Former Ala. judge sentenced to 12 yea...

Former Ala. judge sentenced to 12 years in meth case in Miss.

There are 16 comments on the Alabama Live story from Oct 11, 2007, titled Former Ala. judge sentenced to 12 years in meth case in Miss.. In it, Alabama Live reports that:

“Meth is a terrible drug, and it has terrible effects on everyone involved”

A former west Alabama judge who pleaded guilty to methamphetamine charges was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment Wednesday after describing how his addictions spiraled out of control. via Alabama Live

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Alabama Live.

RedWagon

Lincoln, NE

#1 Feb 15, 2008
It seems everyone thinks that the sentence given is a good character judgment of Jim Kitchens. Well if you research you will find that any other person which is a poor, white or black person in the area gets 30-60 years for meth. for Judge Jim Kitchens.
He is unfair to the above referenced and if you check with Jackson, MS, his convictions represent a very large amount of appeals with The Office of Indigent Appeals. He is a biased judge who should never had been re-elected. Do a search online, call the above office, check with the poor black and white of District 16 and you will see that this sentence is nothing but the true character of Jim Kitchens. The attorney is not in Canton, MS and will only serve 1-2 years before his release.
INJUSTICE

Chelsea, AL

#2 Jul 15, 2008
My son at 22 yrs. old was sentenced by Judge Jim Kitchens a 12 yr. sentence plus 5 yr. probation for being arrested with 4 boxes of sudafedrin around the same time the Al. Judge was arrested. The Al. Judge has already been released from Ms. and my son is still in custody. But of course he had a court appointed attorney William Starks who stated he would be out within 18 months if he took the plea (12yrs.), and he did and now has been there over 2 yrs. He was also told if he didn't take the plea he would get a 30 yr. sentence. Go figure INJUSTICE in America.
Sylacauga Al

Alexander City, AL

#3 Jul 31, 2008
If the courts want to fix the problem of drug addiction in America, more drug rehabs need to be built, and a mandatory lock up needs to be set in place so the offender can get the much needed help, this will allow the person to realize with a clear mind, what drugs are doing to the body, and mind, and help restore a productive life. Prison is not the answer. Probation without rehab is not the answer. Why put a bandaid on an open wound that requires stitches, when in time without rehab the bandaid peels off, and the wound is open again. Drug users need rehab..One can read online how Meth affects the body, and mind, and drug rehab for at least one year is required, more time in some cases. A severe sentence for drug offense reminds me of parents that know a problem exist, but choose to ignore the root of the problem, and give up on the child, because they just don't want to deal with the main problem. I always ask myself, what if this was my child, and it doesn't matter if they are 20 or 60, they need HELP...NOT PRISON....If someone would step up, and take a stand on this serious matter, I believe they would have a positive environment to get their lives back on track. If money is the issue here, rehab for 1-2 years vs prison for 12 years is a big difference in time, and money....I say SAVE them, rehab is the way.
justice for judge colvin

Chelsea, AL

#4 Jul 31, 2008
How ironic that a judge would give another judge with a history less time than the poor white or black man that has a court appointed attorney, which is like having nothing in Ms. The judge had drugs and precursors, unlike the 22 yr. old only had precursors w/court appointed attorney and he is still there and the judge is back in Al. What does this say for our system??? What does this say for Judge Kitchens??? What does this say for William Starks who said you'll only serve 12-15 months and you'll be out but if you don't take this you will get a 30 yr. sentence for 4 boxes of sudefedrins. What if this was Judge Kitchens son, do you think he would give him a 12 yr. sentence for precursors or drug rehab? People need to wake up and see what is going on and how the system is taking the poor young americans and throwing them behind bars and forgetting about them just to build new jails and prisons and destroy there future, rather than build rehabs to help them get off drugs and allow them a fair chance. In the daiy home today a man was sentenced 12 yrs. for rape, how can you justify the same sentence Judge Kitchens gives for precursors.
Sylacauga Al

Alexander City, AL

#5 Aug 1, 2008
justice for judge colvin wrote:
How ironic that a judge would give another judge with a history less time than the poor white or black man that has a court appointed attorney, which is like having nothing in Ms. The judge had drugs and precursors, unlike the 22 yr. old only had precursors w/court appointed attorney and he is still there and the judge is back in Al. What does this say for our system??? What does this say for Judge Kitchens??? What does this say for William Starks who said you'll only serve 12-15 months and you'll be out but if you don't take this you will get a 30 yr. sentence for 4 boxes of sudefedrins. What if this was Judge Kitchens son, do you think he would give him a 12 yr. sentence for precursors or drug rehab? People need to wake up and see what is going on and how the system is taking the poor young americans and throwing them behind bars and forgetting about them just to build new jails and prisons and destroy there future, rather than build rehabs to help them get off drugs and allow them a fair chance. In the daiy home today a man was sentenced 12 yrs. for rape, how can you justify the same sentence Judge Kitchens gives for precursors.
Rehab is the only answer, one has to have help to get strong enough to conquer this awful addiction...Why take a person, nonviolent, and put them in a prison cell? If this problem is not addressed, the prisons will be over flowing...You are so right, our country needs more rehabs built, and people need to get educated on this horrible drug, then, and only then, will this problem be on the recovery list...
public knowledge

Chelsea, AL

#6 Aug 1, 2008
Alabama judge’s son gets special treatment for felony drug bust
This reporting courtesy of Loretta Nall with Alabamians for Compassionate Care. You can follow this story ate her blog, NallForGovernor.blogspot.com .

On March 3, 2008 John Alexander Rochester, son of 40th Circuit Court Judge John Rochester, was arrested at the Ashland City Park in Ashland, AL for possession of meth, first degree possession of marijuana, trafficking cocaine, possession of paraphernalia, distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Judge Rochester is legendary for harshly sentencing drug offenders who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in his courtroom. And Judge Rochester always drug tests defendants before the trial. Lines them up like cattle and demands their bodily fluids in hopes of bypassing that pesky thing known as a trial by jury.

Judge Rochester doesn’t believe in drug treatment before prison. In fact, one of his favorite sayings is,“There’s a SAP program in prison” whenever a lawyer asks that their client be allowed to attend treatment. SAP stands for substance abuse program.

John Alexander Rochester spent 20 days in the Ashland jail and was then bonded out by his mother for a total of $20,000 and whisked away to treatment in Mississippi to await the next convening of the grand jury in Clay County.

The judge who set the bonds is Judge George C. Simpson, the district court Judge in Clay County, which means he is subordinate to Judge Rochester and good friends with him to boot.…In at least two cases John Alexander Rochester’s bond was half (or less) what other people charged with the same crime had to pay.

Additionally, John Alexander Rochester should have enhancements added to his sentence because he was selling drugs at the city park… The only catch is that the prosecutor has to ask that these additional penalties be imposed.

And the reason I have to post edited portions of an email sent to me by Loretta, rather than linking and pasting from an Alabama media story on John Alexander Rochester, is because the media in Alabama have all but been silent on the story of a prominent judge’s son being busted near children in a park on multiple felony charges involving trafficking and three different drugs.

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Tags: Alabama, John Alexander Rochester, Judge John Rochester, Loretta Nall
Small Town

Alexander City, AL

#7 Aug 1, 2008
public knowledge wrote:
Alabama judge’s son gets special treatment for felony drug bust
This reporting courtesy of Loretta Nall with Alabamians for Compassionate Care. You can follow this story ate her blog, NallForGovernor.blogspot.com .
On March 3, 2008 John Alexander Rochester, son of 40th Circuit Court Judge John Rochester, was arrested at the Ashland City Park in Ashland, AL for possession of meth, first degree possession of marijuana, trafficking cocaine, possession of paraphernalia, distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
Judge Rochester is legendary for harshly sentencing drug offenders who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in his courtroom. And Judge Rochester always drug tests defendants before the trial. Lines them up like cattle and demands their bodily fluids in hopes of bypassing that pesky thing known as a trial by jury.
Judge Rochester doesn’t believe in drug treatment before prison. In fact, one of his favorite sayings is,“There’s a SAP program in prison” whenever a lawyer asks that their client be allowed to attend treatment. SAP stands for substance abuse program.
John Alexander Rochester spent 20 days in the Ashland jail and was then bonded out by his mother for a total of $20,000 and whisked away to treatment in Mississippi to await the next convening of the grand jury in Clay County.
The judge who set the bonds is Judge George C. Simpson, the district court Judge in Clay County, which means he is subordinate to Judge Rochester and good friends with him to boot.…In at least two cases John Alexander Rochester’s bond was half (or less) what other people charged with the same crime had to pay.
Additionally, John Alexander Rochester should have enhancements added to his sentence because he was selling drugs at the city park… The only catch is that the prosecutor has to ask that these additional penalties be imposed.
And the reason I have to post edited portions of an email sent to me by Loretta, rather than linking and pasting from an Alabama media story on John Alexander Rochester, is because the media in Alabama have all but been silent on the story of a prominent judge’s son being busted near children in a park on multiple felony charges involving trafficking and three different drugs.
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Tags: Alabama, John Alexander Rochester, Judge John Rochester, Loretta Nall
I can't believe this...is this true?
public knowledge

Chelsea, AL

#8 Aug 1, 2008
public knowledge wrote:
Alabama judge’s son gets special treatment for felony drug bust
This reporting courtesy of Loretta Nall with Alabamians for Compassionate Care. You can follow this story ate her blog, NallForGovernor.blogspot.com .
On March 3, 2008 John Alexander Rochester, son of 40th Circuit Court Judge John Rochester, was arrested at the Ashland City Park in Ashland, AL for possession of meth, first degree possession of marijuana, trafficking cocaine, possession of paraphernalia, distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
Judge Rochester is legendary for harshly sentencing drug offenders who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in his courtroom. And Judge Rochester always drug tests defendants before the trial. Lines them up like cattle and demands their bodily fluids in hopes of bypassing that pesky thing known as a trial by jury.
Judge Rochester doesn’t believe in drug treatment before prison. In fact, one of his favorite sayings is,“There’s a SAP program in prison” whenever a lawyer asks that their client be allowed to attend treatment. SAP stands for substance abuse program.
John Alexander Rochester spent 20 days in the Ashland jail and was then bonded out by his mother for a total of $20,000 and whisked away to treatment in Mississippi to await the next convening of the grand jury in Clay County.
The judge who set the bonds is Judge George C. Simpson, the district court Judge in Clay County, which means he is subordinate to Judge Rochester and good friends with him to boot.…In at least two cases John Alexander Rochester’s bond was half (or less) what other people charged with the same crime had to pay.
Additionally, John Alexander Rochester should have enhancements added to his sentence because he was selling drugs at the city park… The only catch is that the prosecutor has to ask that these additional penalties be imposed.
And the reason I have to post edited portions of an email sent to me by Loretta, rather than linking and pasting from an Alabama media story on John Alexander Rochester, is because the media in Alabama have all but been silent on the story of a prominent judge’s son being busted near children in a park on multiple felony charges involving trafficking and three different drugs.
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Tags: Alabama, John Alexander Rochester, Judge John Rochester, Loretta Nall
Now why would a Judge's son get special treatment when some else would go to prison and be forgotton. Why is this not all over the media? What makes him better than the poor average american. This is biased, wrong, partial treament. Not justified. The madia needs to get this and publicise and also find out where did Judge Ira Colvin end up. I bet not in Jail like everyone else with the same sentence.
How can this continue? Where is this world going? Why don't the media broadcast this on the news daily until it gets attention. Everyone that reads this needs to send to everyone they know and get them to post comments and send to the White house and maybe then it may get the attention it deserves. Everyone has someone who has got caught up with additions, but not everyone ends up in prison. Impartial....
meth

Chelsea, AL

#9 Aug 5, 2008
Sentencing Project Report Debunks Methamphetamine Myths
The Sentencing Project has released a report which successfully deflates the hype surrounding methamphetamine use. The publication, "The Next Big Thing? Methamphetamine In The United States," "examines the development of methamphetamine as the 'next big thing' in drug threats by analyzing drug use rates through a series of different measures, investigating the role of the media in perpetuating the 'epidemic' language, and assessing the state-of-the-art in methamphetamine treatment options."

As the author says in the introduction, "The findings of this report refute the image of methamphetamine use in the United States as popularly conveyed by both the media as well as many government officials. Mischaracterizing the impact of methamphetamine by exaggerating its prevalence and consequences while downplaying its receptivity to treatment succeeds neither as a tool of prevention nor a vehicle of education. To the contrary, this combination of rhetoric and misinformation about the state of methamphetamine abuse is costly and threatening to the national drug abuse response because it results in a misallocation of resources. We urge vigilance in tempering our national response to methamphetamine, keeping the focus local and providing federal funding to augment evidence-based treatment protocols that have been demonstrated successful in a number of jurisdictions."

Key findings from the report are summarized below. A copy of the report is available from the Sentencing Project as well as from the CSDP Research Archive.

Methamphetamine is among the least commonly used drugs
Only 0.2% of Americans are regular users of methamphetamine.
Four times as many Americans use cocaine on a regular basis and 30 times as many use marijuana.
Rates of methamphetamine use have remained stable since 1999
The proportion of Americans who use methamphetamine on a monthly basis has hovered in the range of 0.2-0.3% between 1999 and 2004.
Rates of methamphetamine use by high school students have declined since 1999
The proportion of high school students who had ever used methamphetamine (lifetime prevalence rates) declined by 45% between 1999 and 2005, from 8.2% to 4.5%.
Methamphetamine use remains a rare occurrence in most of the United States, but exhibits higher rates of use in selected areas
Only 5% of adult male arrestees tested positive for methamphetamine, compared with 30% for cocaine and 44% for marijuana.
In some west coast cities – Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego, and San Jose – positive responses for methamphetamine use among arrestees registered between 25-37%.
In those cities, the overall rate of drug use did not rise between 1998 and 2003, suggesting that the increased use of methamphetamine replaced other drugs, particularly cocaine.
Drug treatment has been demonstrated to be effective in combating methamphetamine addiction
Studies in 15 states have demonstrated significant effects of treatment in the areas of abstention, reduced arrests, employment, and other measures.
Methamphetamine abuse has generally been shown to be as receptive to treatment as other addictive drugs.
Misleading media reports of a methamphetamine “epidemic” have hindered the development of a rational policy response to the problem
Media accounts are often anecdotal, unsupported by facts, and at odds with existing data.
Exaggerated accounts of the prevalence, addictiveness, and consequences of methamphetamine abuse risk not only misinforming the public, but may result in a “boomerang effect” in which use and perception are negatively affected.
alabamaborn

Richmond, VA

#10 Aug 20, 2008
these sorta things happen every day all over the USA, i can't believe anyone is shocked. they had that boy in louisiana, on the news, peopled marched , but them folks down there showed all of us they can do whatever they like.
Small Town

Alexander City, AL

#11 Aug 26, 2008
alabamaborn wrote:
these sorta things happen every day all over the USA, i can't believe anyone is shocked. they had that boy in louisiana, on the news, peopled marched , but them folks down there showed all of us they can do whatever they like.
If anyone gets caught with drugs, I think it should be mandatory they go to rehab for a year...if this problem is not taken care of early it will get bigger...I don't believe in the bandaid treatment, I think it should be a full year...where are the rehabs we need in this country????
westalabamainfo

Haleyville, AL

#12 Aug 30, 2009
What is really sad: We Americans have forgotten that these drug crimes are not criminal at all. The use of drugs is constitutionally protected. In fact, it is not illegal to use any drug. It is, however, illegal to be in "possession" of certain substances. I cannot for the life of me understand why such smart people do not understand the difference between crimes against people and property AND "crimes" against PUBLIC POLICY. Yes, all drug possession "criminals" are, in fact "POLITICAL PRISONERS.'
The politicians created this "DRUG PROBLEM" (anti-drug legislation) then took control over people's emotional and physical health away from the "Disabled Person," (Yes drug dependency is considered by the SSA as a real Disability, protected by the Americans with disabilities Act!)as well as the drug user or offender's Family and Medical providers. It doesn't matter what the drug. It is a FAMILY and MEDICAL problem, Not a criminal issue. What a waste of human life and taxpayer money.
UNKNOWN

United States

#13 Apr 28, 2010
I KNOW EXACTLY HOW EVERYONE FEELS. I ALSO KNOW ALL ABOUT JUDGE KITCHENS AND HOW UNFAIR HE IS TO PEOPLE. I JUST GOT SENTENCED BY HIM ALSO, FOR CONSPIRACY TO MANUFACTURE. MY COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY WAS JEFF HOSFORD. I DO NOT FEEL THAT MY ATTORNEY WAS LOOKING AT WHAT WAS BEST FOR ME. I AM 23 YEARS OLD AND HE SENTENCED ME TO 2YRS HOUSE ARREST 5 YEARS PROBATION AND HE ALSO ADDED THAT IF I GET VIOLATED FOR ANYTHING WHAT SO EVER I SPENT AN ENTIRE 20 YEARS IN PRISON WITH NO PAROLE. NEEDLESS TO SAY FROM THE TIME I LEFT JAIL TIL I GOT SENTENCED I SIGNED MYSELF INTO REHAB, TOOK PARENTING CLASSE,WENT TO ALOT OF AA AND NA MEETINGS, HELD A JOB AFTER REHAB AND WAS VERY POLIT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT THE ENTIRE TIME. NOTHING OF THOSE THNGS EVEN MATTERED THOUGH. I FEEL TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT BUT FINISH MY SENTENCE.
Lisa Deaton

United States

#14 May 30, 2011
My brother Daniel B Blan was wrongly incarcirated&innocently convicted.15yrs on a life w/o parole.The judge all the up know that he is innocent.Because we are poor that makes us a bigger target.$4,000,000 put him there.He was tried under a fictious name.Any&Everything that could go wrong went wrong.The atty he has now told me"He read Danny's transcript from front to back&don't see how Danny was indicated much less convicted".A sad miscarriage of justicd.I refuse to give tp on getting him home. This not only affected him but has run our mother.Thank you&GOD BLESS YOU all that took time to read this.my email is [email protected]
Lisa Deaton

United States

#15 May 30, 2011
RedWagon wrote:
It seems everyone thinks that the sentence given is a good character judgment of Jim Kitchens. Well if you research you will find that any other person which is a poor, white or black person in the area gets 30-60 years for meth. for Judge Jim Kitchens.
He is unfair to the above referenced and if you check with Jackson, MS, his convictions represent a very large amount of appeals with The Office of Indigent Appeals. He is a biased judge who should never had been re-elected. Do a search online, call the above office, check with the poor black and white of District 16 and you will see that this sentence is nothing but the true character of Jim Kitchens. The attorney is not in Canton, MS and will only serve 1-2 years before his release.
Corruption in the system is finally being brought to their own justice.For whats in the dark shall come to light
Dave

Canada

#16 Jun 13, 2011
Geez, Judges actualy have to do jail. I think a lot more are guilty, but peers cover it up before it gets to court.

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