Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

April 4, 2014

Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

TAHLEQUAH — Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.

There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

Robert Richards IV has a history of atrocious behavior. His ex-wife says he admitted to sexually abusing his infant son between 2005 and 2007 – the same time frame during which he got to his little girl. The case was serious enough to incur an original indictment on two counts of second-degree rape of a child, which should have bought Richards a 10-year stint for each count. Instead, he wound up pleading to one count of fourth-degree rape, which carried no prison time – even after he admitted to the “accidental” abuse of his child. How is it, exactly, that one can “accidentally” rape a 3-year-old?

No doubt Richards is bored as well as disturbed. This unemployed trust fund baby lounges about a 5,800-square-foot mansion for which he paid a mere $1.8 million, but he has other property as well. So does his family, and they can afford the best legal representation – or perhaps bribes – that money can buy. Bribery is a reasonable suspicion, since Jurden is no flaming liberal; she has a history of being tough on crime.

Her lame excuse for giving a wrist-slap to this monster who answers to the name of Robert H. Richards IV was that he won’t “fare well” in prison. Should we be impressed with her precognitive powers? Child molesters are among the lowest of the low in the prison population, and for good reason. That means they are often the target of assaults from their fellow inmates. If we’re honest, we’ll admit many people would suggest the inmates are meting out a well-deserved form of justice.

Perhaps we should also be bowled over by the judge’s breathtaking conclusion that Richards “needs treatment.” There’s no rehabilitation for these people, because just as heterosexuals prefer members of the opposite sex, and homosexuals prefer those of the same sex, child molesters prefer kids. That’s not going to change. In no time flat, the singularly unattractive du Pont will be imposing his 6-foot-4, 270-pound frame on some other hapless toddler.

Defense attorney Joseph A. Hurley found the judge’s rationale commendable because “we’re not a third-world society.” Maybe not, but that’s exactly the type of society where vermin like Robert Richards belong.

Hurley also said this: “He’s a rich, white boy who is a wuss and a child perv. The prison can’t protect them and Jan Jurden knows that reality.”

He’s right on the money – but it’s possible that freedom won’t protect Richards, either. Child molesters aren’t any more popular outside of prison walls than inside them, and a lot of folks on the outside are packing heat and just looking for a good excuse to unleash it.

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Editorials
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Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
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