Most parents would do anything to protect their children from pain, including literally laying down their lives.
Fortunately, most parents never find their resolve tested by being put in that position, but Jay Maynor did. By saving his daughter from a traumatic ordeal, Maynor literally gave up forty years of his life, and the world thinks that this is too high of a price to pay for his actions.
Was what Jay Maynor did irresponsible and inexcusable vigilante justice? Or did he do what any other parent might do if they were in his shoes, actions for which the punishment should be significantly less?
Read on and decide for yourself.
10. An Innocence Stolen
Julia Maynor does not know how long her childhood sexual abuse went on for, only she only knows that it ended when she was eight. You see, Julia’s maternal grandfather started to molest her at such a young age, she cannot remember a time when it was not happening.
9. Prison For A Predator
Raymond Earl Brooks Julias adopted maternal grandfather, pleaded guilty in 2002 to his heinous crimes and was sentenced to five years in prison. Brooks was also ordered to pay restitution to Julia, but no amount of money can ever be enough to compensate for what he did to a pre-school child.
The sentence seems paltry when you hear about what happened ten years later.
8. An Unfair Freedom
After serving only twenty-seven months of his sentence Raymond Earl Brooks, sexual offender, was released from prison for good behavior.
Brooks was able to return to the same community in which he had previously, and Julia currently lived. There was a very real possibility she could bump into her abuser at any time.
7. An Internal Prison
Brooks is free from incarceration, but Julia still resides in her private prison of pain. After years of therapy for her PTSD, she still suffers from depression and the strain of the mental illnesses caused by the child sex abuse she suffered was enough to bring her marriage to an end.
However, Julia’s pain was not over; she could be in for a lifetime of twice the hurt.
6. Slow Burning Fury
It ‘s hard to imagine the emotions Jay Maynor has felt over the years. Fury towards the man who stole Julia’s childhood from her, guilt because he did not know what was happening and was, therefore, unable to stop it and the need to save his child from further pain must have all been swirling in his heart.
5. A Dish Served Cold
Brooks obtained his release in 2004, and everyone went about their lives until an entire decade later. While having an argument with her father, Julia mentioned the abuse and that was enough to make Maynor finally snap.
He took his gun, drove to see Brooks and shot the 59-year-old dead.
4. A Father’s Protection
Jay Maynor was faced with two options after he had shot and killed Brooks. Julia’s father could plead not guilty and get a relatively short sentence, but Julia would have to take the stand and talk in open court about her abuse.
Instead, Maynor chose to plead guilty in order to spare his daughter further suffering.
Maynor’s journey since has been a roller coaster of emotions.
3. Dubious Justice
Having pled guilty, Maynor gave up a chance to a trial by jury and instead his case was heard before a judge.
Friends and family packed the courtroom to hear Jay Maynor’s fate at the hands of the judge. Everyone was horrified as they watched him sentenced to 40 years in prison.
2. Given With One Hand And Taken With The Other
Upon hearing the shocking sentence, Maynor’s supporters, with Julia’s support, encouraged him to apply to have his guilty plea quashed and instead ask for a trial by jury.
On the same day in January, Maynor received word he could have his jury trial, and then he was turned down after it was discovered his paperwork was filed outside of the 60-day window allowed for such appeals.
1. Calls For Clemency
Over 20,000 people have signed an online petition asking Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to at least commute Maynor’s sentence even if they cannot free him entirely.
“Jay is not a threat to society,” the Change.org petition says “He is a good man. We would like to see him set free or at minimum a lesser sentence.”
To date, there has been no response from either Bently or Strange.
Some people would read this story and say there is never any excuse for taking a life, no matter what that person has done. Others believe the justice system is completely unable to punish and rehabilitate offenders.
There are some crimes for which no punishment is enough to alleviate the pain and suffering of the victim, but the death of an offender does not undo their crime either.
Is taking a life an appropriate punishment for some crimes? Is vigilante justice reasonable when the legal system appears to fail? Who gets to choose when it is and when it is not ok to go after a criminal and dispense your personal brand of law enforcement?
It is a complex issue, and your views are welcome.