The big delay in posting has been because I had a nasty cold that only just recently cleared up. I’ll get back to posting about ponies and fun stuff soon, I promise. But I feel the need to voice some thoughts on this, just for the sake of my own sanity.
A warning: don’t click on the link below, or even read the rest of this blog post, if you aren’t in a good frame of mind at the moment to handle something depressing, infuriating, and maddening.
So, this happened.
What the ever living FUCK.
I have trouble believing this is real. I read the article and then looked back up at the top of the page, hoping that I had somehow misread “The Onion” as “CNN.com.” But nope, it’s real.
This is absolutely unbelievable. Sunny Hostin, a CNN legal analyst, hit the nail squarely on the head by saying “To give him a pass this time given the egregious nature of his conduct — four deaths — is just incomprehensible.” That boils it down pretty damned succinctly.
The very NOTION that someone who is so grossly privileged (and note, I’m not just saying that as my own opinion, the judge is the one who decided that his level of privilege is so high that it warrants no jail time) should then be REWARDED for that privilege by being allowed to get away with murder-
Stop and think about that for a second. That’s an expression that’s often employed in a variety of situations, many times when the incident being discussed doesn’t even involve anyone dying. This is an actual, literal example. And it’s exceedingly clear cut. There is no ambiguity here. He killed those people because of his own reckless, unlawful action.
And the judge decided he doesn’t need to go to jail. At all. Because his privilege was too high, so it wasn’t really his fault.
It was his parents fault, according to the decision. If that’s the case, then charge them as accessories or something. But this is a 16-year old, not an 8-year old. If you are old enough to have a drivers license, you are old enough to be held responsible for your actions when you abuse that license and end up killing someone. Let alone FOUR people. There is no legitimate defense for this.
Affluenza? Seriously? My response to the idea that this could possibly be seen as a real thing, let alone a defense for murder can best be summed up thusly:
Fuck right off.
The idea here (seriously, I wish I were making this up) is that someone can be so pampered, their every whim catered to and all their troubles erased by money and influence, means that when they get into REAL trouble and actually kill someone, you… erase their troubles? Because it wasn’t their fault, because… they were too privileged? It’s difficult to even process, it’s so stupid. And he didn’t even JUST “kill someone.” He killed FOUR people, in what has to be one of the most horrific, most terrifying ways imaginable. This is a monstrous act. There is NO difference in the amount of contempt I hold for the perpetrator of this crime and the amount of contempt I’d hold for a mugger who shoots and kills someone who won’t give up his wallet. Drunk driving is a rather massive problem in this country. It is a crime with potentially serious consequences – as serious as ANY crime that can be committed by an ordinary citizen – and is singularly terrifying for the sheer randomness of it. Yet it never seems to get as much attention as a lot of other heinous crimes. But this, this takes it to a whole other level. No jail time. There is no way to twist that into making any kind of sense.
What good is justice if it doesn’t apply to everyone evenly? What good is a justice system if it doesn’t work? What is the point of the entire CONCEPT of prison itself if someone who gets drunk to three times the legal limit, gets behind the wheel, and kills four people who were just standing on the side of the road trying to fix a broken down vehicle doesn’t have to spend even one fucking day there?
Congratulations, Judge Jean Boyd of Texas. You’ve let a murderer go free, denied justice to the grieving family members of the victims, and reinforced the very thing you blame for causing the incident. He’s too privileged and has always gotten everything he wants and has never had to face the consequences of his actions, which caused him to do this horrible thing, for which he will face no consequences. Brilliant.
You’ve also potentially (hopefully not, but this is a possibility) set a horrifying new precedent in motion: those who are already privileged in this country, those who already have far more money and power than any single United States citizen could possibly need, those who already have been using that money and power to skirt laws and lessen consequences for ages, can now claim that THEIR VERY PRIVILEGE is a legitimate defense for assault, or rape, or murder.
Also, to the “psychologist” who went on the stand and spoke on behalf of this “affluenza” nonsense: retire. You suck at your job, and you are obviously doing more harm than good with your position.
“My money and easy life made me do it.”
The man who lost his wife and daughter said that the entire healing process that he’d been going through was essentially reset by this incredible lack of justice. I can’t blame him. I hope that someday, the wounds caused by this event and exacerbated by the thoughtless actions of the judge will begin to heal, though I imagine they can never fully do so.