Open Letter to District Attorney Joyce Dudley
This week I became aware of the serious felony charges you are placing against two 14-year-old boys as a result of the horrific burns caused to Jacob Keefer.
I believe it is a case of extreme overcharging of these juveniles. As a grandparent of a 14-year-old boy, I understand their brains have not developed to the point of thinking reasonably and always making sensible decisions.
I had attended a fundraiser for Jacob at the skate park some months back and observed how this stupid accident has affected most young people as well as the adult community. Do you really think that the boys who were present when Jacob was burned are not already suffering trauma? Why is it necessary to penalize them further? It is not a case of bullying and assault but a case of adolescent bravado and stupidity. If you truly want to cure these dangerous experiments that youngsters indulge in, go after Youtube and the many videos encouraging foolish and perilous acts.
I realize Jacob and his family are all suffering terribly. Burns are the worst injuries and never return the victim whole. The pain and disfigurement are for a lifetime. However, hurting his two friends and their families is your zeal for ? is not justice.
Please concentrate your efforts on the real criminals in Santa Barbara County. There are plenty of them to pursue.