Justice is one of those things a society cannot do without, but perfect justice has proved elusive even for the most advanced legal systems in the world. The recent conviction of the famous TV mogul Harvey Epstein proved that no one is really above the law, but that verdict doesn’t mean all historical injustices were solved. The normal order states that once someone is found guilty of a crime, they must pay for their wrongs. However, not everyone serves time or a fine for hideous crimes they commit, especially when they are rich. Some even managed to escape death by simply cashing in on some loopholes in the legal system. While the victims and the world mourn over justice denied, these 10 criminals continue to laugh at the wheels of justice.
Robert H. Richards IV
Robert Richards IV is the heir to the American chemical company DuPont making him one of America’s wealthiest people. In 2009 he was accused of a very despicable crime; the rape of his three-year-old daughter. She had reported the act to Richardson then-wife, Tracy, who reported him to the authorities and divorced him. With this report together with mountains of irrefutable evidence, Richards plead guilty and received an eight-year prison sentence.
The judge then made a decision that left those familiar with the case dumbfounded, Including Richardson’s lawyer. Noting that Richards wouldn’t fare well in prison, the judge suspended his sentence, opting instead to sentence him to 8 years’ probation. Even Richards lawyers confessed they were shocked by the decision. Tracy Richards was left to pursue the only remaining option; a civil suit, which was settled for an undisclosed sum.
On June 12, 1994, Nicole Simpson and her male friend were found brutally murdered. Suspicion quickly fell on her ex-husband and NFL hall of fame star O.J Simpson. He rose suspicion levels even higher when he led the police on a low-speed chase in his Ford Bronco down Southern California freeways. He also offered many conflicting versions of his whereabouts that night. He, however, hired an expensive team of lawyers who did their best to plant doubts into the minds of the jury.
Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence, Simpson was able to get the jury behind him and was acquitted at trial. Almost a decade later, he came back to the limelight when he participated in the robbery of a Las Vegas sports memorabilia dealer. He wasn’t lucky this time. This crime led him behind bars. A place where a lot of people believed he rightly belonged. He served a 9-year sentence and was released in October 2017.
Robert Blake began his career in Hollywood in the 1940s and is well known for his starring role in the 1970’s drama series, Baretta. But these days he is also known for another reason. He almost successfully succeeded in the contract murder of his wife and escaping punishment for the crime. On May 4, 2001, after dinner at a five-star restaurant, Bonny Lee Barkley was seated in the car waiting for his husband – Robert Blake – who had gone to fetch something he had forgotten back in the restaurant. She was then ambushed by a man who shot her in the head, killing her on the spot.
A police investigation revealed that at least three men were approached by Blake, who had offered them cash in exchange for his wife’s life. During the trial, however, his defence was able to discredit the three men’s testimony since they were drug users. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on all charges, and Blake was free. However, on a later civil trial, some years later, Blake was found guilty of his wife’s murder and was ordered to pay to the tune of $30 million. He filed for bankruptcy and hasn’t worked as an actor ever since.
25-year-old Englishman Colin Read was a Cambridge graduate in management consultant with a six-figure salary. He married his college sweetheart Elizabeth. After three months of marriage, Reed started showing his violent side, which was unknown to Elizabeth. The violent abuse was both verbal and physical. Elizabeth had told the authorities that Reed had slashed her with a knife for failing to make him a sandwich. She was also beaten mercilessly after she tried to complain to him about his treatment.
In a separate incident, Elizabeth was branded with a hot iron for failing to press his shirts properly. During the trial, the judge inexpressibly ruled that unnamed special circumstances meant that Reed was unlikely to re-offend. He also ruled out community service since his profession rendered him too busy to serve the complete the sentence. Reed was only handed a crazy fine of only 2000 pounds.
In 2010, Martin Erzinger, a private wealth manager at Morgan Stanley, was involved in a hit and run accident that left his victim with life-threatening injuries. Martin fled the scene but was later arrested eventually in a parking lot and was initially charged with felony hit and run. Unbelievably, the county prosecutor chose instead to dismiss that charge and slap him with a pair of misdemeanour charges. Erzinger never served a day in prison for his crime.
Kobe Bryant’s sudden tragic death made him more popular than he was when he was still alive, and many find it hard to forget his dark side. He was indisputably one of the greatest basketballers of all time. He played all his career for the Los Angeles Lakers. He also made history by becoming one of the few sports athletes to win an academy award on his short animated film named Dear Basketball. Back in June 2003, Bryant was staying at a luxurious spa in Colorado after a minor surgical procedure. During his stay, it was alleged by a 19-year-old girl that Bryant had physically restrained and raped her, prompting a police investigation.
The investigation yielded evidence including bruises on the girl’s body and blood matching the girl’s DNA on Kobe’s clothes serious enough to warrant charges of sexual assault, which carried a sentence of life in prison. After tearfully confessing to the act, which he claimed to have been consensual. Bryant was eventually let off the hook when the victim informed the prosecutors that she wouldn’t testify. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money, and the basketballer was free to resume playing.
The celebrated RnB musician has long been known to have a fascination, a criminal one, with underage girls. He married a fellow musician Aliya in 1994 when she was only 15 years old. In 2002 however, a disturbing video emerged, which showed him having sexual relations with an underage girl. More investigations from the singer’s camera revealed more images of him having sex with minors. However, charges related to the images were dropped due to lack of probable course.
In 2008 after a series of delays, he was put on trial on charges relating to the tapes. He put up a strong defence claiming he wasn’t the one on the tapes despite the videos and images being shot in a room with a huge resemblance to Kelly’s living room. Shockingly, the jury acquitted Kelly due to what they termed as lack of evidence.
Ethan Couch has become the face of the condition called affluenza, the state of being so rich and privileged that an individual is unable to differentiate right from wrong. In 2017 the teenager was driving on a suspended driving license at a ridiculously high speed through a residential area while heavily intoxicated. He crashed into a group of people who were trying to help fix a stalled vehicle. Four people died, while nine others were injured.
The judge was, however, convinced to lenience by the powerful defence. He sentenced Couch to only 10 years in probation without any jail term. Despite getting off with a slap on the wrist, the teenager was unable to abide by the light terms of his sentence and violated his probation. He was rearrested and sentenced to two years behind bars. This action infuriated people who felt he should have been dealt with more harshly given his prior criminal history.
Matthew Broderick endeared himself to the world in the mid-’80s as the star of the classic film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Many people, however, don’t remember the gruesome incident, which almost landed him into serious legal trouble in the years that followed. He had taken a vacation in Ireland with a fellow actress, Jennifer Grey, whom he had secretly started dating. He was driving and was involved in a head-on collision which took the lives of two people.
When investigations were complete, it was established that Mathew was driving on the wrong lane. He, however, claimed not to remember why as he sustained a serious concussion, among other injuries. Gray suffered only minor injuries. When it came to the administration of justice, Broderick, who was facing the charge of death by dangerous driving, carrying a potential 5-year sentence, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving and was charged a laughable fine of only $75.
Vince Neil was a rock musician. He was the lead vocalist of his band, Motley Crue. Vince severed a ridiculous twenty days behind bars for killing his friend, who was also a musician in the year 1995. He was driving while drunk, which resulted in a tragic accident. Two other passengers who were in the vehicle also suffered severe brain damage.
As for Vince, he escaped with just minor injuries and for his sentence; 200 hours of community service and 2.6 million dollars. However, he made this money back easily after his album’ Theatre of Pain’ became a big hit a few years later.
Author Bio – Billy Oduory is an author and editor with a vast experience in creating interesting entertainment reads. He has an eye for the fine interesting details that mainstream media ignores. Learn more about me and get in touch on Twitter