Is there such a thing as too rich for prison? Well, this case takes back in 2009 but in light of a suit filed by the ex-wife, it has become a controversial verdict in the last couple of days even though it was decided years ago. Richard H. Richards IV, unemployed and living off his trust fund, heir to the DuPont fortune pleaded guilty to fourth degree rape of his 3 year old daughter who accused Du Pont at the age of 5. Now, he admitted to raping his daughter after Judge Jan Jurden suspended the 8 year prison sentence in favor of probation, treatment, and prohibiting contact with children under the age of 16 as well as registering as a sex offender. Now, the too rich for prison comes into place when Judge Jan Jurden gave for explanation, “defendant will not fare well” in prison. Let me just interject: Is anyone meant to fare well in prison?
The reason stated that the defendant wouldn’t fare well in prison is simply because he would become a target to the other inmates and the system wouldn’t be able to protect him. A target due to him being a rich white man convicted of child rape. Unbelievable, right? Where is this predicament taken into consideration when it is a poor person or a minority in the same situation as the defendant’s circumstance? This case is not only controversial for its ruling but also due to the close hit to the Ethan Couch case where a rich teenager who killed four and wounded two wasn’t given any jail time.
However, we do have a bigger issue at stake, the “accepted” idea that those convicted of child molestation are fiercely targeted and sexually abused by other inmates. The belief that it is expected that if the law can’t give the correct “justice” than the inmates in prison will. There is an established law protecting this from happening, though the results aren’t quite satisfactory, Prison Rape Elimination Act, yet our acceptance to abuse in the confinement system aids the justice system to protect the convicted of these crimes or rather in most cases just the rich. If lawmakers and/or society aren’t able to fix the system than we are contributing to protecting these horrid human beings of obtaining their true sentence under the law.
It may sound ludicrous to some or to others it may be a reinforcement to what is already known but this criminal is living in luxury instead of rotting in prison like the rest of the criminals. Is it justified in the law that those with actual financial means be treated differently under the law because of the way they would be treated in prison? Is it right that all the other criminals with the same crime be treated differently under the law because they’re not rich? If there is an acceptance to what occurs to criminals incarcerated than shouldn’t we change the prison system itself instead of protecting only those with money?