Laws differ for rich, poor

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The Dec. 13 Augusta Chronicle gave a stark demonstration that, in America, there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.

On Page 5A: A Texas judge sentenced 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years of probation for killing four people while driving intoxicated. The prosecutor asked for 20 years in prison. Ethan’s wealthy family hired a psychologist to explain that Ethan’s actions resulted from the character challenges of being rich. Instead of prison, Ethan will go to rehab at a facility costing $450,000 a year. The judge ignored the pain and outrage his decision inflicted on the four grieving – and not wealthy – families.

On Page 1A: Superior Court Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced 21-year-old Devonte Bogan to two years in prison for killing his girlfriend’s puppy. Devonte finished high school, had a job and had no criminal record. But his family could not afford a psychologist to explain that Devonte had lost control for one fateful minute because he was frustrated with the challenges of being poor. Instead of probation and anger-management therapy, Devonte will go to prison. Judge Padgett’s sympathy seemed to be all for the puppy.

For killing four people, Ethan is going to rehab. For killing a puppy, Devonte is going to prison. In two years, Ethan will be looking at college, maybe in the Ivy League, and perhaps a job in his daddy’s business. Let’s hope rehab teaches him to handle the hardships of wealth responsibly.

If Devonte survives prison, he’s looking at life as a convicted felon, little chance of a decent job and no pricey therapist to help him handle the pressures of poverty.

Meanwhile, we can hope Judge Padgett learns to value the lives of poor young men as much as he does puppies.

Face it, people: This is the real America.

Susan Yarborough

Augusta

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specsta
6746
Points
specsta 12/23/13 - 03:27 am
5
9
Time For A Make-Over

There have always been two sets of rules in the criminal justice system. One for the rich, one for the poor. One for whites, and one for minorities. Injustice runs rampant in our courts. Injustice runs rampant in our streets with cops and selective arrests. Injustice permeates every brick, mortar and beam in the courthouses.

That's why the entire justice system must go. Time is due for a complete breakdown and overhaul of this most ineffective systematic failure of our government.

It is astonishing that the criminal justice system, despite advances in technology and mental health counseling, still functions on an 18th-century mindset. And with new laws being written every day, destined to be broken by ordinary citizens, the system will continue to be overburdened, mostly with asinine cases that do not involve any harm to any property or person.

Every law that was passed that does not address harm to a person or property needs to be tossed in the trash bin. That will solve 90% of the nonsense going on in the courts.

Any sentencing guidelines that includes prison or jail for non-violent offenses need to be flushed down the toilet. This will solve the "prisons-for-profit" scourge and dramatically reduce the costs of incarceration. Fines, restitution, mental health counseling, community service, etc. are all more effective methods that allow non-violent offenders to maintain their ability to be contributing members of society, as opposed to the "lock 'em up" shrunken-brain mentality.

Equality in fines will directly address rich versus poor issues. For instance, a $300 traffic fine is just lunch money to some rich people, while for others it means they might get tossed into the street for not being able to pay rent.

Some countries use income-based fines for infractions and other crimes where a fine is appropriate. This is needed in the USA.

We cannot continue down the path of stupidity. The justice system is broken, crushed, derelict, ineffective and unequal - and we must change it.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 12/23/13 - 04:53 am
7
5
"Equality in fines will

"Equality in fines will directly address rich versus poor issues. For instance, a $300 traffic fine is just lunch money to some rich people, while for others it means they might get tossed into the street for not being able to pay rent."

LOL, So specsta, just because I get out and work hard at my job to make good money, I am penalized and charged more for the same violation than you, just because you want to sit on your duff and collect from government and not work.....but our violation is the same, just not the pay.

Sure doesn't seem to "equal" to me.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/23/13 - 06:18 am
7
5
Specta is just repeating
Unpublished

Specta is just repeating his/her hero's mantra. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 12/23/13 - 03:17 pm
8
2
Mrs. Yarborough

You forgot to mention, that on the VERY SAME DAY Judge Padgett sentenced Bogan to 2 years in prison for killing a puppy, he let a child molestor walk FREE!!! Guy committed sexual battery on a 6 YEAR OLD and Judge Padgett gives him 1 year house arrest, followed by probation. Let us NOT forget that!!

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 12/23/13 - 06:48 am
10
3
Specsta

I swear specsta, sometimes you would make good points if you would just drop the radical left wing rhetoric!!!

Let's fact the facts!! This Country DOES have different rules for the rich and powerful!! It's not about RACE specsta!!! It's about power and influence and the more MONEY you have, the more power and influence you have, period!!!

No one will convince me different either; because after 17 years, I've seen it first hand all too many times!! I've personally seen rich, powerful people get away with everything from speeding, to MAJOR felonies!! I've seen them do things that would have you and I doing many years in prison!! Yes, I've seen it!!! No, I don't like it!! Yes, I've said something about it, even calling "news stations" to report some of it. Guess what? The rich and powerful have influence at the "news stations" as well!! Usually, if you've heard of a rich, powerful person getting in trouble, it's usually because they've upset another rich and maybe MORE powerful person. Sometimes it's called "taking out the competition".

BUT, this has always happened and always will. I DO NOT believe mankind can fix mankinds problems!! You replace the currect rich and powerful, with DIFFERENT men, who then become rich and powerful and you have the same problems. Specsta CAN NOT and WOULD not fix the problem. The LEFT can not and would not fix the problem. The RIGHT can not, and would not fix the problem!! There has ALWAYS BEEN and always will be a segment of society who are the rich and powerful. Whether you have a republic, democracy, capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, etc. They ALL have a rich and powerful group!!!

There is only ONE fix to this problem and anyone who has EVER read my comments, knows what I believe the solution is!!! Not only do I believe He will fix this, His word says He will!!! The last shall become first and the first shall become the last!! The rich and powerful who have ABUSED their wealth and power, are in for a HUGE shock, very soon!! Guess what? They won't like it either!!

KSL
140144
Points
KSL 12/23/13 - 06:56 am
7
5
Prime example: Look what

Prime example: Look what Obama has gotten away with!

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 12/23/13 - 07:12 am
4
3
good words myfather15

So true; man can do a lot but he can't get God to repeal sowing and reaping. Always works, always will. Some crops just take longer to mature than others. Even when we are done wrong if we choose to keep sowing good we will get a good crop in time.

ymnbde
10380
Points
ymnbde 12/23/13 - 07:20 am
6
4
"real" America

has become the illogical focus on the malfunctioning few
and ignoring the functioning many
the Augusta criminal also beat his girlfriend
and pounding a puppy with a hammer?
should he have just said, "oops, my bad" and gotten away with it?
exactly what should have been the sentence?
and the only reason we know about the drunk driving kid
is because of the extreme oddity of it
most sentences have a narrow distribution of severity
and are fairly rendered
the poor of the "real" America have more power
are better housed and fed and have more "fairness" in matters of the state than any poor in the world, any poor in the history of the world
and the taxes and labors and charity of the rich "built" that
the mixture of capitalism and Christianity enabled Americans to have the most prosperous "poor" people in history and our education system exploits those same people to the extent that they don't even know that they have power over their own lives... see Mr. Stafford's letter from a few days ago... he outlined it perfectly
all our current problems are caused by a poor public education system
and liberals built that
specsta, the "prison for profit" scourge of which you speak
originates with the liberal run public schools' exploitation of black children
if there is a conspiracy, it is between the prison bureaucracy and the public school bureaucracy... and every liberal opposing school choice is complicit in that conspiracy
this writer is comparing specific isolated extremes to the system in general
and that is a tool of deceit, class envy, and can only result in class warfare and anarchy
but do go on...

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 12/23/13 - 08:00 am
7
2
ymnbde

I have no problem with the sentence Judge Padgett gave Bogan for hammering the puppy to death and I don't believe most people do either.

The problem is in the disparity of the sentencing!! A child molestor walks free, while a puppy killer, goes to prison!! SAME JUDGE!!

The other case was a different judge. But it's still unfair that a young man kills four people and walks!!

nocnoc
47190
Points
nocnoc 12/23/13 - 08:36 am
1
1
 

deleted 

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 12/23/13 - 08:24 am
5
3
it is NOT THE LAWS...it the

it is NOT THE LAWS...it the judges appointed by liberals that have no moral compass...they believe everything is relative...that is why the ruling are so outrageous and inconsistent.

Bizkit
34328
Points
Bizkit 12/23/13 - 08:33 am
5
4
Laws don't differ from rich

Laws don't differ from rich or poor just the outcomes differ. It pays to have a good lawyer if you can afford it because of wealth or if it's a notable case with a poor black then the ACLU, etc come to support. It isn't a difference in law but a difference in outcome. Blame your lawyer-I know plenty of wealthy people who have done their time too because of poor lawyer advice. Take Charles Walker-influence and wealth didn't save him. He should sue his lawyers.

nocnoc
47190
Points
nocnoc 12/23/13 - 08:35 am
3
2
Scary thought

We are starting to sound like a bunch of Socialists.
demanding Social (Class) Justice.

Right now the only country I know of that treats the rich the same as the poor is law Saudi Arabia using Islamic Law.

They cut off the heads of Royalty still, for violating the law.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 12/23/13 - 08:42 am
6
2
The TRUTH is not always easy

The TRUTH is not always easy to hear!! But does that make it any less true?

seenitB4
93609
Points
seenitB4 12/23/13 - 09:23 am
6
3
Money talks ...always has

A great attorney is what helps in the courtroom...we all know that.

O J comes to mind right now...

jimmymac
45719
Points
jimmymac 12/23/13 - 09:44 am
0
0
JUSTICE
Unpublished

The reason justice is unequal is the quality of the man sitting on the bench. It's time to hold these judges accountable for the ridiculous sentencing. Police do their jobs and arrest the criminals only to have some liberal judge release them or give them light sentences. The guy who beat his girl friend and killed the dog should have gone to jail for ten years for felonious assault of a human. The Wyoming judge that gave 30 days to the teacher that raped a student is a prime example of what's wrong with out criminal justice system. If you want it to work then it's time to vote the judges out and get people in that will serve justice. The idiot judge in Texas that allowed the "affluence defense" should be disbarred!

dahreese
4869
Points
dahreese 12/23/13 - 09:45 am
3
11
@specsta 12/23/13 - 03:27
Unpublished

@specsta 12/23/13 - 03:27 am

You are over their heads.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 12/23/13 - 10:00 am
7
5
"One for whites, and one for
Unpublished

"One for whites, and one for minorities. Injustice runs rampant in our courts. Injustice runs rampant in our streets with cops and selective arrests."
The reason more blacks are arrested is because they commit MOST OF THE CRIMES. All you have to do is read the papers. It usually ends with 'the suspect was a young black male'. Yet many black people will not vote to convict these thugs. specsta, you are correct there is real racism but it not the whites that is racist.

dichotomy
36254
Points
dichotomy 12/23/13 - 10:32 am
5
1
You can stop all of this with

You can stop all of this with mandatory sentencing. You cannot give judges "discretion" because their track record proves they don't have any.

You want equal punishments in the court system? The only way is mandatory sentencing and fines for EVERY crime. Judges are too swayed by politics, money, influence, and their own arrogance. Judges should control the trial, but not the sentence. And by mandatory sentencing I don't mean something that says "5 to 20 years". I mean something that says "this crime is 10 years....period".

KSL
140144
Points
KSL 12/23/13 - 11:41 am
5
3
Specsta is not over our

Specsta is not over our heads. Specsta just has a different world view.

harley_52
25111
Points
harley_52 12/23/13 - 12:22 pm
5
3
"Specsta just has a different world view."

Precisely.

It's a common trait amongst "progressives."

They live in the "ideal" world. Idealism. "Wouldn't it be nice if.....(fill in the blank.) No hunger, no crime, equality of outcomes, peace amongst nations, peace amongst religions, peace amongst ethnicities....on and on, and on.

Those things have never happened since the beginning of time and most of us accept as reality that they will never happen. We live in the world of reality, not the world of idealism.

In the real world, things are very often not ideal. One must learn to deal with the world the way it is, not the way we wish it were.

Life's a [filtered word]....learn to live with it. It doesn't do any good to wring your hands and live your life whining about things that will never be.

Unless, of course, your are a clergyman....

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 12/23/13 - 12:53 pm
3
5
"different world

"different world view"...heck, I thought dahreese was saying specsta was floating in the clouds. I was going to agree with him. LOL!

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 12/23/13 - 02:01 pm
4
7
I see not many have studied
Unpublished

I see not many have studied criminal justice. They just yell out OJ and that makes everything equal. Must be Fox News viewers .race has always been a factor in every aspect of the criminal justice system.

Darby
28357
Points
Darby 12/23/13 - 02:11 pm
5
4
"There have always been two sets of rules in

the criminal justice system. One for the rich, one for the poor."

.
Same old Marxist drivel. Keep it up though... it worked in 1917 so who knows????

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/23/13 - 02:15 pm
4
4
Owensjef.....and your proof
Unpublished

Owensjef.....and your proof would be? Remember, the person who makes the accusation has the responsibility to prove his accusation. Or are you going to just throw the race card and run....or tell someone else to prove it FOR you, like usual.

And what is your beef with FOX? Yesterday you made up a "study" to demean FOX....which you were unable to substantiate...as usual.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/23/13 - 02:18 pm
4
3
It seems a major reason
Unpublished

It seems a major reason blacks receive longer sentences for identical crimes is recidivism. If you keep breaking the same law enough, the judge gets tired of seeing you.

Oh, and owenjef...this is called supporting documentation.....I suppose I could tell you to look it up yourself.

http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_StateRecidivismFinalPa...

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/23/13 - 02:21 pm
3
3
"They just yell out OJ and
Unpublished

"They just yell out OJ and that makes everything equal. Must be Fox News viewers ."

Kind of like yelling "Fox news" and somehow making an argument with THAT....without stating what's wrong with FOX news. Why not use that ever so clever "Faux News" that the left loves to use so ofetn?

RMSHEFF
17887
Points
RMSHEFF 12/23/13 - 02:25 pm
4
4
Humble, the problem with fox

Humble, the problem with fox news is that they tend to report both sides. The liberal progressives only want their side told.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/23/13 - 02:28 pm
5
4
I know that, RMSHEFF....but
Unpublished

I know that, RMSHEFF....but getting a liberal to admit that is like pulling teeth. It's fun to question them and see the absurd rationalizatins and lies that they post instead.

RMSHEFF
17887
Points
RMSHEFF 12/23/13 - 02:38 pm
4
4
Humble, you are very

Humble, you are very persistent at trying to get a straight answer from several on this site although not often successful. It is alway amusing when you press them for a answer you know they can't or will not answer. Maybe you should have been an attorney. Keep up the pressure !

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