James Arthur Ray Gets Two Years in Prison for Sweat Lodge Deaths
James Arthur Ray was sentenced to two years in prison on three counts of negligent homicide. Ray, a self-help guru, was also ordered to pay $57,000 in restitution for the deaths of three people at a sweat lodge he oversaw in 2009.
The New York Daily News reports that three people died during a purification ceremony at an Arizona sweat lodge. In addition to the three people that died in the intense sauna session, 18 people were hospitalized.
Ray insists that the deaths were a “tragic accident” and begged the court for forgiveness.
James Arthur Ray said:
“At the end of the day, I lost three friends, and I lost them on my watch. Whatever errors in judgment or mistakes I have made, I’m going to have to live with those for the rest of my life. I truly understand your disappointment in my actions after, I do. I’m disappointed in myself.”
Ray said that he would have stopped the purification ceremony if he had known that people were suffering inside the sauna.
Jane Shore-Gripp, the mother of one of the victims, said:
“He did some good but this is about what he didn’t do. He had the opportunity to save three people, and he didn’t.”
The Huffington Post reports that Ray will serve three two-year sentences concurrently. Ray faced a maximum of nine years for negligent homicide.
Do you think justice was served in the case of James Arthur Ray?