Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2009

L.A. Times Sob Story: U.S. Set to Deport Shooter Who Should Be in Prison

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:22 am

Get out your hankies, folks. The L.A. Times is about to start your tears flowing with another sad tale. This time, it’s about our oppressive federal Government seeking to deport a man whose only crime was shooting a rival gang member in an attempt to kill him.

Well, not his only crime. But you know what I mean.

Obed, as his friends know him, is a convicted felon. He used to be a gang member, and during that time, he stubbornly placed himself in the path of danger too many times to count. For many years now, he’s been in a wheelchair — a constant reminder of poor decisions deep in his past.

“One thing that I have in common with Don Quixote is that there’s always a price to pay,” he said once he thought about it. More than a decade ago, Obed was shot and paralyzed while stealing beer from a convenience store in Stanton. A few months later, he opened fire from his wheelchair and wounded a gang rival. His teenage behavior was so reckless, “he should be dead,” says Victor Cueto, his Santa Ana attorney and friend.

I’ll bet $20 that what the L.A. Times describes as “stealing” beer was an armed robbery. First, how many store owners respond to a beer run by opening fire on the unarmed thief? Second, the sentence Obed faced for his attempted murder is consistent with his having a strike prior — like, say, a robbery.

The Orange County district attorney’s office charged him with attempted murder. With several enhancements for being a gang member and using a firearm, he faced a sentence of 50 years or longer.

Not knowing the particulars of his case, I’m not sure how exactly how you get to 50 years or longer — but having a strike prior would double most aspects of his sentence, which would get him closer to 50 years a lot faster.

But never mind all that. He’s now a scholar:

Instead, Obed, who turns 30 today, chose to reinvent himself. He found redemption in the glory of book learning. In November, he earned his master’s degree in English at Cal State L.A.

“He has the wisdom and maturity of a natural scholar,” said Michael Calabrese, a professor of medieval English at Cal State L.A. “He’s destined to be a professor one day.”

It’s a destiny that could be derailed in a federal courthouse next week. On Monday, Obed will face an immigration judge who will decide whether he should be deported to Mexico, the country he left as a baby, for shooting his rival, a crime he committed when he was a teenager.

By teenager, the author means “adult.” We’re told later in the piece that Obed’s attempted murder case occurred in 1998. He just turned 30. Do the math.

Obed’s not an illegal immigrant; he’s a green card holder. But he can be deported for his crime. And he should be. Maybe he is really is a former gang member, and maybe he’s not. (We’ve heard the “former gang member” thing from this newspaper before and had it turn out to be false.) Let’s let Mexico roll the dice on that one.

This guy is lucky that he’s not serving a life sentence for his shooting. He got his break. I’m putting my hanky away.

39 Comments

  1. Deport him Let him teach English in Mexico

    Comment by PatAZ (d8da01) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:06 am

  2. The article’s author, obviously rooting for a ruling against deportation, wrote,

    “We’d lose a great teacher . . . .”

    Has this ex-con ever taught?

    Comment by Ira (28a423) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:22 am

  3. “He’s destined to be a professor one day.”

    That’s nothing. Jack Henry Abbott was a writer.

    Comment by Official Internet Data Office (cb0dac) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:23 am

  4. He used to be a gang member, and during that time, he stubbornly placed himself in the path of danger too many times to count.

    Bull and Shit. This fucker isn’t some noble and gallant soul. He’s a thug and a criminal…

    Has this ex-con ever taught?

    Sure…

    “No no no… You hold the gun like this when you try to bust a cap in his ass…”

    “He has the wisdom and maturity of a natural scholar,”

    “Also, he will fuck your shit up if you cross him, dawg…”

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (who wants DRJ to come back) (a1c284) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:37 am

  5. The heart aches.

    Comment by Techie (6b5d8d) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:38 am

  6. Lemme get this straight…. getting shot and paralyzed didn’t sway this scholar from the gang life, but Don Quixote did. A book had more impact on him than a life-altering, near-death experience.

    Why do I find that hard to believe?

    Comment by Robert C. J. Parry (50a453) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:50 am

  7. He 1) shot a gang rival from a wheelchair and 2) then put up with professors of English for at least four years? Without shooting them (the professors)? This is 1) one tough cookie and 2) that’s strong evidence that he’s reformed.

    (Tongue in cheek alert, BTW, if needed.)

    Comment by nk (bf9c84) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:51 am

  8. The Times can’t go down fast enough.

    Comment by Apogee (f4320c) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:54 am

  9. The Times can’t go down fast enough.

    Oh, the LAT is doing down with extreme rapidity… Just not in the way you mean…

    wink wink, nudge nudge, know-what-I-mean?

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (who wants DRJ to come back) (a1c284) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:57 am

  10. Going, not doing…

    bah

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (who wants DRJ to come back) (a1c284) — 2/3/2009 @ 8:57 am

  11. Sheesh, these LAT pieces are stupid. We are really supposed to feel sorry for this thug? Ridiculous.

    Comment by SPQR (72771e) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:00 am

  12. Has this ex-con ever taught?

    More importantly: would he ever be able to teach? How many parents would embrace having a convicted violent felon teaching their kids?

    Comment by Rob Crawford (6c262f) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:02 am

  13. Mrs Davis, your son wasn’t paying attention to me so I shot him in the foot.

    Comment by John Hitchcock (fb941d) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:05 am

  14. And knock it off with the “who wants DRJ to come back” additions to your signatures. Respect her decision and do not demean it with your sniveling.

    Comment by nk who respects the personal decisions of people he admires and respects (bf9c84) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:08 am

  15. “He has the wisdom and maturity of a natural scholar,” said Michael Calabrese, a professor of medieval English at Cal State L.A. “He’s destined to be a professor one day.”

    Churhill and Ayers nod.

    Comment by Chris (b886a5) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:11 am

  16. Well, it’s a start!

    Comment by AD (8486ab) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:29 am

  17. This is embarassingly off-topic, but AD is desperately neededed here.

    Comment by nk the shameless gun geek (bf9c84) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:38 am

  18. nk, I will be following that thread.

    As for the tragic-scholar meme above, I find that people are very, very tender hearted about this kind of thing…when dealing with that person is not personal.

    Maybe that professor of medieval studies should take the fellow in and sponsor him personally!

    I didn’t think so.

    Comment by Eric Blair (1aa50b) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:47 am

  19. Just who paid his medical bills and what does he live on, some sort of disability or public welfare? Let him prey on Mexicans within Mexico.

    Petitioning the Lord with prayer in hopes that DRJ reconsiders her absence in the fullness of time.

    Comment by aoibhneas (0c6cfc) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:54 am

  20. Maybe that professor of medieval studies should take the fellow in and sponsor him personally!

    I’m sure he’d have no trouble having the guy sleep on his couch!

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (who wants DRJ to come back) (a1c284) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:55 am

  21. nk, I contributed a comment there.

    Comment by SPQR (72771e) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:56 am

  22. Gee Ayers is a perfesser and Klonsky and other commies who were dedicated to violent overthrow of the USA are perfessers, so why not this foreign born felon becoming a perfesser?
    Maybe he could even get a job in the Obama Administration as Chief Corrections Officer, his experience with Correctiosn is similar to Geithner’s experience with the IRS and Treasury.

    Comment by eaglewingz08 (c46606) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:01 am

  23. Comment by nk the shameless gun geek — 2/3/2009 @ 9:38 am

    I try to stay away from Say Uncle. I’ve followed links from Instapundit there many times;
    but, his formating, and my monitor just don’t seem to agree (some problem with the ads he sells I think),
    and his page is unreadable to me.

    Comment by AD (8486ab) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:18 am

  24. and his page is unreadable to me.

    Should be fixed now. If not, I’d like to know.

    Comment by SayUncle (86a9a3) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:41 am

  25. [...] Nope. [...]

    Pingback by SayUncle » VA Gun Show Bill (14aa3e) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:43 am

  26. Interesting…have to sweep the cursor accros the page to get it to organize itself so that it’s readable without overlapping blocks.

    Comment by AD (8486ab) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:56 am

  27. “…accros…”
    “…across…”

    Comment by AD (8486ab) — 2/3/2009 @ 10:59 am

  28. The issue is not whether this guy would make a great teacher or whether he’d contribute to society. I am willing to say that he’s a good risk. But when you start making exceptions, the exceptions become more and more and pretty soon, you have people who absolutely should be deported not being deported (plus the resources wasted in determining when someone should be deported). That’s the real problem, and that’s why this guy needs to go.

    Comment by spo (62ca0c) — 2/3/2009 @ 11:07 am

  29. He found redemption in the glory of book learning.

    A regular Abe Lincoln!

    Comment by Perfect Sense (0922fa) — 2/3/2009 @ 11:13 am

  30. We’ll never be able to deport all the Mexican National wheelchair-bound gangbanger born professors. We need a comprehensive MNWBGBP program.

    Comment by j curtis (c4a081) — 2/3/2009 @ 11:18 am

  31. OK, so he made some bad mistakes as a young man, 10 to 15 years ago, and for want of anything better to do with his time in prison, he’s got himself educated. Maybe even rehabilitated … or maybe not.

    What of it?

    When someone commits felonies, especially something like attempted murder, the punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of the crime, sufficient not only to prevent (while incarcerated) and deter (once released) the felon from repeating, but also to deter others from similar bad behavior. I don’t care what else happened to the guy. After all, being shot and paralyzed didn’t stop him from shooting “a gang rival.” Since he was convicted of attempted murder, it evidently wasn’t done in self defense.

    I say zero tolerance for noncitizen felons–deport them all! If there are collateral consequences that seem unfair to some, the benefit to the United States and its citizens outweighs them. Zero tolerance when practiced by the PC types in places like elementary schools produces a lot of unjust and stupid results, yet the nanny-staters seem to think they’re acceptable no matter how many young lives they ruin. Why should we feel so sorry for a guy who almost murdered someone and could have killed an innocent bystander in the process if the situation had been just a little different?

    Comment by ExRat (591013) — 2/3/2009 @ 1:19 pm

  32. If there are collateral consequences that seem unfair to some, the benefit to the United States and its citizens outweighs them.

    What would be unfair collateral consequences and who would be responsible for those consequences? Are you talking about the poor unfortunate family members of the illegal alien who committed another crime? The person most responsible for hardships to them is the selfsame criminal. Secondary responsibility goes to the person who willingly “became family” and tertiary responsibility goes to any who acted as enablers. The legal system bears no responsibility whatsoever.

    Comment by John Hitchcock (fb941d) — 2/3/2009 @ 1:30 pm

  33. “We need a comprehensive MNWBGBP program.”

    Maybe big “O” could make him secretary of this program. Wonder if he owes taxes. If so, he is a shoe-in.

    Comment by PatAZ (d8da01) — 2/3/2009 @ 6:38 pm

  34. “He’s destined to be a professor one day.”

    LOL! That’s more true than you would think. He’d fit right in!

    Comment by Patricia (89cb84) — 2/3/2009 @ 7:51 pm

  35. The Times loves these types of stories because the liberals love them. They don’t stop to think about the cross-section of people that might react like the posts here. Then they wonder why they are about to swirl down the drain.

    I skim the paper for their BS then go to the web for the full story.

    Comment by Alta Bob (44f27c) — 2/3/2009 @ 9:14 pm

  36. Perhaps this is a lesson for all of Los Angeles. Ah, the redemptive power of great literature! I propose that we gather the best examples of fine literature – War and Peace, the Collected Works of Shakespeare, etc. – wrap them in individual protective steel casings – and then drop them over gang-infested areas. It could open some gang-members minds! ;)

    Comment by Californio (dfe407) — 2/4/2009 @ 12:05 am

  37. Opps – edit – dropped from 25,000 feet

    Comment by Californio (dfe407) — 2/4/2009 @ 12:06 am

  38. No. 32 John Hitchcock:

    I don’t think any collateral consequences are unfair. I agree with you that the person most responsible for them is the felon himself. I was anticipating an argument by some along the lines of the example you gave. I think such an argument is both irrelevant and immaterial to the issue of deportation, as is his purported rehabilitation.

    “Zero tolerance” for felonious non-citizens means just that. There can be no exceptions because then it’s not zero tolerance anymore. As far as I’m concerned there should be mandatory deportation automatically added to the sentence of noncitizen convicted felons, to take place immediately upon the completion of any incarceration, with no appeal allowed as to that portion of the sentence.

    If those guys (the felons) are so aghast at the idea of being shipped back to their homelands, then they ought not to commit the crimes. If the fans of zero tolerance in other areas of society are offended, then maybe they should get acquainted with the concept of “double standard.” I am generally not in favor of “zero tolerance” policies, but if there ever was a case to be made for one, this is it.

    Sorry about being late coming back to the party.

    Comment by ExRat (591013) — 2/5/2009 @ 1:54 pm

  39. [...] Just to make it clear which side of the immigration debate the L.A. Times is on, the paper told a sob story about a man being deported for the minor crime of trying to kill someone. [...]

    Pingback by Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32) — 1/1/2010 @ 10:32 am

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