If the pedophiles of our nation were looking for the symbolic “green light” to engage in their heinous, criminal activities, then they most certainly received it from Judge Jan Jurden, the Delaware Superior Court judge who reprehensibly set a vile sexual predator free to roam the streets.
For those pushing to undermine all moral restraints and sexual standards, they now have a new “hero” for their cause. And don’t anyone dare try to tell me that the recent efforts to normalize homosexual deviancy won’t have adverse, wide-ranging repercussions. In fact, I pin most of the blame for America’s moral free fall squarely on the destructive strategies of the militant homosexual activists. We can’t tear down moral barriers and then be surprised when things like this happen. Once one group is given the license to abandon decency, then every other pervert will soon demand the same “right” — that’s the only “fair and equal” thing to do (Sound familiar?). And in this case, Judge Jurden was, for all intents and purposes, apparently sympathetic to that exact argument.
Black-robed tyrant Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richard H. Richards IV, a wealthy du Pont heir, to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. According to the lawsuit filed by Richards’ ex-wife, between 2005 and 2007, Richards not only sexually assaulted his young daughter, but also molested his infant son. The rape case actually occurred in 2009, but it only recently came to light when attorneys for Richards’ ex-wife filed another lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Despite the nauseating nature of the crime, Judge Jurden inexcusably sentenced Richards to an eight-year prison term, but suspended all prison time, opting for probation instead. As the judge noted in the final line of her sentencing order, the “defendant will not fare well in Level 5 [prison] setting,” recommending treatment instead of incarceration. As the order itself notes, “Treatment needs exceed [the] need for punishment.” Wow, talk about favoring the “needs” of the perpetrator over the victim! If this case doesn’t cry out for punishment, then I really don’t know what does!
Several criminal justice authorities have noted, as well, that this type of sentencing “rationale” is typically reserved for cases involving drug addicts, but certainly not child rapists. And Richards could have just as easily participated in a prison treatment program. There was absolutely no need to let this kind of violent criminal get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
Judge Jurden also ordered that Richards have no contact with children under 16 and prohibited him from possessing pornography. Doesn’t the judge understand that prison time would have literally guaranteed Richards’ inability to have access to minor-aged children and would have gone much further in prohibiting his access to pornographic materials? Jurden must be held immediately accountable for her egregious ruling, as she is personally responsible for any future victims.
Since when did we become so concerned about how well a prisoner will fare in a correctional facility environment? Nobody thinks prison should be an enjoyable experience, and Richards should have thought about the negative consequences before he committed his abhorrent offenses. Richards certainly wasn’t concerned about how well his victims would fare as a result of his sexual violation of their trust.
We should be vastly more concerned with the needs of the victims and future victims. How well will a victim fare when they know that their abuser basically went unpunished? And how well will Richards’ potential, subsequent victims fare? The high recidivism rate of sexual offenders is a well-established fact. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, “Compared to non-sex offenders released from state prisons, released sex offenders were four times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime.” To be clear, that’s four times higher when compared to other released criminals, not the general public.
“It’s an extremely rare circumstance that prison serves the inmate well,” Delaware Public Defender Brendan J. O’Neill wisely explained. “Prison is to punish, to segregate the offender from society.” Furthermore, O’Neill expressed his concern about the way in which this case was handled because it calls into question “how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system.”
What’s even more shocking is just how pervasive this kind of warped legal reasoning has become. Many involved in this case, and the larger Delaware legal system, have unconscionably defended the judge’s appalling actions. The sexual predator sympathizers have come out in full force. The state of Delaware obviously needs to do some major house cleaning.
For instance, it was prosecutor Renee Hrivnak who actually initiated this miscarriage of justice. So much for getting tough on crime. Attorney General Beau Biden’s office (the Vice President’s son) had originally indicted Richards on two counts of second-degree rape of a child, a Class B violent felony that carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence for each count. But then, without warning, just days before the scheduled trial in June of 2008, Hrivnak offered Richards a fourth-degree rape deal, which carries no mandatory prison time. Hrivnak and Judge Jurden are now running from the public as they have each refused to answer questions about their asinine decisions.
But the insanity continues…
Richards attorney Eugene J. Maurer, Jr., shamelessly stated, “It was more than reasonable, an enlightened plea offer.” So, in the state of Delaware it’s now considered “enlightened” to set free a man who rapes a three-year-old and molests an infant. When exactly did this kind of abominable jurisprudence become acceptable? I seriously doubt that Maurer would feel the same way if it was his child(ren) who had been victimized.
“I commend her for making such a courageous ruling,” said Brendan J. O’Neill, the public defender. “When I find the appropriate place, I’m going to make that argument.” Translation: We can expect to see more of this horrendous reasoning in our courtrooms. Judge Jurden has not only terribly hurt the victims in the Richards case, but she has also effectively opened the legal door for more children to be sacrificed on the altar of “progressivism.”
Although not involved in the case, Joseph S. Grubb, chief New Castle County prosecutor, defended the judge’s decision as well, stating, “It’s not completely out of left field that a judge would say that.” Left field? Try out of the ball park! There is no excusing or justifying Judge Jurden’s outrageous ruling, no matter how hard someone tries. While even Judge Jurden is smart enough to know that she needs to duck for cover, these sycophants are ridiculously rushing to her defense. Unbelievable!
Likewise, Prosecutor Josette Manning, who spent six years in the sex crimes unit, said, “It’s absolutely appropriate for a judge to consider a defendant’s treatment needs during sentencing” for sex crimes. That may be so, but at the expense of the victim’s need for justice too? It’s one thing to offer treatment to criminals, but it’s another thing entirely to let them go scot-free.
Defense attorney Joseph A. Hurley, another misguided, bleeding heart liberal, said it makes sense to him that the judge would be concerned about Richards’ time in prison. “Sure, they have protective custody, but that is solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. We’re not a third-world society,” Hurley said.
Nor should we be a brain-dead, crime-embracing society either.
“Sex offenders are the lowest of the low in prison,” Hurley said. “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. She is right on.”
Does Hurley’s reasoning apply to all sex offenders, since they are ALL “the lowest of the low?” Should we set them all free on probation or only the wussy ones? Once again, why are individuals like Hurley forgetting about the potential for future victims if we allow violent sex offenders to reenter society with impunity? Is he hoping to create job security for defense attorneys like himself?
Besides, court records actually indicate that Richards is no 95-pound weakling. He’s 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs between 250 and 276 pounds. The court records also do not cite any physical illnesses or limitations. So, throw him to the wolves, and maybe people will start realizing that child molesters will not be stomached. Unless, of course, as I suspect, letting child molesters off the hook is really all about foisting the agenda of sexual autonomy and anarchy upon America.
All I can say is that the outraged citizens of Delaware and our entire nation need to rise up and put the brakes on this nation’s rapid descent down the slippery slope. And fast!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.