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ODDS & ENDS
Let's Keep Justice Blind and in Balance
If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice. Heraclitus

by Brooks Gardner
June 10, 2006

The  courts seem to have a knack for looking after those of wealth and privilege. We only have to look at two cases where the rich and well-known were given preferential treatment. They are the sentencing of Rush Lumbaugh and Noelle Bush, daughter of Governor Jeb Bush.

Noelle Bush, daughter of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was arrested by Tallahassee police in January 2002 and charged with trying to fill a fake prescription for Xanax. (used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders) After entering a court-ordered drug treatment program, Bush was rearrested in July 2002 when a counselor found her in possession of unauthorized pills. In October 2002, an Orlando judge ordered her back to jail for another violation of her treatment program. Noelle has an extensive rap sheet which includes shoplifting, driving while intoxicated, possession of cocaine, forgery, and fraud. When Noelle was released from drug rehab, she was placed in custody of her parents.

Rush was sentenced for having illegally possessed large quantities of painkillers for personal use. His sentence: addiction treatment and if Rush complies with his plea bargain, his conviction will be erased. Wow! what a break for someone with thousands of painkillers. Rush admitted that this was the result of addiction. Rush recently jumped up and down about Congressman Patrick Kennedy's admission of addiction to pain killers and suggested a cover-up. One of his listeners called in and suggested that this was like the pot calling the kettle black. Rush's reply "But if you think I got preferential treatment, you are out of your mind... I spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars dealing with lawyers. I fought this at every stage."

Wheelchair-confined Richard Paey committed almost exactly the same violations of Florida prescription drug laws that radio personality Rush Limbaugh did, with a different result. Richard's sentence was 25 years in prison. He argued that it was (and will be) necessary to relieve nearly constant pain from unsuccessful spinal surgeries after an auto accident. Paey's sentence now rests with a state Court of Appeal.

Somewhere the symbol of justice has to be remembered with her eyes blindfolded and her scales level. It has gotten to the point if you can afford million dollar lawyers and if you are the child of privilege then you have a better chance in court. This is wrong and we need to pay more attention to these failures in the court system and stand up for appropriate sentencing, no matter who you are.



About the Author:
"Fairness is what justice really is." - Potter Stewart, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court. Justice Stewart would be angered.


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