Thursday, December 14

Does Glenn Rahan Doneghy's Life Matter?

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Ray “The D.A.” Larson claims that 99% of those accused of a crime are guilty of that crime. Lexington Mayor, Jim Newberry, recently claimed that people whose lives didn’t make much of a difference in this world don’t matter much. Police officers’ lives, he claimed, now they matter, they make a difference.

Mr. Doneghy is being charged with murder in the accidental death of police officer Bryan Durman, Never-mind that officer Durman was in the road on the passenger side of a vehicle without a protective vest on. Never-mind that officer Durman’s lights were not being used on his cruiser. In addition, the road was narrow and very busy at the time of the accident. Keeping these circumstances in mind, along with the mindset of the mayor and Ray Larson, let’s discuss whether Glenn Doneghy can get a fair trial.

What do we know?

  • Bryan Durman was struck while investigating a noise complaint on North Limestone about 10 p.m. on April 29. The driver, Glenn Doneghy, left the scene and was later apprehended at his home. Bryan Durman later died of his injuries.

  • Officer Durman was on the passenger side of a vehicle he was investigating and was partially in the road. Officer Durman did not have a reflective vest on.

  • Officer Durman had not engaged the lights on his cruiser.

  • Glenn Doneghy has had a history of mental illness and had been evaluated in the past by the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center.

  • There is no evidence that Mr. Doneghy was driving recklessly or too fast. He was not operating his SUV with extreme indifference to human life.

The night of this accident I had prepared and e-mailed Mayor Newberry and the city council a letter asking why police officers named by Deborah Wardlaw before her murder had not been investigated for that murder. www.youtube.com/watch The very next day Mayor Newberry, shamelessly, used the death of this officer to answer my question. The mayor, the sheriff, several other high ranking local officials and, oddly, two legal representatives for the city attended a city council campaign debate and took the time to eulogize officer Durman.

Mayor Newberry started by explaining that some people are making claims of conspiracy involving police officers. He dismissed my claim and others by comparing us to the “tin foil hat crowd”. He then claimed that officer Durman’s death got him thinking. He thought that some people live lives that don’t matter much. Police officers’ lives make a difference, he claimed, their lives matter. www.youtube.com/watch His answer to me, defined, is that Deborah Wardlaw, a prostitute, didn’t matter. However, the officers that may have murdered her live lives that do matter. Thus, the reason why he will not investigate police officers for the murder of a prostitute. My guess is that Glenn Doneghy fits into Mayor Newberry’s lives that don’t matter category and officer Durman fits into the mayor’s lives that do matter category.

Ray “The D.A.” Larson can be observed online and heard on WLAP AM’s Sunday night broadcast with officer Don. During the show he likes to show off his extensive knowledge of rapper slang terms. While discussing individuals and cases by name he will call the accused anything from jerk, thug, gangster to the more tame terms like trash and hoodlum. However, it seems that these terms are reserved for the poor, African-Americans and minority criminals. Listening to the show a definite divide becomes apparent in the way Mr. Larson feels about white collar crime perpretrated by middle to upper class white people and crimes perpretrated by the poor or minorities. Let’s take a look at just a few examples.

  • The National District Attorney Association states, “Indeed, he feels that prosectors are elected to take a stand against hoodlums who are criminals…We protect law-abiding citizens from criminals by incarcerating people.”

  • Ray Larson’s website claims, “The Let’em Out Gang shouts from the safety of their mostly white and crime-free neighborhoods that our government cannot afford to send prolific, predatory repeat offenders to prison and keep them there.” White and crime-free? Tell that to the neighbors of the members of KLC, KACO, the Airport Board and the Lexington Library. I searched and could not find anything in print or recorded of Mr. Larson calling any of these people hoodlums.

  • More from Ray Larson’s website, “Guess What? INCARCERATION WORKS!!! When the Incarceration Rate goes up, the Crime Rate goes down.” (Grammar and punctuation his, not mine) We’ll talk more about this directly in the next article. All studies that I could find and 40 states disagree with Mr. Larson’s conclusion, especially in drug-related cases. It is exactly these outdated and racist beliefs held by prosecutors across the country that contribute to the fact that African-Americans are incarcerated at a rate of at least 5 times that of their white counterparts.

Glenn Rahan Doneghy made a deadly mistake and he panicked. A good man, husband, father and police officer tragically lost his life that night. However, Glenn Doneghy did not plan to commit murder or take another person’s life that night. Mr. Doneghy has had a very hard life and has been treated for mental health issues in the past and continuing to this day. An organized society must punish crime amongst the population. However, America overwhelmingly incarcerates more people than any other country. America has 5% of the population of the world while incarcerating 25% of the prison poplation of the world. This is in part due to the faulty thinking of over-zealous prosecutors, some racist others not, that are more interested in a WIN for their record books than doing what is right for everyone involved.

When I combine the facts with the elitist view of Mayor Jim Newberry, the racist rants of Ray Larson and the tendency for Americans to make heroes of police officers, I am not so sure that justice will prevail in the case against Glenn Rahan Doneghy. Studies now show that treatment works much better than incarceration for those with drug or mentally related issues. In fact, a 2002 Open Society Institute survey found that 63% of Americans believe that treatment is a better approach to drug abuse than incarceration. I can only hope that some of those people will be sitting on the jury when Mr. Doneghy goes to trial.

I’ll be talking more about this case and we’ll go in depth in our examination of the incarceration rates in America and the vast difference in the sentences between the rich, poor and minorities in the next article. Feel free to contact me or comment on this and related articles.

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