Contrary to the punchlines of late-night comics, the attack that Rand Paul suffered back in 2017 when his neighbor tackled him over landscaping disagreements was not funny at all. The crime left Paul with major complications including recurring bouts of pneumonia after damage to his lungs, and multiple surgeries including a partial lung removal and corrective surgery on a hernia. It isn’t a stretch to say that Senator Paul could have died. The attack was severe and the damage has been long-lasting.
— Llama of Radiance (@LlamaOfRadiance) August 20, 2019
Unfortunately, his attacker, Rene Boucher, was not only lauded by late-night comics and cruel people on Twitter as a hero, but he was only given a 30-day sentence in jail for his violent crime. An appeals court ruled on Monday that Boucher will be resentenced as his current sentence is “well-below guidelines,” as reported by CBS News.
U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani was the sentencing judge who opined that the attack was “dispute between neighbors” and claimed it was not motivated by politics. She took into consideration that Boucher was a veteran, involved in community service, a church-goer with college degrees and an advanced medical career to impose the light sentence. Unfortunately for her, the appeals judge, Judge Jane B. Stranch, disagreed, saying those facts are “almost all disfavored as grounds for a below-guidelines sentence.” Then she hit the defense with jaw-dropping rationale, not often seen in our courts.
“To prioritize a defendant’s education, professional success and standing in the community would give an additional leg up to defendants who are already in a privileged position…Indigent defendants are less likely to impress a sentencing court with their education, employment record or local reputation. But they are no less deserving of a reasonable and compassionate sentence.”
Check your privilege, Boucher. You’re not going to get away with assaulting a sitting senator with a slap on the wrist.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter