Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Justice?


Rafael Robb is a very smart man. He is a tenured economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, which is a prestigious Ivy League university right here in the city of brotherly love.

But Rafael Robb is also a very cruel man. Why? Because three days before Christmas, he beat his wife of 16 years to death with a chin up bar as she wrapped Christmas presents.

Why do I tell you about Rafael Robb? Because Monday Mr. Robb pleaded guilty to manslaughter. And what do you think Mr. Robb's sentence was? Take a guess...........


How about four and a half to seven years? Yes folks, if you went for the under go to the head of the class. The man will more than likely spend less than five years in prison for murdering his wife. ( I know I know, O.J. walked after murdering his wife. But O.J. comes from the same class of folks in A-merry-ca that Mr. Robb does, so I am not surprised)

Today I sat in a court room and watched as a young African American man was sentenced to five to eight years in a State Correctional Institute for making terroristic threats. A serious crime to be sure, but it's not murder.

So if you don't think we live in two Americas, read the story about Rafael Robb and tell me what you think.

40 comments:

Jimbo said...

Five years?! Field, while there is racial injustice to his sentencing, let's not forget the overriding issues.

1) He murdered a white woman, so if we're going to extend the racial analogy, I guess a white woman's life isn't worth that much when she's married to a privileged Ivy Leaguer.
2) He's pretty much getting away with murder, his sentence is way way too light, and white folks are still going to ignore it because...well... domestic violence. It's her fault for staying with him!

It's all messed up.

"Kingfish" Slaney Black said...

My wife - honest to god truth - is constantly surprised whenever a wife gets sent to prison for killing her husband. "You sure that's against the law?" she asks me.

Anyway, that's messed up

And on the other case, it's messed up how the threat of terrorism's thrown around hither and thither everywhere these days.

RavenRavings said...

Thanks for the post, FN. The Robb case presents the most common way in which racism/white supremacy is expressed in the criminal justice system--the failure to alert to degrees of guilt in regard to people of color but, on the other hand, the overzealous pursuit of mitigatable circumstances in regard to whites.

These are the circumstances that are rarely addressable through court appeals or appeals to the public. This is why the Jena6 made my heart jump. For once, some black people were being sophisticated and caring enough to say, "OK, he might have done something but he or they shouldn't be charged with all that! Not murder!"

Of course, Jena6 was shortlived. We found ourselves just back there with Sean Taylor, suggesting that if a black engages in a perceived misdeed, he merits death--and little sympathy.

Whites--who love themselves--don't think or behave like this. They presume their own innocence, and so they insist on tailoring punishment to the perceived low level guilt.

Finally, I disagree that terroristic threats is such a serious crime that it should be classified as a felony. How can the threat of violence be a more serious crime than the violence itself? Terroristic threats is often more severely punished than various forms of actual battery.

I truly believe that terroristic threats--like lurking in some jurisdictions--are merely laws to allow the arbitrary exercise of authority against blacks. Whites are intimidated by blacks. Blacks are inclined towards loud, threatening talk (although studies show that for blacks this is usually just talk.) So, whites decide to punish it--and severely.

Blacks hang out on the corner. Thus, the crime of lurking.

field negro said...

Jimbo,to be fair, there are some class issues here as well. Shit I never even thought of the domestic violence angle. Yep, if I were a woman I would be pissed too.

"My wife - honest to god truth - is constantly surprised whenever a wife gets sent to prison for killing her husband. "You sure that's against the law?" she asks me."

That's funny, because Mrs. Field feels the sme way.

Raven, that young man did have some priors, and that always enhances sentencing here in PA. But still, you are right. 5-10?

And you are also right about disparate sentences not being addressed in our criminal justice system. Part of it is the lack of the public will, part of it is the lack of money, and part of it is just good old fashion race and classism.

RJEsq said...

I'm curious as to the prosecutor's justification for agreeing to such a short sentence.

rikyrah said...

FN,

I've got one for you.

Poor little White girl has a hard time. Gets behind the wheel of a car, totally doped up on precription drugs..

You know the end of this story.

She mows down 3 young men - none older than 23 - they're White.

She forgoes a jury trial.

Her lawyer does the tapdance and works magic.

How much does she get from the judge?

3 and half years.

PERIOD.

1 year, 2 months for each life.

You don't need to tell me that there are two separate waiting lines at the Justice System:

WHITES COLORED

mac said...

Perhaps the best example of the two waiting lines at the Justice System are convictions for drug, especially in the use of cocaine. Caught with crack: Lot of time.
Caught with powdered cocaine. Not much time, maybe no time at all.

field, I sent you an article I just wrote about Sean Taylor for a black weekly related to Sean Taylor. Besides calling out HN Whitlock, I argued that Taylor is really a scapegoat for our failure to address the fact that violence is out of control, that any of us can get killed at any moment in America...And we're all Sean Taylors now.

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Christopher said...

Two Murikas?

Try four.

When a het woman, after being beaten daily by her husband for 30 years, finally snaps and she kills him, it's rare for a jury to let her off with manslaughter and a light sentence.

Why? She killed a white man.

When a het man kills a gay man because the gay man hit on him, thus challenging his treasured masculinity, the defense uses the "gay panic" strategy to get him off the hook and keep him from receiving a lethal injection.

In a perfect world, justice should be blind but in a perfec world, I should've been born a Kennedy too.

Attorneymom said...

Now, Negro, that is some *ish. It is definitely time to deal with the racial disparity in the types of plea deal offers and sentencing within in our judicial system.

As a law clerk for a criminal judge in Passaic County, NJ, I witnessed how white child molesters where given lighter lenient plea deals than first time drug dealers. I was enraged by this.

damien said...

The excuses these guys come u with and they allow... that is crazy... If there was a case for first degree murder this is it... so this guy attempts to make it look like a robbery "The black guy theory"... get's rid of the murder weapon... denies the fact for a whole year... and gets manslaughter... because he just "lost it" cuz she was get'n a divorce and his daughter was gonna miss some school so the remedy is to kill his wife.
I wonder who is really sick, the judge or mr. robb?

David Sullivan said...

The gap between the "Haves" and the "have nots" just gets wider and wider...

Christopher Chambers said...

Couple of years ago, I'd have been fuming and I'd be rattling some cages at USDOJ to send somebody on Amtrak up to Philly. I'd be anonymously tagging the media to bust the story. But today, I'm so fed up I will honestly say that the Rafeal Robbs of this world and white folks in general have the luxury of acting crazy, of bloodletting. We do not. Indeed, there are some folk in our community who look at jail and the terror and violence it visits on a soul as some twisted rite of passage. Not so in Robb's world, and let's be real kids...Robb's world is "our" world--the world of folks with degrees and apartments that have locks and aspirations and health plans and bills and taxes to pay and who want their kids to design Mars rockets rather than appearing on stage with an entourage of hoes or put a ball through a hoop. Sorry. Robb will be raped in prison so it all will even out. Pardon my bitterness. It's all I have left...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is the norm for women killed by their partners. Men typically get charged with voluntary manslaughter (or involuntary) and women get murder one. Why? Men kill their partner in a fit of rage during an attack that is part of a pattern of violence. They do not premeditate this particular beating to be fatal. Women, on the other hand, premeditate murdering their husbands. Usually as a way to end the abuse, especially since the criminal justice system does not take seriously the crime of DV and does not protect the victim. Women on average serve 15-20 yrs sentence for murdering their intimate partner.
Moral of the story? Nobody gets away with standing up to a rich white man, not even rich white women.

west coast story said...

I saw this story too. Disgusting.

Dan White assassinated the mayor of San Francisco and a member of the Board of Supervisors and served about 3+ years because eating too much sugar diminshed his capacity. Those of you old enough to remember might recall the "twinkie defense." He was portrayed as a victim who, as a former member of the Board who had resigned, asked for his job back and the mayor said no. He committed suicide a year or so after getting out of prison.

Yeah, we definitely live in two different criminal justice worlds. I's say this had as much to do with class as race, however. Prisons are loaded with all kinds of poor people. People who have power/money/celebrity typically don't go to prison. Look at OJ, he got away murder altogether.

west coast story said...

I deleted my comments about domestic violence but agree with many of the comments made here. There are women rotting in prioson for decades for killing abusive husbands. Also, disgusting.

Mithras said...

The D.A. says:

"Multiple blows far beyond what is necessary to bring about her death is indicative of a heat of passion killing," said Castor. "In fact, it is a classic heat of passion killing. You are talking about repeated blows to the face designed to depersonalize her."

Sounds like bullshit to me, but then again I don't do criminal law.

Just by the way, the Washington Post says FN is a must-go-to site.

RavenRavings said...

A little of this is because Robb dared to articulate this defense. If a black guy sought a similar defense, the whole of the black community would be riding his a$$ to pull it back, lest we all be shamed or appear weak.

People are always suggesting that Blacks whine but these are the glimpses into whitedom that assure that we can never out-whine the white man.

La ~ msviswan said...

Jimbo said...

"...1) He murdered a white woman, so if we're going to extend the racial analogy, I guess a white woman's life isn't worth that much when she's married to a privileged Ivy Leaguer."

Well at that rate, if she was black, he might have gotten a pat on the back. This world is still a man's world, particularly a white man. Sometimes it seems dogs and horses still have more value and rights than most women.

As for the women in jail for domestic charges. Most of them are there because they protected themselves or snapped after constantly getting beat over their heads by their husbands.

Jimbo said...

"Well at that rate, if she was black, he might have gotten a pat on the back. This world is still a man's world, particularly a white man. Sometimes it seems dogs and horses still have more value and rights than most women."

Fuck the white man! Oh, wait.

Ah, fuck 'em anyway.

field negro said...

"Robb's world is "our" world--the world of folks with degrees and apartments that have locks and aspirations and health plans and bills and taxes to pay and who want their kids to design Mars rockets rather than appearing on stage with an entourage of hoes or put a ball through a hoop. Sorry. Robb will be raped in prison so it all will even out. Pardon my bitterness. It's all I have left..."

Damn chris! But this is why I read NTR and not BR ;)

"Just by the way, the Washington Post says FN is a must-go-to site."

mithras, maybe the have a field Negro or honorary field Negro or two in their news room :)

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

That's why the MSM has been so pissed off with John Edwards, because he brought up the "Two Americas" concept first.

It was a dirty lil' secret that wasn't supposed to get out, and worse than that, a white guy spilled the beans. The establishment couldn't have that.

I'm suprised Robb didn't walk on the "twinkie" defense like Dan White did out in San Francisco back in 1980 for assassinating Mayor George Moscone and SF Supervisor Harvey Milk.

However, Dan White couldn't live with the fact that even though he walked on assassinating two sitting elected officials in 1978 - he was treated as a pariah when he went free. Couldn't get a job, was flat broke and his wife left him.

White killed himself in 1984.

Yeah, there's two Americas, alright, as regarding the justice system. And we Black people better wake up, smell the coffee and do our damndest to lead lives that keep us from depending on that said justice system (which isn't justice for just US).

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

And kudos to Kingfish. How many women are pulling 25-to-life stretches in the joint for killing their abusing spouses in self-defense?

I don't want to hear about how she should leave. A nutcase abuser will just follow his spouse and abuse her some more until one of them winds up dead.

Two Americas in the justice system, even for women, and white women are not exempt.

rikyrah said...

Unfortunately this is the norm for women killed by their partners. Men typically get charged with voluntary manslaughter (or involuntary) and women get murder one. Why? Men kill their partner in a fit of rage during an attack that is part of a pattern of violence. They do not premeditate this particular beating to be fatal. Women, on the other hand, premeditate murdering their husbands. Usually as a way to end the abuse, especially since the criminal justice system does not take seriously the crime of DV and does not protect the victim. Women on average serve 15-20 yrs sentence for murdering their intimate partner.


Well then, will someone explain to me how the Tennessee Preacher's wife got all of SEVEN MONTHS, for shooting her husband IN THE BACK?

She had no bruises on her; no medical reports at any emergency room to back up her claim of ' abuse', yet, she got SEVEN MONTHS.

We all know women who could be black and blue, with a file at the hospital 2 inches thick of examples of previous abuse, who if they did this, would be in for 20 years.

pjazzypar said...

I would not have been surprised if Mr. Robb had walked period, end of story. Rules, regulations, laws, etc. are not for the privileged and wealthy, they are for the minorities, the poor and disenfranchised. The bastard will probably be out in two.

aka LYNN said...

field,
Not trying to change the subject, but I have to report that Latasha Norman's body may have possibly been found according to the local news. The boyfriend is a suspect, and has been charged with murder. It's a sad day for us in MS. I want to thank you and those in the AfroSpear who made her matter before media even dared.

Justin Buist said...

Today I sat in a court room and watched as a young African American man was sentenced to five to eight years in a State Correctional Institute for making terroristic threats. A serious crime to be sure, but it's not murder.

What's this guy's name and in what jurisdiction was he convicted?

I mean, if the readers are going to compare the two stories we're kinda going to need that.

Christopher Chambers said...

Field, there was a Booker Rising moment on the GOP debate with Mitt's response to the black on black crime question. Mitt sputtered on about Bill Cosby, whose book he mindlessly cited as if it was the Koran or Mao's red book.

I got a free copy from the publisher in the mail to review and I will asap.

As for Robb, again, trust me--he won't do the time he deserves, but he'll be sh*t when he gets out, and that's the white man's version of private justice.

Anonymous said...

I believe wishful thinking if you believe a white man will eventually get his comeuppance. He hasn't for slavery, Jim Crow, the drug war waged against the black community. Mostly, they have been rewarded for their savagery. I suspect Robb will as well--although he would be much better off if he were independently wealthy.

field negro said...

justin buist, you kid right? Sounds like you are another doubter. I am not sure how to help you with this particular name, as he was not my client. But if you live in Philly come down to the CJC at 13th and Filbert any day between 9-3, head up to one of the court rooms on the 6th floor and have a seat. I am sure you will find a similar sentence being handed out like the one I told you before the end of the day. I would show you some offers the DA's office made to me for some of my clients with lessor crimes, but I do want to keep my license to practice in this fine state, so that would be out of the question.

AKA Lynn, I am so sorry to hear that. Of course I am holding out hope that it's not her, but somehow I doubt if this will have a happ;y ending.

BTW, still no news about her from the MSM :(

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Crack dealers (any black kid in possession) get 10-20 while coke dealers (white guys in Izod shirts) get probation. Or, watch as the white crack dealer gets a reasonable bond while the black crack dealer has to come up with $100k.
Go sit inside any federal courtroom for a day if you don't believe it.

THEYCALLMESCOOTERMONK said...

Field - you forget that he just lost it. didnt mean to do it, was fustrated and couldnt take it anymore. Maybe as a whiteman he wasnt used to those types of feelings and didnt know how to process?

Justin Buist said...

justin buist, you kid right? Sounds like you are another doubter

I don't doubt what you say, but I can't pass the story along without any evidence of the unjust sentence besides "The Field Negro said it wasn't right."

However, I'm primarily interested because the sentence dealt with "terroristic threats." It's likely another example of the War on Terror being used to prosecute somebody that had nothing to do with terrorism in a form that would threaten the United States.

Seattle Slim said...

What threats did he make? I'm sorry but the guy was dumb as hell if he made the type of terroristic threats that will get the feds on your ass or have anything to do with the type of terrorism that they are "fighting" in the Middle East.

docjohnson said...

Yo,
Don't put OJ in this same class of sociopath. Simpson put in work according to God's plan for negroes and white people,see ojcoverup.com

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