Friday, July 17, 2009

Jackie I: Freed!

Unsurprisingly, Jack Ikegwuonu joins his brother Bill in being acquitted on the ridiculous "burglary" charges the Dekalb County State's Attorney's Office charged them with. Again, they were found in a townhouse that Bill's friend was renting, allegedly holding an XBox, by Bill's friend's roommate, who was drunk and freaked out, and they ran off. That's the worst case scenario of what occurred. The Ikegwuonus said that they had plans to meet up with Bill's friend and saw a light on inside, so they went in. In any event, this seems like typical college male stupidity. Did you ever borrow anything from a friend's apartment or dorm room without asking? Probably. Did you get charged with burglary? Uhh, no.

I hate to say it, but throwing the book at two African-American scholarship football players in this sort of questionable circumstance reeks of overreaction. But why? Did Dekalb State's Attorney John Farrell think it'd be good press to persecute (not prosecute) two out of state black college students by charging them with a felony? (To be fair, Ron Matekaitis, now--horrifyingly-- a judge, was State's Attorney at the time of the brothers were charged.) Did he not want to look soft on athletes in a college town like Dekalb? Did he have something against guys with African last names? Who knows. What I do know is they should have offered some deferred prosecution agreement, like Madison has, where the charges should have been dropped in exchange for community service. And they certainly never should have charged the Ikegwuonus with a felony. Jesus. A conviction would have ruined these guys' lives. Ridiculous.

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