Finally someone gets jail time in Victoria Lindsay beating

YouTube beating defendant gets jail time:

In a move that makes absolutely no sense to me 18-year-old Brittani Hardcastle was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years probation for the videotaped beating of Victoria Lindsay. She also has the usual stipulations of not contacting the media for profit and can’t belong to any social networking sites.

Why it doesn’t make sense to me is that Hardcastle is the only one to get jail time. All previous suspects were given probation and had to write letters of apology.

Was Hardcastle the sacrificial lamb? I have no problem with her serving jail time, as a matter of fact it should have been more. However if you’re going to sentence one of them to jail then why not sentence all of them?

Can we officially call this a travesty of justice now?

43 Comments

  1. Kelly, yes, Ms Hardcastle was the one in the pink pants that was doing most of the hitting. But I always wondered why she was so angry at Victoria since they didn’t seem to have any problems with each other. So the words “sacrificial lamb” Trench used make some sense. Some of the people you see in the video did have problems with Victoria and it looks like they used Ms Hardcastle to do their dirty work. Maybe someone told her stories about Victoria to get her angry and that kind of story is usually either totally untrue or exaggeration. Anyway Ms Hardcastle became convinced that Victoria needed an attitude adjustment and wound up taking the fall. True, fifteen days (of which she is only serving five, I hear) is not enough by far. But at least we can see that Ms Hardcastle made an apology yesterday that seemed sincere. In fact she wrote a letter of apology for Victoria and another for her parents. Her words didn’t show great literary skill and she made a few mistakes in grammar and spelling. But I felt she really meant what she said and the words were really her own and weren’t written for her by some lawyer or professor of English. Just like April and Kayla, she cried and I don’t think she scored any points with the toughies of Lakeland. But she and April and Kayla scored where it counts and they look like they are on the right path. As for Mercades and Brittany Mayes who have yet to apologize, maybe they are embarrassed by what they did and need more times to face up to it.
    Too bad the judge and SAO made such a mess of the case. I have to say fifteen days is kind of ridiculous after all that talk of sending them away for many years. It’s sort of like going to a fancy restaurant and leaving a tip of fifteen cents. Better to leave nothing at all, I’d say.

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  2. Mark- Go to Lakeland Wire Topix where somebody posted excerpts from the letter yesterday. They also posted a few links to videos of the court proceedings but the videos were much too short to be any help.

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  3. Mark- The excerpts from the Hardcastle letters are #8162 and #8192 on Topix.

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  4. Yes Trench, the Victoria Lindsay case was a travesty of justice because justice was not served in any way for Victoria. Hardcastle served only 5 days in jail. She is fortunate she did not get 5 years in jail because she deserved that for the assault and imprisonment of Tori and for torturing her emotionally as well. All of the girls crimes against Tori were caught on tape but in the end the video evidence really didn’t matter. It’s sad but true.

    And today March 30, 2009 marks the one year anniversary of the videotaped assault and imprisonment of Victoria Lindsay. It has been an awful last year for Tori and her family. I hope hope the next year brings better times for them and that they can move on from justice not being served in any way shape or form on Tori’s behalf.

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  5. Scott, it’s hard to believe a year has gone by and it took this long to come up with the ridiculous “sentences” handed down by Spoto. Funny how he told Ms Hardcastle that she had made bad decisions. If they were giving out awards for making bad decisions, Spoto would win top honors. Especially disturbing was the way he allowed the defense lawyers to gang up on Victoria at the October deposition and attack her verbally for eight hours. There was no legal or moral justification for that. As reported on Topix, “The judge said he didn’t want the public to think the state had anything to hide.” So Spoto allowed the defense lawyers to pursue a line of questioning that was extremely personal in nature and had nothing to do with the case. And for what? Certainly not to benefit the victim. The judge has shown great solicitude for the accused while ignoring the rights of the victim. In the end there was no trial and no real punishment, except of course for the victim.
    Still, let us rejoice in the fact that Victoria is alive and has the chance to leave this sad episode behind. Those of us who have supported her this far will continue to do so. Let’s remember that victims of violent crime need the support of all the decent people out there, because they sure can’t rely on people like Spoto for help.

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  6. 15 days in jail for something that could have led to the death of a girl? Hell no, that’s not justice at all. That’s a slap on the wrist.

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  7. THIS IS WHY TEENAGE MISDEMEANOR-MAKERS GROW UP TO BE ADULT FELONY MAKERS. THEY SHOULD ALL GET, EVEN THE ONES WHO WERE JUST ‘LOOKING OUT’, AT LEAST SIX MONTHS IN JUVE HALL OR BOOTH CAMP. AMERICA IS WAY TOO SOFT ON CRIME WHEN IT COMES TO YOUTHS WHICH IS A MAJOR REASON FOR THE INCREASE IN CRIMES IN AMERICA. THIS DOESN’T HELP!!

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  8. A Right wing judge helping fellow right wingers with just a slap on the wrist. No surprise. The party of crime and injustice to all strikes again. No surprise here.

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  9. Hey Repukes, so it’s okay with you when Liberal judges let pedophiles go with a slap on the wrist? To each his own, I guess.

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  10. And it’s ok for CONSERVATIVE judges to sign on to torture (Bybee) Gumby?

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  11. Just as I expected, no rational response from the “lib.” Challenge them to defend their stupid accusations and they resort to name-calling and mindless babbling. That’s because they have nothing reasonable to say. Libs hate humanity, that’s all.

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  12. Thank you, Trench. That says as concisely as possible what I have been trying to say using a lot more words.

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  13. gompertz: Just as I expected, no rational response from the &ldquocon.&rdquo Challenge them to defend their stupid accusations and they resort to name-calling and mindless babbling. That&rsquos because they have nothing reasonable to say. Cons hate humanity, that&rsquos all

    There. Fixed it for ya. 🙂

    And where is the Con humanity when they deliberately murder innocent civilians in a soverign country ie. Iraq?

    Where is the Con humanity when they authorize illegal torture?

    Get the fuck out of the country since you (obviously) hate America so much.

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  14. Awwwww…Just when things were starting to be fun lol.

    Now our silly friend will have to go elsewhere to learn a) how to remain on topic and b) how to express his unoriginal thoughts without repeating other people’s words.
    But then, not everyone has the talent to be a good commenter 😀

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  15. Why, oh why, does one injustice seem to motivate some to believe, another injustice is justified. What they did was wrong, the punishment was, well, nonexistent. That is not ok. Ever. Period.

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  16. Also, could someone help me? Why does punishment, ALWAYS have to be associated with rehabilitation? (“Due to the age of the accused…”) (“In light of the defendants backround and upbringing…”) (In order to promote future stability, and the productivity, of the individual in question…”) Really? Could punishment ever, just be punishment?? Is it not even possible, no longer even a consideration, to have a criminal sentence, appropriately alligned with the crime which requires it? (You did this, the consequence, is this…?) I consider myself an educated person, a reasonable person. Is this not feasable, reasonable? Truly, someone help me here… Please….

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  17. In reply to glutten, I don’t think there is a simple answer to the question of punishment. In some instances I think retributive justice should be the only concern, as in the case of those who rape and murder children. The problem is that the courts are controlled by those who do not believe in retribution, under the mistaken belief that crime is merely the symptom of a chemical imbalance which can be corrected by therapy and medication. Under this view, crime is not evil, but simply a sickness for which we must seek a cure rather than punishment. The result is what we see today: society is at the mercy of violent criminals who are defended by organizations like the ACLU while the rights of victims are denied.
    There is some hope that this situation will change. A small but growing number of scientists is advocating the view that consciousness is not an illusion, but a fundamental reality, and that judgments of good and evil are much more than reflections of tastes and inclinations, but have objective validity. But until such views gain greater acceptance, we are stuck with the present mess and we can expect more of the kind of injustice we have been enduring for decades, with violent criminals receiving lenient sentences or no sentence at all.

    Now let us ask whether the above remarks are applicable to the Lakeland case. Certainly, Judge Spoto could have imposed a little jail time, and chose instead to follow the pattern of excessive leniency that has made the justice system such a sad joke. Certainly, for the victim, justice was denied. And the lack of jail time sent an ominous message, which may lead to an increase in the number of these disgusting “fight” videos. So maybe I am grasping at straws trying to find something positive in this, but I will try.
    To begin with, there are credible reports that Victoria Lindsay is moving on with her life, and resuming her education. Let us hope and pray that she realizes the potential she has shown in the past. As for the perpetrators, some have shown signs that they now regret their former behavior. At least, some have made a start on following a more positive path.
    Like many who followed this case from the beginning, I was at first outraged and advocated gruesome punishments. At this point I take a more reasonable view and I think we should welcome their attempts at rehabilitation. I no longer think these girls are incorrigibly evil, but succumbed to the influence of a culture that glorifies violence, a culture to which they were exposed by the media and the Internet, and which seems to have taken hold in their community with great vigor. Perhaps the restrictions which seemed so mild to us were actually enough to remove these girls from the toxic environment of their peers, and lead them to reflect on the error of their ways.
    That, briefly, is my summing up of this case, and those who have followed it from the beginning may disagree. Time will tell.
    I believe that there needs to be a balance between severity and leniency, and no abstract criterion can apply to all cases. In this case, I think rehabilitation should be given a chance.

    BTW about six months ago I suggested on this blog that Michael Vick (the same one whose eternal damnation I once fervently wished for) might wind up working in some capacity with animals, such as in the training of dogs, a suggestion which was not well received. Well, now he is out of prison and reportedly ready to work with the Humane Society as an advocate against dog fighting. One might draw all sorts of conclusions from this…

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  18. “The problem is that the courts are controlled by those who do not believe in retribution, under the mistaken belief that crime is merely the symptom of a chemical imbalance which can be corrected by therapy and medication. Under this view, crime is not evil, but simply a sickness for which we must seek a cure rather than punishment. The result is what we see today: society is at the mercy of violent criminals who are defended by organizations like the ACLU while the rights of victims are denied.”

    I fundamentally disagree with your assessment of the justice system. Punishment does not deter crimes such as rape and murder. Rape and murder are hate crimes, and there are physical/chemical differences within the neurochemistry of brains that hate. A better solution would be to conduct routimne brainscans as part of the yearly physical so that we can track the development or lack of development of the brain. Brain health should be given a high priority. Records must be kept to determine whether a person who committed a crime has a healthy brain or a sick brain.

    If the individal has a sick brain, they are still responsible for the offense, but punishment is no going to make them any less sick. A rapist is clearly sick, and no matter how much punishment we dish out, they’ll always be sick. The same applies to pedophiles, these people are physically broken, and so punishment will not deter them. The same also applies to hate, if you hate say, women for example and so you rape and kill women, you wont stop hating them just because you are punished.

    There must be a science component to crime reduction. I’m not agreeing completely with liberal who believe punishment never works, I think punishment works on people who arent mentally ill. But we have to accept that anyone who rapes, tortures, or hates, is mentally ill. And because they are mentally ill we have to put them in prison for life.

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  19. To correct myself, murder is not a hate crime unless rape is involved. The point is murder wont be prevented by threatening to murder the murderer, the murderer knows that the risk of murdering someone else is that they might be murdered and if they are rational they already accepted those risks.

    If its a hate crime then they aren’t rational to begin with, which is the case with rape. Punishment wont make a person rational unless their brain is capable of making rational decisions in the first place.

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  20. GregS, sorry I don’t check in much anymore.
    I think the fundamental disagreements are partially the result of different ways of seeing reality, the way C P Snow described the misunderstandings between scientists and humanists in “The two cultures.” To the scientists, the humanist is simply a Luddite who hates progress. To the humanist, the scientist often oversimplifies human characteristics to fit an a priori reductionist scheme. From our previous discussions, I guess you figured out that I tend to side more with the humanist. But I see science itself moving toward a position that is more humanistic, because the more physicists learn about the universe, the more they see the need to regard consciousness as a vital and irreducible feature of reality. And accepting the reality of consciousness implies accepting the reality and validity of moral judgments. However, I don’t think we have to wait for science to catch up with humanism, or for the courts to catch up with science, to realize that something has gone terribly wrong with the justice system. The statement, “Punishment does not deter crimes such as rape and murder” is indicative of a fundamental disagreement of what the justice system is for. I see the primary goal of justice as punishment, not for the sake of deterrence, but for its own sake. The Supreme Court referred to the right of society to “express its outrage” when it reinstated capital punishment. It won’t deter the next violent criminal but it will sure stop the one who gets executed. Eliminating them one at a time may not be what our “liberal” legal minds mean by deterrence, but it’s better than the alternative of continuing to release violent criminals back into society to destroy more innocent lives.
    But retributive justice is not just a way to stop one murderer or rapist, but, as the Supreme Court said, a way for society to express its outrage. Since I believe that good and evil matter, I think the murderer and rapist is evil and must be punished. And to the question, “what good does that do?” I answer, well, no good. no good at all. It’s not supposed to be good for you, but it might hurt like hell. But the “liberal” has his inevitable retort to the suggestion that a monster like Couey should be put to death for raping, torturing and murdering a child, when he asks “Will that bring her back?” a question that is always asked in a tone of voice that indicates finality, as if there were no answer possible. Actually, it’s the silliest question ever asked, and only exposes the liberal’s contempt for victims. Well, no we can’t bring her back, unless you can get the witches from “Charmed” to do one of their resurrection spells (A silly question deserves a silly answer). For the murdered child there is no return. No resurrection. No rehabilitation. No restitution. No redemption. There is only one thing: RETRIBUTION.
    And that means executing the murderer as painfully as possible to express our outrage because that is all we have left. In fact, let us imagine that some scientists developed a “cure” which could rehabilitate the murderer and make him feel remorse, I say under no circumstances must we allow it, because the murderer does not deserve to be rehabilitated. The murderer must not be allowed to feel anything but pain. I make no apologies for this view.
    The trouble with the justice system is that the courts have succumbed to a view of punishment that, while it relies on science, does so in a simplistic way. When a judge releases a sexual offender without prison time because the judge thinks child rapists are merely suffering from a sickness on a par with alcoholism, that is an abuse of justice as well as science. Lest this post gets even longer, I will end with the observation that most of the so-called liberals fit the description that C P Snow gave of many humanists, when he observed that most could not even give a definition of the most rudimentary concepts of physics, like mass or acceleration. Yet these same liberals just simply “know” that science has done away with all those archaic notions of punishment and moral standards. God does not exist, so enjoy life and do what you want, is the advice of many who call themselves atheists. And what if what you enjoy doing is rape, torture and murder? Well, just don’t get caught. And don’t videotape it unless you have a really good lawyer.
    I have left a lot of questions unanswered here, hope to get back at a later date. But I have to add this. I never thought the Lakeland girls were incorrigibly evil. Many commenters went overboard with wishing for punishments like crucifixion and mutilation. That kind of thing only provides ammunition for the ACLU crowd who say we must eliminate the concept of punishment altogether. Punishment is important, but it must fit the crime. I agreed with the many who felt the sentences were much too lenient and that some jail time was appropriate. But crucifixion? Really, now!
    That kind of extreme punishment I would reserve for real monsters like Casey Anthony and Melinda Loveless (Yes I don’t exclude women).

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  21. Although i have only just found out about this story…my heart goes out to Victoria and her family. But i also must comment on someone’s previous comment about punishment in the USA, I am from the UK and trust me, if this would have happened in the UK, then they would not of even been taken into court at all, a slap on the wrist if they were lucky would of been all they got!..Sadly our justice system has yet to catch up and is still a disappointment to the victims. However, looking at the beating Victoria received, then in my opinion, they should have been punished properly, i have to agree that they should now be in boot camp or prison..although they were teenagers when they did this awful crime, they were old enough to plan it and carry out their plan, for that reason, they had an adult mind so should of been tried as such. Dont misunderstand me, I am not completely against the justice system as I am part of it, i just think age is not a factor that should be included….if a group of adults had done this to another adult..would the sentence be as lame???

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  22. At times like this I wish our court system was much like the Soviet Union’s all suspects would be tortured mercilessly into confession and sent to Siberia for life hard labor in gulags or execution.

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  23. In response to Angela, I think that in the case of adults, in most cases, yes it would be. I lived myself in the UK (Belfast) for a number of years, though I am a native American. In the area I lived in, beatings were a common occurrence, which is why at first, I was rather surprised that one incident would make such a news wave. My heart goes out to Victoria Lindsay and I wish that justice had been better served, but what makes her so special as opposed to the thousands of others that end up in the hospital after being jumped?

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  24. Oh, and secondly, how did the judge justify the sentencing? These videotapes are clear and coherent enough for positive identification of the attackers, as well as clearly depicting assault and battery. Normally, would the judge not have to justify his sentencing?

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    • I hope someone that knows Victoria finds everyone involved in her beating and and gives them a beating ten times worse, one that they would remember for their whole lives. If she was my sister or friend I would gladly go to jail if it meant true justice, and revenge is exactly that. Especially the guys keeping a lookout they had the power to stop it and they did nothing.

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      • I hope one day justice is served Victoria had 30 mins of terror and all they get is a slap on thr wrist, not fair in my opinion.

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        • So fucken true those bitches hurt Victoria an got away Scott free that’s wring I hope Victoria does something 20times worse

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  25. If Brittani Hardcastle is not supposed to access social networks then y does she have a facebook page under Brittni Hardcastle? I kno it’s the same girl because besides the obvious (photos) she lists her high school as mulberry

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  26. I think its rediculous these criminal acts were not punished to the extreme, people do more time in prison for stealing cause they are hungry than these girls and boys did for this brutal premeditated act of violence and its pathetic nothing more to say

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  27. A complete travesty, not only for law, but a declaration that pretty much says “What the HELL is going on with the world?”. When did this kind of behavior become acceptable? People think the reason this is a crime is because someone got beat up. While that’s sad, and I hope she recovers (God bless that girl), the fact is the girls committed PRE MEDITATED ASSAULT. That’s not some girl schoolyard scrap, that’s not just some girl in a bad mood on her menstrual period, it’s not cute, and it’s NOT ok. What next? “So you admit to shooting the suspect in the head for no provoked reason?” “No no, she called me a SKANK on Facebook!”. I don’t care what there age is, I don’t care what gender they are, I don’t care what ethnicity they belong to, what religion they practice. The law is set up for “equality”. Your status doesn’t determine your punishment, the nature of your crime does (or at least that’s what it’s SUPPOSED to be).

    Prison is supposed to be a place for those that “have no place with civilized and decent society”. I think “girls with no respect for human life, no dignity amongst themselves or towards others, plan out organized crimes, and overall enjoying the breaking of the law and pain of others” fits the bill. Perfectly. Jails contrary to popular belief aren’t meant for drug addicts, drunk drivers, and people society just doesn’t like. These girls are the REASON we have prisons and that a legal system is set up. And what happens? 5 days of jail time…5 days…ah screw it, maybe I’ll go rob a bank and kill the cashier. That’s like, what, three weeks? Tops? I’ll just say he posted something on my Facebook..

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  28. horrific… what the world is getting into.Punishment as dead penalty

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  29. Good thing that it was not a black person that got beat down. Many U.S. cities would have been burnt to the ground, and the Judge, district attorney and half of the criminal justice system of the city would have been fired and U.S. district attorney would have brought charges up against the prosecutors.

    Movie was disturbing watching it and then seeing no one really punished. Amazed that these girls didn’t get in trouble again.

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