Courtroom logic: Right or wrong, Mom, everyone else is doing it
If my kids tried to get out of trouble by using the same excuse that a criminal scam artist used in court this week to plead for leniency in his sentencing, I might double their punishment out of anger at the flawed thinking. Or I might just have to laugh. The excuses he used in federal court sound more like a child’s than a grown-up’s.
In essence, Phillip Levaughn Raglin argued through his attorney that his crimes weren’t as bad as everyone else’s. And those OTHER people aren’t even getting punished, he reasoned, so the judge should be lenient to him. Raglin bilked investors out of about $900,000 by convincing them to buy into his phony company.
Here are the details, described by writer Tony Thornton in The Oklahoman:
Through his attorney, Raglin said that the judge should give him mercy because his crimes are “minimal compared to the ‘financial bandits’ who caused the Wall Street meltdown but who are ‘getting off nearly scot free,’” Thornton wrote.
By what reasoning? Don’t we as parents teach our children that we are accountable for our own actions, no matter what the rest of the world does? That there are standards in place that don’t change?
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