Rapid Troy Fires Back
As expected, Alabama Attorney General Troy King is still firing verbal volleys over the commutation of LaSamuel Gamble's death sentence in a Shelby County murder case. "No more standing with criminals. No more standing against victims," King told the audience at a rally commemorating homicide victims.
I'm not a particularly big fan of Troy King, but he has a point, at least when it comes to Shelby County. I've been the victim of crime twice in Shelby County, and both times the office of District Attorney Robby Owens handled it horribly. In the most recent instance, a felony assault, Owens' staff insists it was a misdemeanor, and Owens himself has refused to respond to my letter asking him to prosecute the case correctly under the law.
I will be posting much more soon about my experience as a felony-assault victim in Shelby County, and the way Robby Owens' office has mishandled the case.
More Heat for Shelby DA
Evidently I'm not alone in my concerns about the Shelby County DA's office. Today's Birmingham News includes a most interesting letter to the editor. It is titled "Owens' office warrants scrutiny" and is written by G.E. Johnson of Childersburg, AL.
Johnson says he was the victim of a violent crime in 2003 in Shelby County. Johnson says the offender in his case got off easy because a year earlier, in his role as a private investigator, Johnson had uncovered evidence in a high-profile murder trial that helped his client win his case. Evidently that ticked off the powers that be in Shelby County, and when Johnson became a victim, the offender was allowed to plead to the lesser of three offenses and did not have to answer for his actions in court.
Mr. Johnson's letter, of course, presents one side of things. But based on my own experience, I certainly don't doubt that such politics could take place in Shelby County, even in a case involving violent crime.
What's with Rapid Troy?
I've referred to Alabama Attorney General Troy King as "Rapid Troy the AG Boy," and I realized that maybe I need to explain that little cultural allusion.
My wife was reading one of my posts the other night and asked, "Don't you mean Rabid Troy?"
Poor girl. She grew up on a musical diet of mostly R&B and disco. (She even has the complete Village People collection; not sure many people could, or would want to, claim that distinction.) I grew up on what I call "white guy" rock and pop (Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, CCR, etc.), with some folkies and 70s singer-songwriter types thrown in. In the latter category one of my favorites was the late, great Jim Croce.
One of Croce's tunes from the early 70s was "Rapid Roy the Stock Car Boy." It wasn't one of his big hits, but it was one of those nifty slice-of-life songs for which Croce was known ("Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," etc.)
Anyway, that's where the "Rapid Troy" reference comes from. And it seems appropriate because, as you can tell from the lyrics, "Rapid Roy" has a reference to Alabama. Croce did at least one other great Alabama song that I'm aware of, "Alabama Rain." You can see the lyrics to that song here.
One other note about Jim Croce, who died in a plane crash in the 70s. I had the good fortune to visit San Diego a couple of years ago and was delighted to discover the restaurant, Croce's, which was started by Jim's widow, Ingrid. The restaurant is in San Diego's wonderful Gaslamp District, and features both good food and neat memorabilia. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in San Diego, which is one of America's great cities. The new baseball stadium is terrific, too, and it's just off the Gaslamp District.