I was encouraged by the non-biased reporting of the governor’s denial of clemency in the Flibotte trial that appeared in the paper of June 5. The article stated Judge Cahill’s dismay over the mandated sentencing that allows murderers a much less sentence than someone who has child pornography, especially Mr. Flibotte, who has no criminal record and is well-respected in his community. Recently in The Arizona Republic there have been articles about actual child rapists and abusers getting much less time in jail!
Then, Daisy Flores’ article comes out in the June 12 paper applauding Governor Brewer on her decision to reject the recommendations of the Clemency Board, the advisement of Judge Cahill, the evaluation of Dr. Richard Lanyon and the 100-plus letters of support for clemency. The Arizona laws state the time frame of when clemency papers must be filed; Judge Cahill instructed the defense team of this rule at the sentencing.
I was especially appalled at Flores’ comment that “the vast majority of offenders who possess child pornography have also committed a hands-on offense.” There is absolutely nothing in Mr. Flibotte’s 75 years of life to indicate such a suggestion. That reference is like saying if you watch violent movies or play violent video games, you will most likely commit a violent offense.
I sat through a large part of Mr. Flibotte’s trial. I saw holes in the defense. I do not personally know Mr. Flibotte, but became uneasy about my own safety in light of computer viruses, identity theft, and the fact that I too have “recycled” used floppy disks, thumb drives, etc. by reformatting to use for other purposes. Deleted images are not deleted; used hard drives may have images you don’t even know exist.
Mr. Flibotte is 75 years old. He probably won’t even live five more years to even see “lifetime probation.” Arizona prisons are overcrowded, expensive and ridiculously harsh. We, the taxpayers, are paying more for our prisons than for education. Where is the sense in that?
Finally, do you really believe the people of Arizona are so blind and stupid to think 90 years for a 75-year-old man who has no criminal record is “justified” for pictures when a child rapist can get out in 20 years? I personally want to see more common sense in my governor and in the state’s prosecutors. Let the judges who have heard the case be the one to set the sentencing without mandates that don’t fit the crimes.