Published May 24, 2013
It’s been tough to read the proceedings of the James Patterson case involving the death of Girard teen Christine Sheesley.
Tough in that it happened almost 20 years ago to my brother.
No one went to prison in my brother’s incident. I guess the middle man who delivered the drugs that day got some version of a sentence in that his life came to the same end as my brother’s that day.
I have no strong feelings on prison sentences for guys like Patterson or another enabler, Tyler Stevens. I tend to lean against them. But when you look at Patterson’s long list of offenses, it’s hard to argue against prison.
But I’m alarmed more so by the amount of people who could have saved Sheesley’s life had they had the knowledge and wherewithal to call 911 — even anonymously.
That same step would have saved my brother. But the guys in the house that day were all too stoned and intoxicated to think rationally. They were not negligent to their friend and my brother. They just panicked.
And it’s a shame they did.
It’d be nice to say “don’t do drugs, and this won’t happen.”
But the reality is that drug use will exist. People will make bad decisions or be influenced by bad folks.
I think it’s more realistic then, to hope those involved in use and abuse have better wherewithal when it goes wrong — like it did with Sheesley.
If you’re to equip yourself with a needle, you have delusional hopes that the product in the needle will deliver you to a “great place.”
Amid that tragic outlook, at least equip yourself with the steps to take when the product takes you to a fatal place.