Are The Rich And The Poor Treated Differently In The Justice System?

Shanesha Taylor was arrested and charged in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 21 for leaving her two children in her car as she was at a job interview.

Taylor, 35, was charged with two counts of felony child abuse, facing a two year minimum sentence on each count. Her children were taken into protective custody after her arrest.

Taylor told the Scottsdale Police that she was homeless and seeking employment, and unable to afford child care for her two children, a 6-month old and two-year old.

“She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job. Obviously not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation,” Sergeant Mark Clark said.

This seems to be in direct contrast with the Robert H. Richards case.

As was previously reported in the Inquisitr, Richards admitted to raping his 3-year old daughter and was accused by his ex-wife of raping their son as well.

Court documents from this case show Richards was given eight years probation and was ordered to seek treatment. The documents only came to light after he was sued by his ex-wife.

Richards was originally charged with two counts of second-degree child rape, which carries a mandatory 20-year prison term if convicted. He was released on $60,000 bail. He pleaded to lesser charge of fourth-degree rape.

The News Journal reported Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richards to eight years in prison, but suspended the time for probation that requires monthly visits with a case officer. Jurden said Richards “Would not fare well in prison.”

What Shanesha Taylor did by leaving her children in her car was against the law. No one is disputing that. But is what she did more egregious than admitting to raping your own 3-year old daughter?

On June 15, 2013 16-year old Ethan Couch was intoxicated when he slammed his Ford F-350 pick up truck into two vehicles that were parked by the side of a rural road near Fort Worth, Texas. Four people were killed and several more injured, included one of the seven passengers in Couch’s truck. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24, or three times the legal limit for drivers in Texas. He also tested positive for Valium.

His lawyer argued Couch suffered from “Affluenza”,(not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association) a condition that makes a person’s wealth incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions. Couch’s father owns Cleburne Metal works.

Judge Jean Boyd gave Couch 10 years probation and ordered to attend a rehabilitation facility in California for 90 days that cost his family approximately $48,000 a month.

In December, 2013 Judge Boyd sentenced a 14-year old boy who punched a man who then hit his head on pavement and died to 10 years in a juvenile detention center.