November 18, 2011

Ray gets two years in prison

James Arthur Ray gets prison time in sweat-lodge deaths

By Bob OrtegaSelf-help entrepreneur James Arthur Ray was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for the deaths of three people at a sweat-lodge ceremony he led near Sedona, punishment years less than what relatives of the victims had hoped for.

Ray received a two-year term for each of the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38; James Shore, 40; and Liz Neuman, 49, but Yavapai Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow issued concurrent rather than consecutive sentences. He also ordered Ray to pay $57,000 in restitution to the families of the three victims.

"Justice doesn't feel like it's been served," said Andrea Puckett, Neuman's daughter. She and other family members of Brown, Shore and Neuman said they had hoped to see Ray serve the maximum sentence he could have received on the three convictions of negligent homicide, which was nine years.

"Hopefully, it will be long enough for him to recognize all the damage and pain that could have been prevented had he paid attention to their pleas for help," said Jane Shore Gripp, Shore's mother.

The families' disappointment was echoed by American Indian activists upset about what they view as Ray's appropriation and misuse of the sweat-lodge ceremony, which they see as sacred.
Comment:  I seem to recall some people claiming Ray was too rich and white to ever go to prison. Nice try, folks, but things aren't quite that bleak.

Most of the comments I saw online were of the "Ray got a slap on the wrist" variety. But I'm just glad he was found guilty and given any jail time.

He really didn't want to hurt anybody, so I'm not out for his blood. He made some stupid mistakes and he's paying for them.

For more on James Ray, see Ray Gets "Spiritual Comeuppance" and Ray Guilty of Negligent Homicide.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, people are really sensitive on religious issues. Even death can be "just part of their culture" among the more clueless liberals, while conservatives really don't see anything wrong with someone different from themselves dying.

I don't get "concurrent sentences". It sounds stupid. It just means he's a repeat offender, really.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Self-help guru anguished over sweat-lodge deaths

Ray told CNN that he’s “very sorry and remorseful about what happened” and wishes he could change it.

He says “the anguish has continued every single day.”