I was one of 80 potential jurors selected for voire dire in the libel case involving the Ft. Bend Star and Wade Brady. After sitting through that, I am so spitting-mad I don’t know where to start.
The potential jurors were given a 6 page questionnaire to complete. Based on this questionnaire and the questions asked by the attorneys, the following was pretty evident:
An 18 year old boy got caught doing something he shouldn’t have done and it ended up in the local paper. Rather than receiving a proper parental response of ripping the kid a new one for his misbehavior, the parent(s) are very apparently condoning, and I suspect funding, a lawsuit for libel against your paper .
The 18 year old claims “mental anguish” and suffered damage to his character and reputation. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was in the court room I would have thought this some kind of colossal joke. What an incredible abuse of the judicial system and tax payer money!
An 18 year old gets his name in the paper with a negative connotation. I bet that caused a sensation in his hometown for all of 10 minutes. Mental anguish? Are you kidding me? Maybe he should have thought about anguish before he did something he should not have been doing in the first place. And excuse me – damage to his character and reputation? At 18 you haven’t the maturity yet to build enough of a character or reputation to damage. This has now apparently drug on for 8 years. My reading of this is that someone is looking for a meal ticket as there was a pretty big emphasis on whether or not a juror would be able to award punitive damages. I wish I could give him punitive damages– all over his backside.
And can someone explain to me what kind of idiotic parent doesn’t put the kibosh on this kind of nonsense and punish their child for being out of line??? (By the way, 18 may be considered adult, but bad behavior indicating a lack of maturity makes him a child still). I understand one of the parents is in law enforcement. Is it really wise to have officers with such incredibly poor parental judgment in positions of authority? The product of this kind of parenting does not bode well for the future of society.
I come from a small Texas town and went to school with the police chief’s sons, the pastor’s sons and the children of prominent citizens. This is a story that is repeated all throughout America, where the children of these families feel they have a license to get away with bad behavior because of who they are. When their parents cover for them and don’t take the moral high road to make their children suffer the consequences of their actions, they do a disservice to these kids by disallowing important life lessons to be learned and in the end, they help create adults that lack integrity, responsibility and moral values.
I also come from a law enforcement family, the difference is – my father made it very clear to my brothers and myself what was and was not acceptable. What was further made clear is that there are consequences for everything you do, and not only would there be no assistance from either of my parents if we got into trouble, there would be consequences at home as well. I wish all parents would give their children solid values like my parents gave us. I can’t help but think that we’d have a better America if they did….and we’d save the taxpayers a heck of a lot of money.
I may not have all the facts in the case, as I’m not on the jury, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not far off the mark in reading the handwriting on this wall.
Name withheld by request