Justice Served Hopefully Sends A Message

Our society has gone off of the deep end when it comes to people and their quest for celebrity.  A look through the archives here, and some of my diatribes towards reality television and its worst offenders, should tell you enough about how I feel about those who are willing to do anything and everything — no matter who it affects and how — in order to get their fifteen minutes of fame.

Which is why I’m smiling ear-to-ear this morning with the announcement that Richard Heene — the father of “Balloon Boy” and the “mastermind” behind the hoax that riveted the attention of much of the country back on October 15 — has been sentenced to spend 30 days in jail for his role in the fraud he helped perpetrate on the public.  In addition, Heene will also be on probation and will be unable to profit form his criminal act at any point over the next four years.  His wife, Mayumi, will be facing sentencing of her own shortly, and the family is still looking at having to pay back the costs incurred by state and local officials during the search efforts for their son — which at the moment, could exceed $50,000 by the time everything is accounted for (including a fine they could owe the FAA).

My satisfaction at the news is somewhat tempered by the desire I had to see an even stricter punishment levied on the reckless and irresponsible Heenes.  The couple — or at least Richard Heene — has been borderlined obsessed with making the family television celebrities, no matter what the cost, even if it involved using their own children as pawns or putting them at real risk and in danger.  Neither Heene has apparently understood what their responsibilities as parents entails, and I would not have shed a tear to see both of them sitting in jails for longer than a month’s time, and with it, their children removed from their care.

Still, there’s no doubt a great deal of love from the three Heene children for their parents (since none of them are old enough to fully understand how reprehensible their parents’ actions in using them for their own advancement truly has been), and only further harm would be done to the children themselves if they were taken away permanently from their parents, or if either Heene spent a longer time behind bars.  The children are going to have enough to suffer from because of this incident in the future — not only will the financial repercussions impact their future, but how would you like to be “Balloon Boy” or one of his siblings and have to attend school — and listen to the taunting from your peers — for the next decade? — so at some point, the interests of the true victims here, the children, have to be taken into utmost consideration.

Hopefully, this bit of justice will be a grim example of what lies ahead for other people who put attaining celebrity ahead of everything else.  And maybe those of us in the public can make a resolution in the upcoming year to stop giving people like Richard Heene what they so desperately crave — our attention.

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2 Responses to “Justice Served Hopefully Sends A Message”

  1. Good. I’m glad at least some juries in our country still have common sense. Now, lets transport those people to california and retry OJ.

  2. thelasthonestman Says:

    What’s even more astounding is that Heene is challenging the amount of money he’s going to have to pay in restitution — and that’s while now claiming that he was lying about lying about faking the whole thing. Sure you were, Richard. When they were hanging out copious amounts of gall, Heene was clearly the one cutting in the front of the line.

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