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Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

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Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, weighs in on whether justice was served in the Chris Brown case.

Chris Brown, Rihanna
Reactions to today's Chris Brown plea deal have been decidedly mixed. Many believe that the singer got off too easy for the February 10 beating of former girlfriend Rihanna. What's most shocking to those following the case is that the 20-year-old Brown will serve no jail time -- only five years of probation. 

We asked Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, if Brown was treated differently because of his celebrity status. "Of course he was," said Sax. "Anyone who says that they're going to treat a celeb like any other client is kidding themselves." What really makes Brown's punishment seem inconsistent with the seriousness of his crime, explains Sax, are the shocking pictures of Rihanna, her face bruised and beaten, which gave even the casual observer "a sense of what the actual crime was."

Ultimately, Sax believes Brown has been forthright in taking responsibility for his crime. "He pleaded to a felony; he's had public humiliation. Yes, he got little better than what he would've gotten if the case had gone to trial -- but that's the nature of a plea deal."
That deal, some believe, is sending the wrong message about domestic violence -- that it's something to take lightly. Sax disagrees. She says, "The most important message will come from Rihanna herself if she takes Brown back."

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
omg July 4, 2009, 11:24 AM

This case was an absolutely despicable travesty of justice. And, of COURSE, it shows domestic violence is taken lightly. How could you POSSIBLY believe otherwise? You weren’t on the jury, were you? This ape should be in prison, so one of his ‘room-mates’ can do to his face what he did to Rihanna’s. That is the only language that guys like this understand. Bullies bully until they’re bullied back. Sounds over-simplified, but it’s true. They have a total and complete void when it comes to another’s feelings. They believe the world revolves around them, and whatever they do, will be excused. This case did everything to validate that belief. I guess OJ convinced people of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

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