Whitecracker, MS (Reuters) - A Caucasian judge in rural Mississippi, who is also a volunteer pee-wee baseball league umpire, has been accused of over-stepping his judicial bounds by sentencing Black and Hispanic pee-weers who have have gone down swinging to six-year sentences in the Mississippi State Penitentiary.
State Circuit Judge Willard Whiteman, 49, known throughout Honky County by his nickname "White Willie", seemed confused if not annoyed by the allegations. "What we got here is failure to communicate," said Judge Whiteman.
Brantley T. Crittendon, the Honky County District Attorney, has been in discussions with the Mississippi Attorney General's office regarding how to handle this situation and the allegations against Judge Whiteman. Crittendon, who is black, is in the second year of his four-year elected term.
The Mississippi Legislature has enacted two separate so-called 3-strikes laws. Both are intended to impose the harshest possible sentence on habitual offenders. Which of the two statutes applies depends on the details of the the offenses, but the harsher of the two laws mandates a life sentence. Neither law is brought into judicial consideration unless the offender has two previous distinct felony convictions with time served for each.
A detailed examination by Reuters of the official language of the Mississippi statutes failed to reveal mention of the game of baseball nor that striking out is considered one of the offenses covered under either law. It is worthy to note that striking out in baseball is not considered a criminal offense of any sort in any league at any level in the United States. Although not relevant to this story, it is a fact that many convicted felons exist within the supporters of soccer clubs in Great Britain.
In response to a request by Reuters and the Honky County Times-Picayune, the Honky County Sheriff's Department ran background checks on all the children participating in the Honky County pee wee baseball league. The Sheriff confirmed that none of the players had ever even been charged with a felony, let alone convicted.
Until a course of action has been determined or a resolution reached, The State of Mississippi has placed Judge Whiteman on administrative leave from his duties as State Circuit judge. Similarly, The Honky County Recreation Department has dismissed Willard Whiteman of any responsibilities for umpiring pee wee baseball games.