On this week’s episode two of Monadnock Showdown, hosts Parker Springfield and Judy Fine confront how the system can make incidents of minor domestic violence into total nightmares.
His character seems kind so I’d have liked to have known if guest Patrick Michelson was drinking alcohol the night of the incident where after 35 years of a violence-free relationship, he threw a laundry basket and grabbed his wife by the shoulders. For this act, he ended up pleading guilty to a felony assault charge. Interestingly, Michelson says that in hindsight he wishes he’d refused the first plea and chosen not guilty. According to his story, a roommate/tenant called police and by the time the cops arrived he and his wife were sitting down and talking. He was surprised to see them show up.
Remember, you never have an obligation to talk to the police at your front door or let them inside. Here are some more tips on how to handle police encounters.
Guest Kelly Darling-Snow admits to having been both the victim and victimizer in domestic violence situations and goes on to say that she knows people whose lives have been torn apart by the system. Michelson says the state involvement in his situation was quickly “out-of-control”. His then-wife told the prosecutor she only wanted Michelson to go to therapy, not face criminal charges.
Sadly, “the state” is not compassion. It is aggressive force, and the state agents do what they want.
Michelson points out that restraining orders only work one way, so his wife could contact him, but he could not reply. One day she sent him a message that one of the houses they co-owned in New York was in legal jeopardy and that they needed to get together to sign some papers. During the meeting, a call came in from the school about one of their kids being sick. The two headed to the school together where some dirty snitch in the parking lot called the cops because the rat knew of the restraining order! Michelson was arrested. It didn’t matter that it was his wife that consented to the meeting. He violated the mindless “order”.
It’s clear that the punishment did not fit Michelson’s crime. Of course, that violates the NH constitution’s article 18, but what’s new?
[Art.] 18. [Penalties to be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment.] All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses. For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind.