Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Myisha Ferrel's get-out-of-jail card better than most

Myisha Ferrell is out of jail, and by everything I understand from the courts, she should be out. That's the way her plea bargain was structured.

Still, the moral to her early release is "know when to make a deal."

I can remember watching from the back of the courtroom as her sentencing went forward. Her plea deal included a chance at early parole if she was a model prisoner and included an agreement that prosecutors would stand silent rather than oppose the sentence or early release.

At that time, Ferrell had leverage with investigators. She could testify to the disposing of Jessie Marie Davis' body. She could give a first-person account of Bobby Cutts' involvement. She had something to barter. Most importantly, she knew that Cutts was the prey and that she could provide the hunters with the arrows they needed .. if they fed her hunger for a reduced penalty first.

That's where the deal came in.

Of course, what the courts and investigators didn't know at the time was that Cutts would eventually admit to killing Davis during the murder trial. Now I'm not saying that Cutts' creative story-telling made Ferrell's plea-bargain testimony worthless, but prosecutors might not have agreed to a sweetheart plea deal for Myisha had they known Cutts was planning to spill the beans on the stand.

Now that I think of it, there's probably an argument to be made that Ferrell's testimony as part of the prosecution helped push Cutts to bear his violent soul once the defense took over.

Clearly Ferrell did not take part in the murder, but her involvement after-the-fact was criminal.

First, helping Cutts dispose of the body of Jessie and her unborn child and later helping Cutts clean up the crime scene.

She said she was afraid of Cutts, but why didn't she come forward after he let her go? Why did she sit in her apartment for days watching TV coverage of all the press conferences and watching thousands of people looking in the fields when Myisha knew where the body was? How could she watch Jessie's mom and sister cry day after day?

For an entire week, Ferrell held the key to the lock and yet refused to open it.

Usually that nets a person more than just a year in jail.

I can't imagine how Ferrell will live with knowing she took part in this horrific crime, but hopefully others will learn from her mistake: when an acquaintance suddenly needs your help because they did something wrong, you need to be strong enough to walk away.

1 comment:

vanillacokehead said...

I guess it just proves an age-old adage that is widely regarded in the business world: that one doesn't get what one's worth but that one gets what can be negotiated. I guess it works in the world of criminal justice as well. :(