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It's good to be the prince

Yesterday, I let the story of a Saudi prince being sentenced to a Massachusetts jail slip past me (but Brian Maloney, blogging at Michelle Malkin's site, caught it). And this morning the Boston Herald gave it the full court press.

First up, they have the story of how Prince Bader Al-Saud was drunk when he ran down a homeless man, Orlando Ramos, with his SUV in September of 2002. They also spell out just how Al-Saud planned to defend himself -- by saying that Ramos most likely committed suicide by jumping in front of Al-Saud's SUV. They point out that Al-Saud had no license at the time, having flunked the driving test twice, and was only 20 when he killed Ramos -- below the legal drinking age.

But that's just the beginning.

Next, they take a look at the county jail Al-Saud will be spending his time in. It sounds almost as nice as my apartment -- better, if you factor in the oceanfront view and breezes.

Then, someone wondered what would have happened had he gotten loaded and killed someone at home in Saudi Arabia. He might have been whipped, or even beheaded -- but not likely. As a member of the royal family, he probably would have had his offense swept under the rug. Even the drunk part, which is a big no-no among Muslims.

And it isn't just at home that the Saudi royal family seems to get its perks. The Herald also has a list of other "benefits" the royals have enjoyed from their close ties to Washington.

Finally, and certainly not least, they go and talk to Mr. Ramos' sister, who is understandably upset over the cushy deal her brother's killer received.

Even setting aside the fact that he killed Ramos, Al-Saud should have gotten a tougher sentence. Driving under the influence, driving without a license, and having a forged ID (a Saudi ID that said he was of legal drinking age) should have put him away for longer.

With luck, once he completes his sentence, we can deport this scumbag.

Comments (5)

Query Jay --Does t... (Below threshold)

Query Jay --

Does the Prince enjoy any sort of diplomatic immunity? Or does that not pertain in a case of a homicide? What possible legitimate rationale is there for treating this guy so lightly?

Al-Saud should have gott... (Below threshold)

Al-Saud should have gotten a tougher sentence. Driving under the influence, driving without a license, and having a forged ID (a Saudi ID that said he was of legal drinking age) should have put him away for longer.

Yeah, who does this guy think he is, anyway, Colin Ferrell?

If the prince had diplomati... (Below threshold)

If the prince had diplomatic immunity, then the Saudi gov't waived it, else we wouldn't be reading these articles.

The series of articles is definitely coming at the story with a point of view. Given what it says about Ramos, I think the prosecuter went with what he thought he could get. Had it gone to trial, and even some of that information (especially Ramos' earlier dance with death, his blood alcohol level at the time, and the presence of cocaine in his system), he could have ended up with nothing.

I don't know whether or not the prince had justifiable fears of being put in a Suffolk Co. jail. There was certainly something at issue as the prosecutor went along with it.

Believe it or not, the Saudi gov't does, in fact, jail princes for committing crimes. They've got a handful in jail for drug or alcohol offenses, as well as more violent crimes. There's definitely a problem with consistency in prosecutions/sentencing, and "who you are" plays far too important a role.

The law against alcohol is strictly enforced--with the caveats noted above. Mere possession is a 7-year jailable offense. I'm not familiar with any cases involving alcohol-related vehicular homicide.

Generally speaking, it would be hard to get such a prosecution due to a quirk in Shariah law: No one is 100% responsible. Even the victims share some responsibility. If your legally parked car is hit by another, you hold some responsibility for having parked it at that particular spot.

That's not the way our laws work, but it is the way they work there.

In the US, jailing people for fake IDs would do a pretty good job of clearing out university campuses. It seems the way that that's handled--at least for underage drinking purposes--is to assess community service, threaten driving licenses, and impose a fine.

But it all comes down to what the prosecutor believed he could get. While the Herald likes to see this as an instance of favoring the Saudis, they offer no support for that. Exactly what how the Suffolk Co. prosecutor profit from this? Is he running for Secretary of State or something?

That benefit of inmates ord... (Below threshold)

That benefit of inmates ordering their meals from an in-house chef is pretty spiffy. I did not know that incarceration could be so catered.

I also sense that the imprisonment location is probably due to what John Burgess writes (^^).

Allowing the B-L family to depart the U.S. just after the events of 09/11, however, always appeared to me to be them doing what most wealthy people have prearranged for just such times of emergency and threat: access a prearranged and secure-as-possible efficient route to elsewhere and then contend with the situation afterward from safer environs. Most wealthy people have just such plans in place for just such occurences.

However, given that the evil brother was suspected responsible and from long before 09/11 even occured, it does seem counterproductive that the family was so immediately passed through and out of the country. A case of special treatment in that regard, yes, particularly since there's a family money pool, since discovered, ongoing from last I read, between the brothers.

But, yes, Jay Tea, money of such magnitude has it's privileges, and can buy just about anything, and does. But that's not limited to Saudi Royals.

He's not actually a prince,... (Below threshold)

He's not actually a prince, just a VERY distant member of the Saudi royal family whose father happens to have a really good job. He did not have diplomatic immunity as he is not a prince. Also, at the time of the offense, one year in jail was the common sentence for what he was convicted of.






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