Justice in Reading, Pennsylvania


Reader Steven Haver points to two stories from yesterday's Reading Eagle that apparently ran on opposing pages:

The first story is about Jeffrey Madeira, who was convicted and served time for taking explicit photos of a then-17-year-old woman. The woman is now his wife. Madeira failed to notify local authorities when he moved, as he's required to do as a registrant on Pennsylvania's sex offender list. After he was convicted for failing to notify, a judge went "easy" on Madeira, sentencing him to one to three years in prison. An appeals court overruled, and said the judge was mandated by law to sentence Madeira to a minimum of three additional years in prison.

The other story is about Jason Wink, a police officer who was fired after wagging his penis at a superior and in front of another officer. I'm not familiar with Pennsylvania law, but I would think that exposing yourself to co-workers in an office environment would qualify as some sort of crime, likely a sex offense. But Wink was never charged, only fired. This week, an arbitrator ruled Wink must be reinstated with full back pay and seniority. Despite the fact that Wink had prior disciplinary problems, the arbitrator found that "officials did not meet the progressive disciplinary guidelines, which involve a series of verbal and written warnings." Apparently, the first and possibly second penis-waggings are free.

I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about what these two cases say about proportionality, justice, and equal administration of the law.