Saturday, March 06, 2010
Alaska Justice: Schaeffer Cox Accepts Plea Deal For Misdemeanor Reckless Endangerment, Gets Suspended Sentence
Justice in Alaska can be swift, sure, and proportional, when all parties agree to it. Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox (pictured at left), originally charged with second-degree felony assault after a brief tussle with his wife during a trip to Anchorage, pleaded guilty on Friday March 5th, 2010 to a reduced charge of reckless endangerment as part of a plea agreement. In addition, Cox was placed on probation for two years and received a one-month suspended sentence, and will also have to attend classes in alternatives to violence. Full story from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Fairbanks District Attorney Michael Gray said that Cox’s wife wanted the case dismissed or pleaded down to misdemeanor disorderly conduct to help the couple save their marriage. With the case primarily resting on her testimony, it was important to take that into account when deciding how to resolve the case, he said. “While the decision to go forward or not go forward with any case is in the discretion of my office and not the victim, we always try to take the victim’s desires into account when fashioning any resolution,” Gray said.
It turns out that Cox's wife was actually responsible for posting Cox's $3,500 bail as well. Schaeffer Cox appreciates the support he has received over the past week. He said he does not believe conviction will change public opinion about him, and he plans to hold another meeting of the Second Amendment Task Force on Friday March 12th.
Analysis: This turned out to be a win-win situation all the way around. Cox's wife is to be commended for putting the marriage first and accepting her secondary responsibility for provoking the assault in the first place by threatening, in a momentary fit of pique, to leave her husband AND take the kid. No real father can tolerate being cut off from his kid.
Schaeffer Cox is to be commended for taking responsibility for over-reacting to his wife's threat and voluntarily turning himself in once he found out about the warrant against him. He did not attempt to evade or obstruct justice.
D.A. Michael Gray is to be commended for refusing to wipe the slate completely clean and instead proposing a solution that would impose after-the-fact accountability upon Schaeffer Cox without curtailing his right to bear arms or otherwise ruining his life. A felony domestic violence conviction can curtail your right to bear arms. While Cox is clearly a productive, law-abiding citizen, he is a bit impulsive, and a message must be sent that it is unacceptable to physically assault one's wife simply because she threatens to leave. Anger management is the key.
And finally, the entire process was brief, lasting only two weeks from the initial offense (February 25th) to final adjudication (March 5th), resulting in miminal consumption of time and resources. No expensive, drawn-out process ensued. Government functioned as it was intended; as a referee facilitating a solution agreeable to all rather than as a tyrant imposing a solution permanently marginalizing one party.