I am sure many a heated conversation was had surrounding the following topic today… did Chris Brown get off lightly? However the more important thing to note was the massive injustice the American judicial system served abused women everywhere.
For beating Rihanna black and blue, Chris Brown got a 5 year suspended sentence and 6 months community service. It can be argued that was harsh considering domestic violence rarely gets a conviction and he has the added punishment of of artists no longer wanting to work with him, losing fans, declining record sales, brands not wanting to go near him for endorsements… add all this together and some could argue the sentence was hard.
He beat Rihanna black and blue.
Yet, I don’t think he is the main villain in this piece. A disgusting man? Yes. The main villain in this story? No.
Chris Brown will be fine. He’s still selling records, his new track (the has aptly titled Smash) is doing the rounds online and he appeared on the latest T.I. Mixtape. History has taught us that with time, good management, and great PR celebrities can bounce back from almost anything! All of a sudden, that suspended sentence does not sound so hard.
If Chris Brown had gone to trial and pleaded not guilty he could have received 4 years inside. He decided to tell the truth so he escapes jail time and gets the judge Patricia Schnegg to say “I think it’s commendable that you took responsibility for your conduct, sir.” And there were have the real villains; the US judicial system.
The US Justice system let a lot of people down. They could have used this case to set a real precedent. By giving him a tougher sentence (i.e. some jail time) they would have sent a message that says domestic violence is unacceptable. This was a massive public case, and any sentencing would have huge ramifications for the face of domestic violence. Instead, he gets of lightly because he “took responsibility for his actions.”
And did he really do anything commendable? The whole world knew what he did so he had to turn himself in. Furthermore I am 100% certain that his legal council told him as soon as pictures of Rihanna surfaced to turn himself in and plead guilty, because they knew he would get off lightly (and probably get a judge to say he is an upstanding citizen for owning up to beating a woman beyond recognition). Anyway, he was openly denying the rumours before the photos surfaced and even entered an initial please of not guilty!… Sounds like the actions of a really upstanding citizen to me!
The legal system missed a real bullet here. It is notoriously hard to get convictions on domestic violence cases because they are hard to prove. They had the opportunity to make a real statement. By giving him a jail term they would have said, “domestic violence is unacceptable and we will not stand for it no matter who you are!” If you wanted to ‘reward’ him for pleading guilty, give him 6 months instead of 2 years.
By not taking a stronger stance the US legal system has inadvertently said, “go on, hit ya woman. Get caught and you’ll get a suspended sentence… just don’t get caught next time!” Disgusting. The US Justice system has let down the hundreds and thousands of woman (and a few men) that are victims of domestic violence every year.
Yes Chris Brown was wrong and should never have hit Rihanna… however the US Justice System are the real villains here and should be ashamed of themselves.