Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Friday, May 13, 2005

That's the way things are done down there 

In Texas,

On Friday, the four young men accused of severely injuring 44-year-old Billy Ray Johnson during a late-night pasture party are expected to be sentenced to probation or brief jail time after juries rejected more serious charges and recommended suspended sentences for two of them.

The victim survived the attack but can't walk without help or speak clearly.

Some white residents believe it is a fair outcome for a few "good boys" from promint families with no previous legal trouble.

... Authorities have said that Johnson, well-known around town as a friendly but "slow" character who loved dancing, was lured to an all-white pasture party where underage drinkers fed him alcohol and picked on him.

... Lee, the district attorney, said the juries' decisions were in line with other juries who sympathize with first-time offenders. And he pointed out that the so-called beating involved one punch.

"This is not that horrible of an outcome. They were all convicted, they'll all be on probation, they'll all have a criminal record, they'll all be watched," he said. "They didn't get off scot-free."

Dennis Spears, 59, a white man whose owns a countertop business in town, said he was struck by the verdicts but empathized with the plight of young boys making bad choices under peer pressure.

"Only thing I saw about it, they oughtn't to have dumped him. They could have taken him to the hospital just as easy," Spears said as he drank coffee at a country store with friends.

They got pasture parties down there, ya gotta expect some rowdyness from yungun's havin' fun.

Hate crimes, anyone?

(Via Volokh Conspiracy)

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