Bryant and Van der Sloot: 28 Seconds and 28 Years to Avoid Justice
I wouldn’t put Bryant in the same category as Van der Sloot insofar as the deaths and the intention of murder is concerned. Clearly Van der Sloot displays severe sociopathy and mysoginy. Bryant’s victim was male and he didn’t intend to murder Darcy Sheppard although he is happy to avoid responsibility and bask in the limelight since it happened. Stay with me on this one and consider some of the similarities:
- Both men committed murder (although not proven in Bryant’s case).
- Both men assumed a sense of priority throughout the episodes.
- Both men assumed a sense of privilege and entitlement in terms of escaping judgement
- Both men escaped reasonable consequences for their acts
- Both men received financial rewards for their actions
Van der Sloot has received 28 years for the murder of Flores – a reasonable amount of time for the act he committed. However it is unlikely he will do that 28 years since Peruvian criminal law may release him after only serving a third of that time. And don’t even get me started on Bryant. My initial feeling was that he shouldn’t necessarily do jail time, or at least not a significant length of it due to the lack of intent to commit murder. Yet Bryant didn’t even see the inside of a courtroom for his actions; not a minute before a Grand Jury to determine if the case should go to court or possibly if Bryant should offer a plea.
The D.A. offered the questionable explanation that there wasn’t enough evidence to secure a conviction against Bryant, yet city cameras caught the entire incident and as illustrated in the “new and improved” version of the Sheppard manslaughter, it is very clear what happened in the case: Bryant collided with Sheppard who was riding a bicycle. Bryant “panicked” (more likely he was irate), as he claims, and attempted to drive away from the incident, dragging Sheppard with him. Bryant stopped at a traffic light, Sheppard stood up and Bryant fled the scene again. My suspicion is that initially Sheppard refused to advance after the light turned green in order to aggravate Bryant: Sheppard was intoxicated and had just been involved in an altercation with his girlfriend. Bryant reacted inappropriately, hit Sheppard, committed a hit and run not once but twice, and was eventually caught and arrested. And released the next morning after being permitted to shower and change into a snazzy business suit.
Panicked or not, Bryant killed a man. Whether Sheppard was aggravating Bryant, was intoxicated, and wasn’t an “upstanding citizen” is irrevelant. Bryant, a highly intellectual man, was at one point the Attorney General of Ontario; he knew the law, he passed judgment against “miscreant” behaviour (ironically against “drag racing” due to the dangers it imposed upon Toronto citizens). Certainly Bryant’s character behind the scenes isn’t as upstanding as he would have us believe.
The abhorrent violence Van der Sloot displayed against Flores and Holloway was clearly far more malignant and deplorable. However neither man will be held fully accountable for his actions. Neither man displays a sense of remorse. And perhaps the most tragic of all: the law is protecting both men, albeit for different reasons.
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