October 13, 2014

For the annals of premeditated murder.

Steven Pratt served a 30-year prison sentence for murder and, upon release, within hours, police say, committed murder, inflicting "massive blunt head injuries" on his 64-year-old mother, Gwendolyn Pratt.

Steven Pratt is 46, which means he began that 30-year prison term when he was only 16. Gwendolyn Pratt was described by a neighbor as "very polite, very to herself," a woman who "kept a quiet home."

27 comments:

Tank said...

Pratt is black, his mom is black, his neighborhood is black = one day story. No one cares. No one will march. A blip. A statistic. Total diversity.

I've been in that prison. It was an unpleasant place to spend even an hour interviewing a client. I was happy to get out. Very happy. At all times while inside it felt like you could die at any moment.

MisterBuddwing said...

Tried looking up this guy on the NJ corrections database.

A "Steven T. Pratt" is listed, but something's screwy.

This Pratt's date of birth is given as Jan. 1, 1969, which would make him 45. It has him convicted of murder and weapons possession, but the offense date, the date in custody and sentence date are all given as April 25, 1986 (who says the wheels of justice turn slowly?). The database lists a mandatory minimum term (for the murder) of 30 years, but he was released on Oct. 10, meaning he got out in 28 years.

Justice is not only blind - it can't do arithmetic, either.

Mark said...

Without looking, what are the odds that the first murder was of Dad?

Anonymous said...

I think thirty years is an eminently reasonable amount of time to spend evaluating if someone should be killed.

I spent thirty years evaluating if I should murder a person but then they died of natural causes: that's just me, I'm the lucky type.

Mark said...

Eh, looked. Nope, not a psychodrama, just a really bad man who makes lethal injection look good.

Anonymous said...

At year twenty-eight: I'm thinking, I'm THINKING...

MadisonMan said...

just a really bad man who makes lethal injection look good.

Perhaps.

Makes me wonder about his mom though. I wonder what the whole story is. It could be just a bad son; could be something more.

tim in vermont said...

Yeah, she probably deserved it. /sarc

David said...

That's a long time to wallow in hatred. But deep emotion can be very persistent.

John Cunningham said...

once again, the logical case for speedy capital punishment is exemplified. sadly, our Party masters side with the criminals again.

Bob Boyd said...

Mark said...
Without looking, what are the odds that the first murder was of Dad?

Your comment made me wonder.
It wasn't Dad.

"Pratt was 15 when he shot and killed his next-door neighbor, Michael Anderson, in 1984. He was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder in 1986. He received a 30-year prison sentence and was freed on Friday.

"According to court records, Pratt and Anderson argued after Pratt and some of his friends refused to leave an apartment hallway where they were noisily hanging out. Pratt returned to Anderson's apartment with a lead pipe, but Anderson took the weapon away and bloodied Pratt's face.

Pratt then returned with a borrowed handgun and shot Anderson." - Huffington Post

Anonymous said...

"Son..."

"Don't say it, Mom."

"Son, I was just thinking --"

"--Mom: Don't. Say. It."

"Thirty years is a long time..."

"I am aware of that, thank you."

"...I'm just saying you could have spent some of that time studying, maybe even getting a degree so that when you got out --"

"How about shutting up, Mom..."

"--and then you could have a future still in front of you, rather than just watching cable TV on the couch..."

"Mom, do you want to know what I DID for thirty years? Do you?"

"No need to raise your voice..."

"I spent thirty years trying to keep my ass getting raped to a minimum and picturing various ways of making you die."

"I understand that you still have a lot of anger..."

"Mom, I pictured shoving your face into a pot of boiling water, and then I masturbated to the sound of your screams in my head."

"You know what I pictured, son?"

"Mom, I'm warning you: stop now..."

"I pictured having grandchildren, son. Sweet wonderful grandchildren who wouldn't harm a fly, and would be so happy about the cookies I baked for them..."

"Mom, I swear --"

"...but no, instead of grandchildren I have a forty-five year-son whose proudest achievement was keeping his ass getting raped to a 'minimum'"...

"MOM--"

"You know, Yolanda at the salon shows me pictures of her grandchildren, they're fifteen now.."

"MOMMMM--"

"They're fifteen and they haven't even murdered anybody: imagine that! You know what Yolanda's grandchildren will be doing for the next thirty years?

"I can't take this, mom..."

"Well, I don't know, either, but getting ass-raped in prison won't even cross their minds..."

"I. Can't. take. THIS...."

"I guess I don't really need grandchildren; I can just get a couple of cats, that's what us women without grandchildren do --"

"Arrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!"

(silence)

EDH said...

Who could fault the parole board for thinking that after thirty years he wouldn't choose the joyous and tearful reunion with his friend, Andy, in Zihuatenejo.

"Get busy livin' or get busy killin'... mom.."

Fernandinande said...

MisterBuddwing said...
Tried looking up this guy on the NJ corrections database.


Here he is: https://www6.state.nj.us/DOC_Inmate/details?x=1048294&n=0

Justice is not only blind - it can't do arithmetic, either.

The "Colorado Revised Statutes" use the term "interpolate" when they mean "extrapolate"; apparently written and approved by people who hadn't finished 6th grade.

John Cunningham said...
once again, the logical case for speedy capital punishment is exemplified. sadly, our Party masters side with the criminals again.


The main problem with capital punishment is the incompetence of the legal system, exemplified here by the fictional dates, which are simple, verifiable numbers that any other system could keep track of without problems.

EMD said...

"It is definitely shocking!"

One of the seemingly random, unattributed quotes in the article.

Bob Boyd said...

"Son..."

"Yes, Mom?"

"I know you're celebrating and everything, but could you all keep it down just a little? The neighbors..."

"Arrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!"

(silence)

Robert Cook said...

"It has him convicted of murder and weapons possession, but the offense date, the date in custody and sentence date are all given as April 25, 1986 (who says the wheels of justice turn slowly?). The database lists a mandatory minimum term (for the murder) of 30 years, but he was released on Oct. 10, meaning he got out in 28 years.

"Justice is not only blind - it can't do arithmetic, either."


The original murder occurred in 1984; Pratt was presumably held in detention until his trial concluded in 1986, and his 30 year sentence obviously included time served. He did serve the full 30 years.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Bob Boyd said:

Pratt returned to Anderson's apartment with a lead pipe


I know it was AP, not you Bob butI seriously doubt that it was a lead pipe. It is damned hard to find lead pipe these days as it is rarely used for anything other than some exotic specialty chemical apps. If you want lead pipe you have to special order it from a specialty supply house.

It has not been commonly used for more than 100 years.

I suspect that it was steel or aluminum pipe and the reporters and/or police are too stupid to know the difference.

So for the lawyers here, would this be a defense in a case like this? Go through the whole trial with the defense claiming that the victim was killed with a "lead" pipe. On closing, the defense lawyer gets up and says "My client did not kill the victim with a "lead" pipe as the prosecution shows. They have not introduced any evidence to show that my client was ever in possession of a "lead" pipe. The pipe they are claiming is the murder weapon may look like "lead" to to persons of low IQ but is actually galvanized steel. My client could not have killed the victim with a "lead" pipe"

Sorry to go all pedantic on everyone but "lead pipe" in this context is one of those things that makes me nuts.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Bob Boyd said:

Pratt returned to Anderson's apartment with a lead pipe


I know it was AP, not you Bob butI seriously doubt that it was a lead pipe. It is damned hard to find lead pipe these days as it is rarely used for anything other than some exotic specialty chemical apps. If you want lead pipe you have to special order it from a specialty supply house.

It has not been commonly used for more than 100 years.

I suspect that it was steel or aluminum pipe and the reporters and/or police are too stupid to know the difference.

So for the lawyers here, would this be a defense in a case like this? Go through the whole trial with the defense claiming that the victim was killed with a "lead" pipe. On closing, the defense lawyer gets up and says "My client did not kill the victim with a "lead" pipe as the prosecution shows. They have not introduced any evidence to show that my client was ever in possession of a "lead" pipe. The pipe they are claiming is the murder weapon may look like "lead" to to persons of low IQ but is actually galvanized steel. My client could not have killed the victim with a "lead" pipe"

Sorry to go all pedantic on everyone but "lead pipe" in this context is one of those things that makes me nuts.

John Henry

JPS said...

John Henry:

So how do you feel about tin foil?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Thanks for the pedantry - what a depressing story.

The Crack Emcee said...

Tank,

"Pratt is black, his mom is black, his neighborhood is black = one day story. No one cares."

White supremacy speaks:

It holds power over everything - including the poverty others lived with for centuries - but had nothing to do with anything that results from it.

We'll see how long that story holds up,...

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...


JPS said...

John Henry:

So how do you feel about tin foil?


Much the same. Ditto tin cans.

I can be pedantic about tin, too. Don't get me started!

John Henry

Tank said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Tank,

"Pratt is black, his mom is black, his neighborhood is black = one day story. No one cares."

White supremacy speaks:


LOL.

Whites caused a black guy to kill his black neighbor and his black mom in his black neighborhood.

Fun nee.

No, it's not news because no white people were involved and there's no way to leverage any money from any white people. So, one day story.

Harold said...

Agree about lead pipe and tinfoil references bugging me.

There is still some lead pipe around. Worked in a store's plumbing dept with an 80 year old master plumber whose wife and he had made the mutual discovery that they got along a lot better when they weren't with each other 24/7. Whenever someone came in and said their toilet was hooked up to a lead drainage pipe- and described it correctly as lead, we'd yell "Hey, John!" and let him answer the questions as to what to do. All the rest of us had learned about how to work with lead pipe. He had worked with it.

What's frightening is that as recently as 2 years ago ran into someone with a problem with a lead SUPPLY line for their municipal water. That's supposed to be all gone by now.

Beldar said...

New Jersey decided to do away with its death penalty. This is a data point in the study of how that's working out for them.

(Yes, Pratt was only 16 in 1984 when he committed his first murder, but the SCOTUS didn't rule until 2005's Roper v. Simmons (via more of Mr. Justice Kennedy's touchy-feely blather) that the death penalty can't be constitutionally applied to murderers who were below 18 when they committed their crimes.)

broomhandle said...

"Sorry to go all pedantic on everyone but "lead pipe" in this context is one of those things that makes me nuts."

They're Clue players and simpletons. What would you expect?

James Pawlak said...

13-steps up and one step down.