Justice not served by jailtime

My Dear People of Kachemak Bay,

 I refer you to my Dec. 19 commentary, courageously printed by the Alaska Dispatch News, if you have not yet seen this article: “Alaska’s ‘Spoonguy’ got railroaded; mental illness should be treated, not locked up.”

The setting for this Alaska tale: East End Road bike path in Kachemak City. The characters:  Three large, out-of-control dogs, Spoonguy on bicycle loaded with spoons, the dog handler, the rogue cop, the merciful cop, the prosecutor, jury, judge, Homer jail, Wildwood Pre-trial Facility.

’Tis a biblical tale of justice and mercy unfolding among us, here, now.

As word of Mike’s plight grows, popular response on Change.org included this message of judicial gravity from Gail Heineman of Anchorage:  “It is in no way clear that justice would be served, nor would we Alaskans be made safer, by locking up this man.”

 Gail’s words place us in the realm of justice. The judge’s role is to listen and weigh the scales of justice. Judges are fortunate to be able to hear the voice of the people.  Even more fortunate are those judges who listen to the voice of the people, and find a way through the mire of law and custom to common law principles of justice and mercy.

 Thank you, Gail. Thank you, Mike’s hundreds of supporters, willing to sign our petition for community protection, not imprisonment, of the mentally disordered. We are grateful for these unique souls among us, damaged by violent experience, who continue to soldier on through life, enduring mental pain, healing in community, providing valuable services to community, testing our patience, and teaching us lessons of patience, compassion, empathy, mercy and wisdom.

Thank you for your fine messages.  We are listening.

 Lindianne Sarno, Bumppo Bremicker 

and Michael Glasgow

Citizens of Alaska Truth Justice Reconciliation Commission