A Mockery of Justice

Published: Jan 24, 2014 22:12pm EST
By shaunmerritt, Entertainment/Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:59pm EST


Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed Jerry Brown. Many people have said his sentencing was more than fair, some have said he should have only gotten probation. I’m sorry, but those people are wrong. Josh Brent’s verdict is a mockery of justice.

Texas Penal Code §49.07 states that intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony. The Texas Penal Code lists such felony as punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years (Sec. 12.33). Josh Brent, who was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, got 180 days, the maximum for a Class B misdemeanor. How is this justice?

Jerry Brown’s mother testified on Josh Brent’s behalf asking the judge for leniency. She spoke about how Josh and Jerry were like brothers and Josh has suffered enough. I am sorry, but she could not be more wrong. This is not Josh Brent’s first DUI. He was sentenced to two years probation and 60 days in jail as part of a plea deal from a March 2009 DUI arrest while he was in college in Champaign County, Illinois. He obviously did not learn anything from that arrest and I doubt this one will either.  

Some people have made the case that probation is no walk in the park. 10 years of such should not be easily dismissed. However, Brent tested positive for marijuana while free on bail for this case. The last thing anyone should be doing while on bail for a DUI is smoking pot. Josh Brent did it not once, but twice. Yes twice. After getting caught and given another chance to prove himself, he violated the terms of his bail again and his bond was revoked. He obviously is not taking this seriously or showing any signs of taking responsibility, so how can anyone expect him to take probation seriously?

We can argue all day about whether or not the sentence was fair. What we cannot argue  is whether or not justice was done. To find a man guilty of a crime and then punish him by the standards of a lesser one is not justice, it’s a mockery of justice. He was already given a second chance in Illinois and a third after he was caught smoking pot. He should not have been given a fourth chance. I fear what will happen if and when he asks for a fifth.

However, a verdict of this nature in Texas should come as no surprise to anyone. A teenager was recently spared a prison sentence after a psychologist called him a product of "affluenza" and got him a 10 year probation sentence. That teen was also drunk and killed 4 people. He will not spend a day in jail. Josh Brent got 180 days for killing 1 person. 5 people dead and only 180 days to be spent in jail. What a joke. 


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