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Dane County Circuit Judge Ellen Berz To Be Applauded Over Gun Statement During Gang Member Sentencing

August 3, 2013


Hats off to Dane County Circuit Judge Ellen Berz!  Everyone can be proud for supporting her for the bench.

This blog is often used to urge support for gun control.  In fact I did so just this morning.  But I also am very much in favor of judges who use the power they have to throw the book at those who use guns in their violent deeds.  Such was the case this week in Madison.

In the case of Dreyon James there can be no other reaction than knowing justice was served.

Before sentencing James, Berz had promised that she would sentence anyone  convicted of committing a crime with a gun to prison.  “If I am the judge, if you use a gun, you are going to prison,” she said. “It  is that simple.”

Bravo for that attitude and commitment to the public which she serves.  Meanwhile some of those in the courtroom, including James, failed to understand the gravity of his crime.

At the close of James’ sentencing hearing, Berz first announced his sentence  for second-degree reckless endangerment, for which she gave him three years in  prison. Some of the group for James, which packed the courtroom, applauded the  seemingly lenient sentence, leading Berz to warn them they would have to leave  with another outburst.

Berz then announced a 12-year sentence for second-degree reckless homicide,  and this time the crowd vocally registered shock. James kicked at the table in  front of him and stood, and as bailiffs swarmed him James struggled as he was  dragged from the courtroom.

More bailiffs converged on the courtroom as screaming could be heard in the  hallway and the courtroom was cleared.

After about 10 minutes, court reconvened and James was brought back strapped  to a restraint chair, tears in his eyes, to hear the remainder of his  sentence. 

There is a price to be paid for using a gun in a criminal act.  We must have more judges who make that clear every day from the bench. 

Thanks to Judge Berz.

  1. June 15, 2016 4:27 PM

    I do need to add that as the owner of this blog I am troubled that someone who would not place their name or add specifies made an accusation in a comment that can not be checked out and therefore either confirmed or refuted. Therefore it has little credibility. Since the post was about guns in our society I also see little merit in the comment.

  2. badgerdad permalink
    June 15, 2016 3:28 PM

    Nope. She took a special needs child from a mom who finally saw him clean, healthy, and well cared for and not walking into my house unattended and gave him back to his dad, where his dad lets him sit in his poop all day and the house smells so bad that I wonder what they do in there. But the dad is a really nice guy so it must be okay. Oh, yeah, and knocked his wife around in front of the kid, but he blames her for it, so it must be okay.

  3. August 4, 2013 11:16 AM

    Anyone who strongly supports gun ownership/rights should applaud when the law is tough for those who use guns in a crime.

  4. August 3, 2013 7:10 PM

    I hope she is as tough on drunken drivers, child abusers, rapists, etc. as well.

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