Letter to the editor: Judge made right call to protect first responders
Full disclosure: I know Judge Mark Thompson from many years of mountain bike racing in Summit County. That doesn’t affect our response in any way. Letter writer Jan Goodwin (“13-year prison sentence will solve nothing”) misses the point that Nathan Finnegan consciously chose to put himself into a “blackout state” by consuming too much alcohol. It doesn’t work for a person to get drunk or doped out, then commit a heinous crime and claim, “I don’t remember anything.” Assaulting a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duty is an act that deserves the harshest of penalties. However, the guilty party must also be given the opportunity to get counseling and clean up his act with good behavior, which should allow for early release from prison.
There has to be a clear message here to our community: This kind of behavior can’t be tolerated, and slaps on the wrist don’t get it done. It’s a different ballgame when first responders are assaulted when they are trying diligently to protect, serve or otherwise render aid to an injured or incapacitated person.
Yes, Finnegan should be treated for his disease, but there has to be consequences for actions that he took as a direct result of his grossly irresponsible decisions regarding alcohol (or drugs).
We want our law enforcement, EMS and fire department personnel to know that this community has their back and are grateful for them putting their lives on the line for us. Thompson made the right call here. If people get the message that such offenses will be dealt with severely, then maybe the next person out there might think before acting in such a manner. As an aside, the people of Breckenridge can’t vote a Summit County judge in or out of office.
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