Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chris Brown Pleads Guilty - No Jail Time

According to CNN, Chris Brown accepted a deal with prosecutors in which he pled guilty to one count of assault with the intent of doing great bodily injury. In exchange for the guilty plea, Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and must serve 180 days in jail or the equivalent - about 1,400 hours - in "labor-oriented service." He must also undergo a year-long domestic-violence counseling class. The judge also issued a "stay away" order, requiring Brown to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times - 10 yards if the two are at the same "industry event."

Some women's groups are outraged, while others are angry but not surprised.

"I was very surprised that he will get no jail time. Paris Hilton got jail time for heaven's sake. This man beat Rihanna to a bloody pulp and he's not going to spend a day in jail," said Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization of Women. It really tells you about the way that judges look at violence against women."

"The level of assault wasn't met with the same level of consequence," says Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "It's not that Chris Brown didn't get more serious consequences. Most batterers don't get more serious consequences."

Smith feels it's reactions to first time offenses, like Brown's, that encourage repeat offenses. "The first time they show up in the justice system you don't say, 'This is a really horrible thing you've done and you have to stop it, this is not acceptable behavior.' We don't say it strongly enough."

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