I have always hated injustice and have railed that reasonable doubt must rule in every criminal case.
I’ve been abused by my own friends for accepting the O.J. Simpson verdict and often demanding that we error on the side of letting the guilty go free rather than convict the innocent. Our criminal justice system must be fair or we will have a police state rather than a free country in which to live and raise our families. Remember Adolph Hitler had his own judges too.
People become instant converts to my way of thinking when the unthinkable happens, and they get accused of a crime when they’ve done nothing wrong.
On October 8th 2005, Chicago police officer Michael Mette of the Fillmore District was attacked by a Dubuque college student, 20-year-old Jake Gothard while attending a birthday celebration at his brother’s home. Before it was over this week, officer Mette was arrested, prosecuted, convicted and now faces a mandatory five-year Iowa prison term.
Iowa justice is beyond strange because at a Dubuque County Court bench trial the judge, Judge Monica Ackley found that Chicago Police Officer Mette "was not the initial aggressor of this incident," Jake Gothard was. Astonishingly, Judge Ackley ruled that Mette was guilty, because even after Gothard struck him three times, Mette should have just ignored it and retreated.
Officer Mette's infamous felony crime was to punch the 6 foot, 2 inch tall Gothard once in self-defense knocking him out.
I don’t care how much anyone screams or demonstrates it will take years to right this wrong and it will bankrupt Mette in the process.
As for our young intoxicated thug, he has a Facebook page filled with a photo celebration to his own alcoholism. A year later (on September 8, 2006) and after his assault on officer mette, Jake Lee Gothard was arrested and later convicted of a liquor violation and had his license revoked. He was again arrested and convicted, this time for driving under the influence. His plans now are to sue officer Mette in yet another Iowa courtroom.
In the United Kingdom there is no right to use any force to defend one’s life or virtue. In America with the help of the National Rifle Association there has been a state-by-state effort to beef up the self-defense laws so that thugs like Jake Gothard assault or otherwise victimize people at their own peril. Iowa and the U.K. have it wrong. Our creator gave us the gifts of fear and the fight or flight instinct so we may simply survive.
This should also cause anyone who is accused of or uses any force in self-defense to not cooperate in anyway with police without having a lawyer present. Giving police more than your name may bring you many years in prison. You may find your own words read back to you in a courtroom. But you will find those words to have been rewritten to something entirely different and considerably more incriminating.
Please remind me to stay far away from Iowa and to never use or buy products made there.
Note: The minute entry made by the judge reflects that date of the incident being October 8, 2006 but the actual date was exactly one year earlier. The court docket and judge's order are in conflict.
Read the Judge Monica Ackley's minute entry supporting her finding Officer Michael Mette Guilty HERE.
I’m sure we’ve not heard the last of this nightmare.
Here is s preliminary ABC-7 report with video.