Griffith issues statement in Boardman probation case

Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith issued the following statement today:

“In 2015, Jeremiah Lewis Boardman was sentenced by Judge Long to serve numerous years in prison for his convictions. He was released from incarceration and to supervised probation in June of 2021; however, by this fall he had already violated his probation, by not abiding by his terms of being a registered sex offender by consuming alcohol, viewing pornography, and having non-sexual communication with a minor.

“On November 1st, 2021, Jeremiah Lewis Boardman, a convicted felon and registered sex offender had his probation violation hearing. Due to new, mandatory non-discretionary probation violations laws the Court, even after finding him guilty of violating his probation was not able to sentence him to any active incarceration for his violation of probation. Under previous legislation the Court would have had the discretion to revoke up to twelve years.

The result of this revocation is a direct reflection of new legislation regarding probation violations. Neither the court nor our office has the ability to sentence or even seek additional active prison time for his first probation violation, despite the nature of the charges for which he is on probation. I don’t know if this outcome is an intended consequence or an unintended consequence but either way, it is a sad fact, that the new legislation created this outcome.

“I am damn sure Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney James Crandall would not stand for that, and he started the hearing out by characterizing the amount of revocable time as wholly inadequate. He was not willing to sit there and not be heard.

“As far as I’m concerned, when someone like the defendant is given the opportunity to be released from prison based on those convictions, and he doesn’t walk that fine line that the court ordered him to, he should serve nearly every day of his suspended sentence.

“In addition, probation officers spend their time and risk their safety every day monitoring defendants who are released from incarceration and they should not have to take time and effort to charge defendants with violating their probation and then have them released right back to their supervision without any consequences.

“I want to be transparent with the county just like I was when the parole board released David Simpkins. We have a duty of justice and the new legislation allowed for a miscarriage of justice to occur in this case. This is legislation that needs to be changed and I will make sure our new Delegates are aware of the effects that legislation can have. To do nothing would be an injustice for all. I am proud to serve our County.”