Yeardley Love was beautiful, young, smart, and driven. She would have done so many things with her life but she never got the chance because one night, in a rage, George Huguely killed her. Huguely was convicted of second degree murder and his sentencing will be Thursday. His family wants "leniency."
As a mom, I understand the urge to love your child no matter what they have done. And there is the matter of his alcoholism and his young age (he was only 22). But the fact remains, he killed someone. No one is here to give this talented young woman "leniency." She was sentenced to life. Even the 26 years Huguely got seems abnormally light.
Again, he KILLED someone. He left her bleeding into a pillow and stole her computer. Even a drinking problem doesn't excuse that. Fourteen years (the lighter sentence his parents want) for that seems like a slap in Love's face.
Of course his family wants leniency. They aren't a family of murderers and thieves. Jail isn't a way of life to them. Surely they are terrified and scared for their son. But their "love" doesn't negate the most important Love in the room. Yeardley Love should be 24 and happy and living her life. Instead she is dead.
As a mom, I would stand by my child, too. I would support him even if he did something so egregious and awful. But that doesn't mean a judge should hear it or listen to it.
It seems to me that any murder, whether second or first degree, ought to carry with it a life sentence. Extenuating circumstances exist, but if there was abuse that led to death, it seems like splitting hairs to try to say one is worse than the other.
The victim receives no "leniency." The victim's character isn't considered before they are "sentenced." Huguely was Love's judge, jury, and executioner. My heart goes out to his family. They never asked for this. But that doesn't mean that their feelings should inform sentencing. He may have been a good, loving, and religious boy. But he was convicted of murder. Murder.
He deserves even more than 26 years.
Do you think Huguely should get "leniency"?
Image via cooper.gary/Flickr