11.18.2005

Saudi "royal" gets royal treatment after admitting he killed

Does anyone feel as angry as I do, after reading about the story of a drunken Saudi "royal" who killed a man with his SUV in Boston, and then gets an unbelievably easy sentence on an island jail on tony Martha's Vineyard?

The Globe article by Jonathan Saltzman and John R. Ellement has this quote:
Saud's royal blood ''means nothing to this court because in this system of justice, every individual is treated the same, no matter what their social status is," [Judge Christine McEvoy] said.
How many times have we heard that old chestnut before, and then watched as fat cats and VIPs have been either let off the hook, given lightweight sentences, or allowed to remain free pending appeal? Ordinary people almost never get these kinds of breaks. What about Melanie's Law? What about criminal law?

I'd like to point out that resident Saudi "royals" are almost always given the benefit of the doubt by American officials when they break the law. I was furious a few years ago when Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wife of the Machiavellian Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was allegedly found to have wired money to people connected with terrorism. Our government's response? The then Secretary of State Colin Powell basically gave this woman the benefit of the doubt -- saying it was "highly unlikely" she would be involved in something like this. You can bet if it was any other foreigner that did this, they would be interrogated, thrown in jail, and eventually deported. But if it's a "Saudi royal", especially a connected one, a different justice system applies.

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