MY TURN: The Great Escape

WMC-TV 5 V.P. & General Manager Lee Meredith
WMC-TV 5 V.P. & General Manager Lee Meredith

Doesn't it remind you a little bit of those Andy Griffith show episodes? I'm talking about the ones where Otis, the town drunk, lets himself out of jail whenever he wants to come and go. Well, that's pretty much the way it's been for Dearick Stokes lately.

Stokes received attention from his first getaway earlier this year when he failed to return from a bathroom break just before a jury found him guilty of murder. It took police almost a month to catch him after that.

This time around, his escape required no initiative whatsoever on his part. Shelby County jailers relying on faulty computer information just let him go.

This is no laughing matter. It's hard enough for police catch all the people who commit crimes and for prosecutors to convict them. Every time something like this happens, police again have to divert resources and potentially put their safety at risk a second time to re-arrest someone. Fixing the jail computer system and/or the people who operated it incorrectly, should be a high priority.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment or anything else, email or call 800-465-1210.