He’s not a juvenile. He’s a middle-aged man, and a DuPont heir, living off of his trust fund. He’s also a child rapist, and the child he raped was his daughter, who was three.
Nonetheless, Delaware Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Robert H. Richards IV to treatment rather than jail.
Why, you ask? Well, he’s rich, you see, and the judge didn’t think he would “fare well” in prison. You know: bad food, drab clothes, cramped accommodations, minimal cultural opportunities; maybe the occasional prison rape. Juden’s ridiculous sentence has only became known as the result of a lawsuit filed by the tycoon child rapist’s ex-wife, who asks for civil damages on behalf of her children. In addition to alleging that Richards penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, his ex says she can prove that he sexually assaulted their then infant son too. In his criminal case, Richards was offered a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape, which carries no mandatory minimum prison sentencing. He accepted, and admitted sexual assaulting his daughter.
Judge Jurden then decided that he was too delicate for prison. Obviously she would have felt differently if he had been toughened by poverty, public schools and a life of labor. It is not often that a judge’s sentence, all by itself, appears to violate the judicial ethics prohibition against conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety, but this sentence qualifies.
This sentence embodies all of the accusations of those who assert that there are two Americas, and that the justice system as well as society, government, and the economic system operates on a set of rigged double standards. Richards wouldn’t fare well in jail? Nobody is supposed to fare well in jail. That’s why it’s called “punishment.” There is no way to defend a sentence like this, and only one way to explain it. Sometimes privilege rules the day, bias triumphs over fairness, incompetence reigns supreme, and some judges should be slinging burgers instead of sitting on a bench.
Pointer: Lianne Best
Source: Huffington Post
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