Now 25 years old, Cedric Holland has a history of upsetting the Sacramento legal system. 7 years ago, Holland was convicted on an offense that eventually led to his being on the California sex offender registry – (CA Penal Code §288). He was handed over to the California Youth Authority (CYA), which is now known as the California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). In May of this year, he kidnapped a 7-year-old girl who was walking with her mother near 54th and 47th in the early afternoon hours. The girl was somehow taken from her mother, stuffed in the trunk of Holland’s car, and then managed to escape, running to ask for a stranger’s aid.
There are, however, some inconsistencies that seem to be present in this case. First, the CYA/DJJ is an institutional mechanism whose goal is supposedly to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. At the time of his first arrest, Holland must have been under the age of 18; otherwise, he would have been tried as an adult. Yet, either the state of California’s rehabilitative efforts fell on deaf ears or Holland became a more violent criminal during his time there. Should we begin to doubt that the DJJ truly aims at rehabilitation of juvenile offenders? The DJJ only houses violent and serious criminals, persons who are repeat sex offenders and gang members. Are we to believe that one conviction pursuant to CA Penal Code §288 warranted his placement in such a facility?
There are other questions that also need answering: How, for example, did Holland so easily get the child away from her mother? How is it that the girl’s mother was unable to stop him from stuffing the 7-year-old in the trunk of his car – in broad daylight and at a busy intersection? Many things remain a mystery in the Holland case; one thing is, however, certain – his bail has been set at a whopping $1 million.