Crime: Marijuana Possession. Sentence: Death.

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14 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    That is horrific. Truly horrible.

  2. Patrick says:

    If a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, Judge Retchin's must be particularly little.

    It's a shame that the word "Pharisee" has gone out of fashion, as it describes Judge Judith E. Retchin of the D.C. Superior Court almost as well as "murderer."

    Rope indeed.

  3. Clint says:

    Truly a dick move by the judge, but why did the prosecutor even bring this before a judge to begin with? Isn't it within the DA's power to plead this down to a fine?

  4. astonied says:

    Having been a RT and spent much of my career working with ventilator patients I have to say that dying from not being connected, not being suctioned, having dials turned the wrong way, etc. is akin to torture. That judge should be charged with murder.

    "Principles of justice are principles that rational, self-interested people would choose to govern the society in which they were going to live, provided that they did not know, at the time they chose the principles, exactly what their own place in society would be" – James Rachel's forward to John Rawl's book, Two Concepts of Rules.

  5. The actual "justice" system as a whole is a BAD JOKE, i feel for Jonathan Magbie and his relatives…SHAME on this judge…


  6. AJ says:

    The facts set forth in this article are contrary to the writeup from the Washington Post:

    Judge Retchin still shouldn't have sent the guy to jail, though.

  7. Patrick says:

    The facts set forth in this article are drawn from the Washington Post. See the links above, AJ. If you have a problem with what Ken wrote here, complain to the Post. That's where he got the information.

    As to Judge Retchin's (what an appropriate name – shades of Nurse Ratchit!) judgment, or lack thereof, agreed. She should have given the defendant a stern lecture, and a fine, and then gone home to her husband, or significant other, or dog, and said, "Christ, I wish they'd repeal the marijuana laws. Do you know what I almost had to do today? There was this quadriplegic marijuana defendant who needs a ventilator to breathe, and if I'd sent him to jail…"

    But then you and I wouldn't be having this interesting conversation, and Jonathon Magbie, well, I'm not sure what he'd be doing. Probably killing himself with marijuana, but it would be his choice, not Judge Retchin's.

  8. DMM says:

    What a horrible sequence of events. There is no excuse for any kind of sentence that would leave a person without medical care that they need to survive.

    As someone pointed out to me, when I reposted the article, this happened in 2004. I hadn't noticed the date on the story. Has there been any update in the interim? Have the people whose action or inaction contributed to this needless death been made to answer for their horrendous decision-making? I hope so.

  9. Charles says:

    There are many tragedies in the world, and this court case involving Jonathan Magbie rates high amongst them. Paralyzed from the neck down since he was four years old by a drunk driver, he managed somehow to tell the truth to an immoral reprobate whose responce was to sentence Mr. Magbie to four days of torture until God took his soul to rest. Superior Court Judge Judith Retchin, nominated by George Bush Senior sends Jonathan, who suffered so much in his short 27 years, to four days of hell before he passed away because he refused to lie about a medicine that helped him in so many ways, while G. Bush Senior's own son admitted in a taped interview that he likes to smoke marijuana recreationally, continues to serve as a Superior Court Judge putting people in wheelchairs in prison. Jonathan, may you're free, and awake soul walk among angels who will keep you're spirit high, and protect you in the fresh mountain air, and clean waters of heaven.

  10. Dora says:

    She the same as murdered that guy and should be THROWN out of her JOB!

  11. chuck says:

    question… the hell does a quadriplegic get caught with weed? who busted him? how does he smoke it in the first place?how was he even able to get it? of i understood correctly, he cant use his arms, so does some one help him puff? where was he when he was caught with it? these are the true questions.

  1. December 13, 2008
  2. December 15, 2008

    […] details: the tragic death of a quadriplegic man, sentenced to ten (10) days in a Washington D.C. jail (which could not accommodate his medical […]

  3. December 18, 2008

    […] D.C. – Death sentence for marijuana possession. I thought this was messed up … Judge Judith Retchin Sentences Jonathan Magbie, a Quadriplegic, To Death By Sending Him To Jail For … […]