Bryan Stow and a Justice System that Is Criminal

Bryan_Stow_5On March 31, 2011, the opening day of baseball at Dodger Stadium, four San Francisco Giants fans, all paramedics, were there to cheer on their team.

As they left the stadium, in the parking lot, one of them, Bryan Stow, was attacked by a Dodger fan, who hit him so suddenly and with such force that Stow hit his head on the ground without being able to break his fall, which fractured his skull. But the attack didn’t end there. Once on the ground, Stow was repeatedly kicked in the head and ribs.

As reported by CBS Los Angeles, “Stow’s friend said he saw the assailant — whom he described as a Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years old — repeatedly kick Stow in the head with ‘full wind-up’ kicks after knocking him to the pavement with a ‘haymaker punch’ to the left side of his head.”

A witness to the beating, Joann Cerda, stood over Bryan Stow as he lay motionless, and said she saw “Blood gushing from his ears,” and didn’t think Stow was still alive.

The result was severe brain damage.

He was left unable to walk, lost motor skills in his arms and hands, and is incapable of carrying on a normal conversation, controlling his bodily functions or caring for himself. He will require long-term care and 24-hour assistance for the rest of his life. He has a confused short-term memory, which makes work impossible. The care he will need for the remainder of his life is projected to cost 34 million dollars.

At the time of the attack, Bryan Stow was a 42-year-old father of two young children, an 11-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl.

His aging parents’ lives have been transformed into that of full-time caregivers for their adult son. His children have half a father, his friends have essentially lost their friend, and his sisters have been devastated. At the home he shares with his parents, Stow must wear an adult diaper, cannot shower without help, can barely close his left hand, and because of his memory problems, has to be reminded why a plastic shunt protrudes from the base of his skull.

His medical care has already exceeded five million dollars and is estimated to end up costing an additional 34 million dollards over the course of his life, according to his family’s attorney, Tom Girardi.

Get the idea?

Now what punishment do you think Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, the two sadists who did this, deserve?

I’ll tell you what I think they deserve.

Sanchez, the primary assailant, deserves to be punched so hard in the head that he falls to the ground and his head smashes into concrete, and then violently kicked in the head three more times in the hope that he spends the rest of his life in diapers.

Of course, we don’t do such things.

Instead we sentence such human debris to prison.

So, then, how much prison time do Norwood and Sanchez deserve? Given the life sentence they imposed on Bryan Stow and his family, I cannot see an argument for anything less than, let us say, 40 years to life.

What they got was not close.

Norwood has been sentenced to four years in prison and Sanchez eight years. (Norwood’s time has already been served, but he is being held on a separate federal warrant on a weapons violation charge.)

As for restitution, that will be determined at a hearing scheduled for six months from now. Of two things, however, I am certain:

One is that they will have to pay virtually nothing approaching the needs of Bryan Stow. Yes, I know, they don’t have anything near millions of dollars. But they should be forced to pay some significant percentage of whatever they money they ever acquire to Bryan Stow. The notion that people who permanently hurt other people “pay their debt to society” just because society has paid to house them in prison is not only absurd; it is meaningless. Norwood and Sanchez owe “society” very little. They owe Bryan Stow a fortune, and being imprisoned does absolutely nothing to meet that obligation.

The other thing of which I am certain is that Norwood and Sanchez will be harmed financially far less than tens of millions of divorced men who hurt no one, yet suffered financial devastation in the nation’s family law courts.

Sanchez, the puncher and head-kicker, smirked during the heart-rending victim impact statements and the judge’s castigation of the defendants’ actions and unrepentant attitudes. That this man, who destroyed and damaged so many lives, will be out of prison in about four years mocks the notion of an American criminal justice system. The only valid part of that phrase is that our justice is very often criminal.

Louie Sanchez is why I so fervently hope there is a hell.

Until he goes there, however, we can help Bryan Stow and his family through

  • Tina Trent

    Mr. Prager’s complaint about men being victimized in divorce courts smacks of excuse-making for men who will not support their children.

    Yet the failure of men to father is the source of criminality that plagues society.

    Prager does not have facts on his side with this complaint. The vast majority of child abandonment in this country is committed by fathers, not mothers. The vast majority of families in the welfare system are there because fathers are not fulfilling their obligation to the children and families they create. Men who make any effort at all to stay involved in their childrens’ lives are pandered to within the welfare state — we reward them like children if they express the slightest desire to parent.

    Look around you. I can name off the top of my head a dozen women I know who gave up on the childrens’ fathers ever acting like fathers and raised their kids alone while working. And the kids all turned out great. In contrast, I know one woman who chose to be a single mom.

    This silly men’s rights dirge is fact-free nonsense.

    • Bamaguje

      You must be hopelessly dumb and totally obtuse if all you got from Mr Prager’s article is that he supports divorce men abandoning their children.
      I seriously doubt there’s any grey matter in your skull.

    • cxt

      You read a whole article on how 2 violent criminals beat a man into brain damage, requiring life time care and what you got from it was some sort of commentary on men and children?????
      Did you actually read the article??????

      • laura r

        why did the writer even mention a divorce? they murdered a man. they will be out of jail to do this again. thats the bottom line.

        • Patriot077

          The point he was making is that these two men irreparably harmed their victim for a lifetime yet will pay little or nothing financially. OTOH, men who find themselves in divorce court and have hurt no one will undoubtedly pay dearly.
          It’s a true statement though the comparison didn’t need to be made.

    • BS77

      Hey Tina….you need a mind tune up…you are lost in space.

    • mendezjb

      yea because of your 10 friends that’s nonsense

    • herb benty

      And you are off the rails. The man said when good fathers are in the courts, they lose by far the most. The mothers are not all “saints”.

    • UCSPanther

      I heard that a pack of Hispanic women brutally beat a Vietnamese woman to death outside of a bar some time back.

      Nary a peep from the demogogues and feminists there…

    • James Foard

      Hello Tina Trent. Dennis Prager’s column laid out the heart wrenching story of Bryan Stow, and how the slime who destroyed his life, took a father away from his children, a brother and son away from his family, placed a life-long burden on his aging parents, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in life-long medical care after his life was wrecked by this senseless act of violence, were given relatively light sentences.
      Your response was “This silly men’s rights dirge is fact-free nonsense.”?!
      The inhumanity of your comment; the utter callousness of your response sickens me to the very depths of my soul.
      Mr. Prager has put a link at the end of his column if anyone would care to donate to help in Mr, Stow’s medical expenses.

      • James Foard

        I just got an email from Tina Trent responding to my critique (above) of her reprehensible comment on this article. After reading the email, I’m sure that Ms.Trent is mentally unbalanced.

  • Cymbaline

    If I were the owner of the L.A. Dodgers, I would have publicly announced that neither Sanchez or Norwood would EVER be allowed into any Dodgers game again, for life. Security at each game would have strict instructions to forcibly eject them from the stadium on sight.

    I also would have donated millions of dollars of dollars from the Giants’ organization to the support of Mr. Stow.

  • BS77

    WHen I heard about the pathetic sentences for these two vermin, I was shocked. They should be doing 25 to life, no question.

    • UCSPanther

      They should be hanged. They effectively imprisoned their victim in a body he can no longer use for the rest of his life.

      That is the same as killing him.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        I think hanging people like these lowlifes would actually be a reasonable effective deterrent along with meting out the correct measure of justice.

  • mendezjb

    There were tens of thousands of people at that game. How many dozens or hundreds saw this going on and did nothing?

    • Danny

      I wondered the exact same thing.

    • Danny

      I wondered the exact same thing.

    • trickyblain

      It was in the parking lot; very dimly lit at Chavez Ravine.

  • Bob Sten

    If the perp was a skinhead, and the victim was a black man, the outcome would not have been the same. The perp would have been sentenced to decades, if not life.

    This country is sick with double standards…especially racial double standards. I hate this country now. Let it burn.

    Remember the hundreds of knock out games attacks on whites by blacks? They are still occurring…..yet not one hate crime charge brought against any of the attackers, not one. Four white people have died from these attacks.

    Yet, one white guy does a knock out attack against a black man in texas…..and the obummer administration makes sure that hate crimes charges are filed against the white man.

    This country is sick.

    The DC sniper. I saw two documentaries on it. I saw police detectives and other “authorities” insist that the snipers had “no known motive.”

    Yet the DC sniper mastermind (a black man named john allen muhammad) had a two phase plan. He explicitly stated his plan was to:

    -phase one: kill 6 white people a day for 30 days
    -phase two: kill a pregnant white woman by shooting her in the stomach

    Yet the media, the cops, and the government all LIED to cover up his racial motivations. Why?

    Because this country is sick, that’s why. Let it burnnnnnn!

  • Hymie

    Now they’re free to “kill” again. Even a life sentence without the possibility of parole is a license to kill with impunity in prison. The alternative suggests itself.

  • The Facts

    I don’t agree with what these brutes did, but this article and any others like it are passion plays. DHFC sponsors passion plays about brown people brutality.

  • barbarajoanne

    Thank you for this and also listing the support group address for Mr Stow.

    I hope everyone involved with the monsters who did this shun them, forever. And I hope the victim’s family takes a cue from Ron Goldman’s and legally haunt and hunt these animals with every judicial weapon available.

    Lawyers out there willing to help?