How Does it Feel Alameda Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado That a 10-Year Old Boy is Now Paralyzed for Life?

Suspect in shooting that paralyzed Oakland boy could get life

“The truth is black males, especially young ones, have a harder time finding good working situations. We need to find ways to motivate young black males to face the challenges and obstacles in their way. The situation can only get worse if something is not done. Not everybody can be Michael Jordan.”

Jared Adams
, the 24-year old arrested after a shooting in Oakland that left a 10-year old boy paralyzed for life — from an essay in his court file.

What a crock of bullshit.

A few days back I blogged a post about a 10-year old child who had been shot at an Oakland music studio while taking piano lessons less than a mile from my house.

The good news is that the boy, Christopher Rodriguez, a fifth-grader, is going to live. The bad news is that that bullet that ripped through his abdomen has left him paralyzed from the waist down and he will probably be paralyzed for the rest of his life, according to Dr. James Bett, chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital.

Imagine that. One day you are a 10-year old boy living your life, running around, riding your bike, doing all the things that 10-year olds do, and the next day you are paralyzed.

They caught the guy that they think fired the shot that paralyzed this boy. His name is Jared Adams, he’s a 24-year old felon with a history of fleeing from the police. They arrested him and his 19 year old girlfriend Maeve Clifford when they crashed their car into a check cashing store in Oakland after the robbery. They found a hand gun and a ski mask in his crashed car.

Here’s what I want to know. Why was Jared Adams allowed to live outside of prison? Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that too many criminals in Oakland and other areas are given slaps on the wrists for their crimes and released from jail. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Adams was “no stranger to the criminal justice system.” The Chronicle cites prior convictions for gun possession and for driving under the influence. Apparently it was Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado who sentenced Adams last for, get this, SIX MONTHS when he last ran from an Emeryville police officer after already having resisted arrest previously from a Highway Patrol officer in San Leandro and police in Albany and Berkeley.

How does it feel Judge Dorado? How does it feel to see this 10-year old boy paralyzed? I think Judge Leo Dorado should share in the shame of this boys plight. It was Judge Leo Dorado who let this animal out of jail after SIX MONTHS! This animal with previous gun possession charges is out of jail after SIX MONTHS.

And what about the parole board that let Adams out? Who are these people? What are their names? Who are the people that bought off on his bullshit essay above about the plight of the young black male (the quote above is from his court file reportedly)? Shouldn’t they share in some of the responsibility of this too? Why do they get to hide in anonymity after they let an animal like Adams back out on the street? Where is their accountability? I hope that they have a hard time sleeping at night after this. I hope that they know that they are partially responsible for young Christopher never being able to walk again. Why couldn’t they have just left this animal in jail instead of releasing him after his bogus cop out essay on how hard life is for young black males? I don’t care how hard life is. You still don’t shoot a kid.

You know what I think? I think that if you are caught illegally possessing a gun that you ought to get life in prison. Why not? Why not send a stronger message to criminals and gangsters who think it’s cool to pack a piece. If they are legally entitled to buy a gun, let them do it legally. But if you get caught with a gun illegally, not just using it, but caught with it, I think that’s it for you. No more chances. I’d rather have some asshole like Jared Adams spend the rest of his life in jail for his previous gun conviction than to have young 10-year old Christopher Rodriguez paralyzed for the rest of his life. I’ll take that trade any day.

If Oakland can’t solve the crime problems of Oakland with better social programs, then they need to hire more police and arrest more of these criminals and put them in jail for longer and longer periods of time. I simply don’t know a better answer for getting these animals off of the streets.

And Judges like Leo Dorado, who give these criminals slaps on the wrists, shame on you. I hope your name is as associated with this recent travesty as much as Jared Adams is for a long, long time to come. You are probably more a part of the problem for crime in Oakland than even Jared Adams himself.

A trust fund has been established for 10-year old Christopher. Donations for the boy’s care can be made to any Wells Fargo bank, account number 7013202606.

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28 Comments

  1. TranceMist says:

    Tom… is there a bigger picture here? funding and mismanagement of the detention (jail/prison) infrastructure leading to overcrowding?

    From what I’ve read in the past, this puts a lot of pressure on the whole system and you see it manifest itself in people being let our early, lighter sentences, etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As sad as it is these kinds of tragedies occur every day all over the US. Perhaps the powers that be could get their priorities stright and keep more of the “real” criminals in jails if they let out all the casual drug users and the other non-violents. Its almost as if they work on a quota, the way many people who society perceives as “dangerous” are given lighter sentences than white collar criminals or pot smokers.

  3. Thomas Hawk says:

    Tom… is there a bigger picture here? funding and mismanagement of the detention (jail/prison) infrastructure leading to overcrowding?

    Trancemist,

    Yes, probably, but personally I’d rather have prison overcrowding than a 10-year old boy paralyzed. Maybe instead of two to a cell, they have to put three or four or five. Personally that doesn’t bother me so much. I don’t think prison should exactly be a comfortable place for prisoners.

    And maybe we do need to build more prisons. I’m not so opposed to this either.

    Its almost as if they work on a quota, the way many people who society perceives as “dangerous” are given lighter sentences than white collar criminals or pot smokers.

    I agree, even though one of Adam’s long list of crimes was a marijuana charge, I don’t think people should be in jail for using marijuana. Marijuana is no different than alcohol in my opinion which is legal. I think it’s the alcohol and tobacco industry more than anyone that are behind the criminalization of marijuana.

    I think folks like Jared ought to be able to smoke as much pot as they want, as long as they are doing it in their own homes and not hurting anyone. Having an illegal handgun on the other hand? They should have put him away for life for that one.

    As a society we should take a zero tolerance stance towards illegal guns. The message should be clear, get caught with an illegal gun for any reason and you go to prison for life. If Adams had robbed this gas station with a knife instead of a gun, young Christopher would not be paralyzed today.

  4. Sheesh I hadn’t realised how far to the right you were Mr Hawk. I like your pics though.
    Just one question: why the distinction between legal and illegal guns? In 2004 there were 994 gun deaths in the state of Illinois alone. In the UK in the same year? 191. For the entire country. What is it about gun control that Americans don’t understand?

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    Just one question: why the distinction between legal and illegal guns?

    Patrick, I think there is a difference between legal usage of guns for sporting, hunting, etc. by safe and responsible citizens in society. Same goes for personal protection.

    Personally I don’t own a gun. And wouldn’t own one. But the gun lobby in the U.S. is extraordinarily strong and you’d never be able to politically ban legal use for sporting or self defense purposes.

    It’s harder for the gun lobby to defend illegal gun possession and use. So I think that this is the most politically expedient target to go for in the short run.

    Jared Adams had been previously jailed on gun charges. I don’t know what they were, but that’s all I need to hear. As far as I’m concerned, anyone illegally possessing a fire arm should go to prison for life.

    My friend Trevor Carpenter is a prison guard. He owns guns. I don’t mind him owning guns actually. Because Trevor is a responsible person who understands gun safety and respects the weapon. There is no urgency here in my mind to stop Trevor from owning a gun. There is a great urgency in my mind in preventing people like Jared Adams that same privilege.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In defense of Mr. Hawk:

    “Sheesh I hadn’t realised how far to the right you were Mr Hawk. I like your pics though.”

    As a left-leaning 2nd amendment-supporting anarcho-feminist who has received firearms training, I know nothing of Mr. Hawk’s political leanings, but I don’t know that his attitude in this case is especially right-wing. Strongly opinionated and judgmental perhaps, but this is to be expected given his close personal connection with where the crime was committed.

    The guy was a felon, I think it is safe to say the perp didn’t want the illegal gun to go shooting at the local firing range – he needed it as a tool to commit crimes. As a “lefty” (though this is really just a false dichotomy) I don’t think the argument the perp makes in his essay removes his responsibility – I know plenty of underpriveleged folks of all colors who live honest lives. He should face the music for living out his sociopathic leanings in cold blood. And unfortunately it is rare for those without a conscience to ever change their stripes, hence the need for stricter prison terms.

  7. Carl says:

    I’m obviously not going to defend this person’s actions, but you should realize that the United States already imprisons more people and has a higher rate of imprisonment than any other country in the world. Much of this is due to the imprisonment of non-violent drug offenders, mandatory minimum sentencing and so on. We imprison people at triple the rate (not the number, the RATE) of other industrialized countries. Our prison population has quadrupled since 1980. We’re already the world leader in imprisonment. Maybe more prison isn’t the answer.

  8. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’m obviously not going to defend this person’s actions, but you should realize that the United States already imprisons more people and has a higher rate of imprisonment than any other country in the world.

    Carl, I understand this. I really do. And like you, I don’t think non-violent drug offenders necessarily belong in prison. As stated above, personally and especially with marijuana, I think it ought to be legal.

    Get caught with an illegal gun on the other hand? Yep, I want you in prison for the rest of your life, no matter how crowded the prisons are. This way you will be away from my 7-year old son who took music lessons at that same music school that Christopher Rodriguez was shot and paralyzed at.

  9. tby says:

    Get caught with an illegal gun on the other hand? Yep, I want you in prison for the rest of your life, no matter how crowded the prisons are.

    I don’t necessarily agree, however, in most instances the illegal possession of a firearm in California is punishable by just 6-12 months confinement. Don’t blame the judges for following the law.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Carl

    I don’t have any crime statistics, but I can’t help wonder if the high imprisonment compared to other countries is a result of a well trained police force that solves crimes instead of leaving many unsolved.

  11. Carl says:

    @Thomas
    I can certainly understand your personal connection to the crime. I might have the same reaction as you were I as “close” to the crime as you are.

    I absolutely *DO* agree that this person should not have been on the street. Where I don’t agree is that putting more people away for longer amounts of time is a solution.

    @anonymous
    I can see your perspective on our police force being efficient, though I can’t imagine that we’re *that* much more efficient than the UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Spain etc.

    And then when you start talking about imprisonment rates greater than those of authoritarian dictatorships like North Korea and China, I think we’ve gone too far.

    Good discussion.

  12. ToAsTy! says:

    The previous years the madness in the bay area has grown quite a bit. I really wish there was a ‘matrix’ to plug in these losers at least to use them as a source of energy.
    There used to be a condensed area of criminal activity in any city, but lately carelessness and greed have brought crimes into neighborhoods nearby.
    Criminals don’t care anymore, they’ve realized that a few months in custody isn’t much and that they will eventually get out. How many chances do you need? Everybody has heard of the three strikes rule, well to have a 3rd strike conviction is hard until it gets to a point where someone is hurt or killed. I’ve heard of peoples rap sheets and a friend has told me that on the bottom of the rap sheet it shows a number for ‘possible strike crimes.’ There have been a few with 30-50 ‘possible stike crimes,’ and yet off they go frolicking. They’ll tell you they will do good, and will get away from the drugs and crime, but a few months later its the same old song n dance.

    The thing i hate the most is because it involves a gun that means law-abiding citizens who collect firearms are gonna take the hit by having some law passed that criminals won’t even notice.

  13. Mark says:

    Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  14. Jeff says:

    @Mark
    And your point would be? Thomas isn’t saying we should repeal the 2nd Amendment. He’s saying that you have the right to bear arms, as long as those arms are procured in a manner recognized by law. The only reason someone would procure a handgun in an illegal manner would be to commit a crime, and a violent one at that. Now, I think Thomas’ views are a little extreme, but I’m used to that from him, especially on topics he’s passionate about, like photography and his kids. I fully agree, though, with his basic premise – that punishment for illegal gun possesion should be appropriate to be a more effective deterrent than it currently is.

  15. Mark says:

    There can be no illegal gun possession, only illegal gun acquisition, if the right to keep and bear arms is not infringed upon.

  16. Thomas Hawk says:

    There can be no illegal gun possession, only illegal gun acquisition, if the right to keep and bear arms is not infringed upon.

    Mark, this is incorrect. The courts have repeatedly recognized that our Constitutional rights are not absolute. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, even though you have a right to free speech. If you are a felon you can’t own a gun or vote.

    These modifications of our rights under certain cases have been upheld in court time and time again.

    I’m not suggesting we eliminate the 2nd Ammendment. The courts have already recognized that a felon like Adams isn’t entitled to enjoy the 2nd Ammendment like you or I might be able to. And they’ve ruled that limiting Adam’s right to bear arms doesn’t infringe on the 2nd Ammendment.

    That issue has already been settled by the courts in the interpretation of the ammendment.

    The issue that remains is what to do with people who violate the law and carry firearms in violation of the law. And here I think the best answer is life in prison. I think if you received automatic life in prison for illegal possession of a firearm that criminals would choose other weapons which might not be as destructive.

    As I mentioned before, if Adams had robbed this gas station with a knife, Christopher would not be paralyzed today.

    Do you want to be the one to tell a 10-year old boy that his becoming paralyzed was a necessary thing in light of having an animal like Adam’s “right’s” uninfringed in your opinion? I don’t think you do. And I think if it were your son you might feel different.

    Letting felons have guns does nothing to preserve the security of the state as envisioned by our Founding Fathers or the subsequent interpretation of the 2nd Ammendent by the courts.

  17. Matt says:

    “What a crock of bullshit.”

    Says the white male who works in the financial industry.

    What exactly are you calling bullshit in Jared Adams’ statement? Now, I’m not, in any way, saying that what he did was ok. It was horrible, and unforgivable, and a kids life has been altered forever. But, what do you disagree with in Adams’ essay?

    Do you think it’s easier for him to find a job than either you, or me (white, well educated males)? Again, it’s not an excuse, but it’s a symptom of a much larger social problem that you have completely ignored.

    Do you have any idea of the drop out rate in California schools? Statewide it’s in the neighborhood of 50%. At the schools where you will end up sending your children it won’t be much higher than in the 5-6 percent range. That means that at his school, it wasn’t much lower than in the 80 percent range. Again, not an excuse, but indicative of a _huge_ and _endemic_ social problem that you are ignoring.

    As the spouse of a teacher who works at a 100% free lunch school (ie. in the ghetto), I’ve seen just a glimpse of what some of these kids don’t have (health care, reliable sources of healthy food, parents who can read and have steady jobs, etc., etc., etc…) and it’s appalling. And, yet again, this is not an excuse. Mr. Adams needs to be locked up for a long, long time. He pulled the trigger, and he is ultimately responsible for what he did. However, you can’t ignore the larger problems here. This is a tragedy affecting not only the innocent 10 year old boy, but also Mr Adams himself, his community, your neighborhood, and our society at large.

    Until these larger socioeconomic issues are addressed (really talked about and not just given 30 second sound bites on the campaign trail) this is going to keep happening.

    So, again, I ask you, what are you calling bullshit on?

  18. Thomas Hawk says:

    Matt,

    I’m calling bullshit on Jared Adams statement written to the court. This is not his high school valedictorian acceptance speech. This is a document written to the court and I read it as some sort of a justification for his behavior. As though he’s entitled to pursue violence due to the plight of the young black male.

    I’m calling bullshit on that.

    I know plenty of black people, including young black males, who although they are discriminated against would never resort to violence or seek to justify their actions to a court with an essay containing the words that Adam’s did.

    I agree with you that there are larger socio-economic problems. I in fact personally support affirmative action. I think that more should be done to provide economic opportunity for young black males. But despite the socioeconomic situation, there is never ever a justification to resort to violence. Too often race and discrimination become the scapegoat card for crime. Nobody has to do violence, disadvantaged or not.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Of course ““The truth is black males, especially young ones, have a harder time finding good working situations. is bullcrap.

    When black kids are penalized by their peers for “acting white” (i.e., showing academic exertion) instead of “keeping it real” (or worse “keeping it gangsta”) they set themselves up for the very failure they blame on others.

    Affirmative Action can only go so far. Eventually its recipients need to grab the rescue line with earnest.

  20. Mike Doeff says:

    I saw a story on the local news tonight about a local business that has stopped collecting sales tax to protest the ineffective law enforcement in Oakland.
    http://cbs5.com/business/sales.tax.protest.2.633419.html

  21. ratboyslim says:

    Good topic, found it from a comment on SFGate where I had just made a comment that I thought anyone caught with an unlicensed gun should be jailed for attempted murder. I have a picture of Chris on my desk right now. My kids go to his school and frankly I miss seeing him running around and playing basketball on the schoolyard. I wanted to mention here as an aside that if you feel so inclined to help Chris, you can make a donation from his website: http://christopherrodriguez.blogspot.com/

  22. Anonymous says:

    How you can help Christopher

    A star-studded benefit concert has been planned for Christopher Rodriguez at Yoshi’s at Jack London Square in Oakland on Monday, March 24th. Tickets are on sale now!
    Call (510) 238-9200 or visit http://www.yoshis.com
    Shows at 8pm/$25 and 10pm/$18

    The 8pm show will include performances by Roger Glenn, John Santos, Narada Michael Walden, Kai Eckhardt, Zoe Ellis, Keith Terry, Tina Glenn, Alvenson Moore, Rafael Manriquez, Ingrid Rubis, Matt Herskowitz, the Oakland Jazz Choir, Fluteville, Carol Alban, Nancy Tyler, Antonia David and other members of the Bay Area Chamber Symphony. Odile Lavault’s Baguette Quartette will give a pre-concert performance at 7:45pm so come early!

    The 10pm show will include performances by the legendary Frank Martin, Jose Neto, Anton Schwartz, Dan Feiszli, George Brooks, Kai Eckhardt, Narada Michael Walden, John Santos, Roger Glenn, Carol Alban, Matt Herskowitz, Suellen Primost, Tina Glenn and Alvenson Moore.

    Please visit event website for more info! http://www.myspace.com/benefitconcertinfo
    Also, a blog has been created with updates on Christopher’s condition as well as a link if you’d like to make a donation. http://www.christopherrodriguez.org

  23. Anonymous says:

    And now again. Judge Leo Dorado releasing Jahton Green after he robbed, beat, and caused the deaths of to elderly men. (Even though one testified at the trial! But because he died.. Jahton Green gets off scott free.)
    (Anonymous)

  24. Been there says:

    Dorado’s a prick. I’ve seen him in action Fridays in Family Court. Dude needs to check his ego before he dons his robes.

  25. […] then we are supposed to act surprised when he gets out and guns down somebody new? You can thank Alameda Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado (by the way) for giving Jared Adams such a light […]

  26. […] Rodriguez was the 10-year-old boy who was shot while taking a piano lesson at an Oakland music studio. The shot was allegedly fired by Jared […]

  27. […] Rodriguez was the 10-year-old boy who was shot while taking a piano lesson at an Oakland music studio. The shot was allegedly fired by Jared […]