Grievously Injured Rand Paul Gets a Second Chance at Justice
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the ridiculously lenient sentence received by Rene Boucher for assaulting Senator Rand Paul, a sentence that fell well below the sentencing range of 21 to 27 months in jail that he should have received.
Boucher was sentenced by Clinton-appointed judge, Marianne Battani, to one month in jail and a $10,000 fine for what was almost surely a hate-inspired crime. He got less than 5% of what is recommended as the bare minimum sentence when all factors were taken into account.
For those who don't remember the attack, Judge Jane B. Stanch, writing for the appeals court panel, summed it up pretty well. She wrote, "While Paul had his back to the hill, Boucher ran 60 yards downhill and hurled himself headfirst into Paul's lower back. The impact broke six of Paul's ribs, including three that split completely in half." In fact, the injuries were so bad that Paul continues to suffer and recently had a part of his lung removed.
The cover story, assisted by the media, was that Boucher was a kind and educated bloke, a real giver, who snapped because of Paul's lawn care techniques. While sucker-freight-training his neighbor definitely is evidence that Boucher snapped, it is doubtful that it had much to do with lawn care. Boucher is a liberal who despised Rand for being guilty of the greatest of all possible crimes — chief among them, judging from the Democrat primary, the only one that appears to be relevant in the liberal mind: the crime of being a Republican.
At least in this case, it appears that Boucher's Democrat privilege might be revoked.
The reason the judge gave for such a light sentence is worth examining. The judge indicated that Boucher was an educated person who was respected within the community with no criminal history. What was left unsaid in the interest of championing better lawn care is that Boucher was an outspoken Democrat, meaning a proud member of the protected club.
That judge got this backwards. Boucher, a physician like Paul, is both educated and wealthy, meaning there were no mitigating circumstances to his extreme criminal behavior. Instead of being a Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, he was a rich deranged psychopath who nearly killed a man.
Reasonable Americans would agree that if you beat your neighbor, unprovoked, to within an inch of his life — which is exactly what Boucher did here — you should expect to spend a couple of years in prison.
The damage this attack did to Paul was life-threatening and will permanently rob the senator of the health he knew. While there are whole paragraphs on the extent of the damage in the court's opinion, Paul's wife, Kelley, noted that the assault began "'a long odyssey of severe pain and limited mobility for' Paul. 'A cough or hiccup would literally drive him to his knees, his face in a white grimace,' and '[t]he trauma to his body caused him to suffer night sweats accompanied by uncontrollable shivering and shaking.'"
Adding insult to injury, not only was Boucher let off with a hand slap but the Pauls now have to live next door to this psychopath who suffered no lasting punishment for his crime.
The panel clearly felt that the judge's decision to prioritize Doctor Deranged's education, professional success, and standing in the community to give him such a light sentence was a legal travesty. The final decision: "We therefore vacate Boucher's sentence and remand for resentencing."
Compare the treatment Boucher got to Paul Manafort. Paul Manafort is also highly educated, is older, had professional success, and no doubt had wonderful standing in his community, all of the factors that made Boucher too good for this judge to seriously punish.
Manafort was found guilty of a crime most Americans barely understand, one that did not even warrant prosecution until it was a useful tool in the pursuit of the president. Manafort was sent to solitary confinement in one of the worst prisons in the country while liberals, who would normally consider this torture, cheered.
It is worth examining this story within the current climate that no longer affords equal justice under the law. Republicans are regularly hammered for minor or trumped up offenses (à la Lieutenant General Michael Flynn), while liberals can quite brazenly plan an administrative coup against a duly elected president without any perpetrator serving jail time, at least not yet. It is fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that we have lost that vital principle of equal justice under the law.
This dynamic is a primary reason why industry and community leaders routinely and aggressively virtue-signal in support of the full liberal laundry list, from abortion on demand to homilies on the global warming cult. It buys them protection, akin to a payoff to a mob boss. If you are going to be a criminal, it quite literally pays to be an outspoken liberal, or at least to pretend to be one. That message has been received loud and clear.
One of the most important steps in reversing this trend is removing the extreme liberal activist bent of the courts. Nothing President Trump has done has been more important than appointing fair-minded and Constitution-respecting judges across the Judiciary. These judges are much more likely to enforce equal justice under the law.
Five of the judges on the Sixth Court of Appeals, the court that voided the Boucher sentence, were appointed by Trump, although in fairness, it was a President Obama–appointed judge who wrote the decision on behalf of the panel of three who heard the case. The Senate has already confirmed 146 judges whom this president has nominated. Another 41 are awaiting Senate action, with plenty more vacancies to be filled. The president, in partnership with Senate Republicans, has already reversed much of the damage Obama did to the Judiciary.
This is where President Trump is making the most lasting impact and where he may quite literally be saving America. At the very least, he has bought the country time to recover.
Even should Democrats retake the presidency now, the courts will still have moved decidedly to the sane. If Trump wins re-election and Republicans hold the Senate, he will have saved the courts for a generation. Eight years of a Hillary Clinton presidency may have moved the courts so far to the left that they would have been irrecoverable. It is nearly impossible to understand NeverTrump Republicans within this context.
The courts were so out of balance that activist judges have succeeded in thwarting President Trump at many turns, significantly slowing down the implementation of the agenda he was elected to put in place. That is why Attorney General William Barr felt compelled to demand an end to nationwide injunctions by lone rogue judges. The president literally had to change the balance of the courts before he could fully do the job he was elected to do while performing duties that are fully within his purview as the head of the Executive Branch.
This week, a federal appeals court struck a blow for justice. Let's hope that will start a long judicial trend toward reversing the damage done to justice in America.
Fletch Daniels blogs at deplorabletouchdown.com and can be found on Twitter at @fletchdaniels.