Imagine if you caught a man molesting your five-year-old daughter. Or if you discovered that a man was pimping out your 17-year-old daughter. What would you do?
When a 23-year-old Texas father heard his little girl crying behind a barn, when he saw her being sexually violated by Jesus Mora Flores, he beat the deviant to death.
And when San Francisco parents Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado were unable to rescue their teen daughter from her pimp, Calvin Sneed, by peaceable means, they shot and killed him.
Both the Texas dad and parents Gilton and Mercado were accused of taking the law into their own hands. But their cases have been handled quite differently by the legal system.
In the case of the Texas dad, a grand jury in Lacava County declined this week to indict him, deciding that he was justified in using deadly force to protect his five-year old.
However, in the case of San Francisco couple Gilton and Mercado, they have been charged with murder by the city’s District Attorney and are currently being held on $2 million bail each.
To my mind, the San Francisco parents are no more guilty, no less deserving of mercy, than the Texas dad.
For the parents took the lives of wicked men who preyed upon their beloved daughters. The difference is that the Texas dad acted in the heat of the moment, while the actions of the San Francisco parents were premeditated.
But while neither law enforcement, nor the legal system, can be faulted for Flores’ molestation of the Texas dad’s little girl, both law enforcement and the legal system are to blame for leaving the teen-age daughter of Gilton and Mercado in the clutches of her pimp.
Indeed, the San Francisco couple tried for months and months to get help from the authorities, but to absolutely no avail. As time passed, they could no longer sit idly by knowing their daughter was whoring herself on the streets for Sneed, a reputed member of the Nutty Blocks Crips gang.
So they killed him and freed their daughter.
San Francisco D.A. George Gascon said this week, “I fully understand the frustration the family felt.” But he really doesn’t. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be prosecuting the couple for what he describes as “vigilante murder.”
It will be interesting to see what happens when Gilton and Mercado eventually stand trial. If I was on the jury, I would vote to acquit.