Our legal system is fucked. I don’t know what the appropriate sentence is for this but when put side by side with other punishments for unsanctioned commercial activities or just deciding to use substances deemed unsafe or copyright infringement or countless other things that don’t traumatize an actual human being and show an incredible lack of empathy for fellow humans?
Oh he’s white (and college educated). The same rules don’t apply.
In late 1959, John Howard Griffin went to a friend’s house in New Orleans, Louisiana. Once there, under the care of a dermatologist, Griffin underwent a regimen of large oral doses of the anti-vitiligo drug methoxsalen, and spending up to fifteen hours daily under an ultraviolet lamp. When he could pass as an African American, Griffin began a six-week journey in the South. Don Rutledge traveled with him, documenting the experience with photos.
What brought me up short was the last paragraph, when I suddenly and sadly realized that this was an entirely different “entitled college kid gets a slap on the wrist for raping a drunk woman” story than the one I thought it was.
So on reddit someone else mentioned how his case in Colorado would have normally landed him a sentence with a minimum of 4-6 years to life pending rehab, but will likely end up being a life sentence because state services for that rehab are not capable of turning around that treatment in that same amount of time. Maybe better just to throw him in anyway, because I don’t think there was ever a great turnaround on the behavior of rapists.
It boggles my mind that so many states elect judges. Why put the decision of someone who can literally determine life or death directly in the hands of voters? How does anyone benefit from a partisan judicial election?
Are you kidding me? Most of our boulders in the Puget Sound region were brought here as erratics, against their own will. They had no choice when they were displaced from Canada and forcefully relocated south. These are the most vulnerable boulders imaginable and you come here to mock them, and no one is willing to blame the actual culprit, the glaciers. /s
Corporations benefit, the wealthy benefit, corrupt judicial politicians benefit. The poor get screwed.
It’s the usual toxic American mix of money, power, corruption and race. Historically, it began when Jefferson tried to subvert judicial resistance to executive and legislative power, an effort that continued with Jackson et al.
The maintenance of the system likely had a substantial boost from its utility for enforcing regional prejudices through the judiciary. The interaction of judicial election with America’s effectively non-existent political bribery regulations also makes it a potent source of corporate and plutocratic impunity.
Most judges run unopposed…until they do something to annoy someone with money. Then, they’re either replaced by the money-backed candidate, or they go find some alternative money to sell their judicial independence to. You get a bent judge either way, but the greater effect this has is via the prior restraint it exerts on all judges dealing with moneyed litigants.
I’d have done prison time if I wasn’t a privileged white boy. The thing you need to understand is that the judge is a privileged white boy too. When you put a privileged white boy onto the stand he sees himself and that changes his thinking. All those other folk he sent to prison were a menace to society that needed to be taken off the street for the good of all privileged white boys and their friends a.k.a. “society”. But sending a privileged white boy to prison? What a waste! The judge no doubt got up to some “boisterous mischief” in his day and he knows that if he’d been caught he wouldn’t be a judge today. It breaks his heart to ruin this privileged white boy’s prospects, whereas a black kid who probably has no prospects anyway…
I was a university student working part time as a programmer. When the prosecution had finished making their case the judge said “that’s all very well, but we can hardly ignore his significant career.” He ordered me to pay court costs (his own wages, I guess), and then I walked without conviction despite a guilty plea. An annoyed police officer felt the need to tell me he’d seen people get seven years for the same charge. I did not reply, and a decade later I still don’t know what to say.