Did you hear the one about the lenient judge who let the violent punk off easy? Yeah, we all have, because it happens way too often around these parts.

Just last week, 18-year-old Joelle Perez, another New Bedford whiz kid, was convicted of carrying an illegal firearm and five counts of attempted assault and battery by discharging a firearm in a South End neighborhood in an effort to intimidate several witnesses to a March 2017 shooting incident.

Perez and his buddies used knives and threats to try and scare the witnesses, then Perez fired several shots in their direction. One shot sent shrapnel from a concrete foundation flying, injuring a woman.

Thank God this loser is off the streets, no? No, because Judge John Spinale released him and gave him a curfew pending his sentencing which is scheduled for March 1st. So in other words, little Joelle gets to stay outside and play neighborhood terrorist as long as he is home before the street lights come on.

The 56-year-old Spinale, a lifelong Halifax resident, was appointed to the Bristol County Juvenile Court bench in 2006 by then-Governor Mitt Romney.

D.A. Tom Quinn and Mayor Jon Mitchell have expressed disappointment with the judge's decision. What they should be expressing is outrage while demanding Judge Spinale is removed from the bench. If this punk re-offends while on curfew, the blood will be on Spinale's hands.

Ever wonder why these youthful offenders are so brazen? It's because of judges like Spinale who facilitate them and allow them to be royal pains in the ass to the rest of society.

This is an affront to all law-abiding citizens of the Commonwealth. Judge Spinale should be removed from the bench immediately.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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