I’m for holding people accountable for criminal behavior, but this Penn State guy got massively shafted:
Stints in jail. Hefty fines and restitution. Clouded futures. The consequences of their bad behavior have been steep for the Penn State students who took to the streets and rioted in the chaotic aftermath of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno’s firing last November.
Perhaps none have learned a harder lesson than Justin Strine, a young man from central Pennsylvania whose planned career as an Army officer is over before it began — the casualty of his own split-second decision to put his hands on a news van, and a judicial system that considered him as guilty as classmates who did far worse that dark night in State College.
As the fall semester gets under way Monday, Strine has returned to campus, along with 15 other students found to have taken part in a nationally televised riot that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and embarrassed Penn State.
As he resumes his studies, nothing’s the same for the 21-year-old from Hummelstown. He spent part of his summer in jail. Far worse: He’s been kicked out of ROTC, his dream of carrying on his family’s proud military tradition now out of reach.
“I’m losing everything I worked my entire life for,” Strine said.
Strine’s father, a career soldier, questions whether that’s a just result.
“I had to stand by and watch my son plead guilty to something he didn’t do,” said Jim Strine.
Read the whole thing. The punishment here absolutely doesn’t fit the crime.
UPDATE: Read all the comments. Everybody thinks I’m very wrong about this.