one is without sin. I am not naive and know each case is different but I disagree with the Judge and DA in this case. I have no malice toward Mrs. Jackson at least no more than I would against Mrs. Smith or Mrs. Johnson or any other person. Some of the cases I cited were similar and some different. I think the original sentence was appropriate (15 years) until the moment it was suspended. Don’t agree with me fine, agree with me also fine but as far as what God thinks, I don’t care.
@ watchpig - do not use the internet....fyi. As expected, they only report controversial cases to attract attention - much like all media outlets. So of course, information will be biased in one direction or another. My data is from the US DOJ - even in this age of technology sometimes you can't deny the value of piece of authentic paper.
Soulshine, funny - I heard the victim is suffering deeply in a psychological way due to all this. Ignorance?? Wrong is wrong, and a girl could have had a "good day" just like the boy.