Friday, September 22, 2006


I didn't get the details on the Station plea deal until late on Wednesday when I finally got to a television. I'd been babysitting before then and hadn't heard anything about it. When I heard the details of the deal, I was shocked Jeffrey and Michael Derderian would get off so easily. Michael, the actual owner of the club, would serve four years in actual jail. Jeffrey, who was a kind of co-owner, wouldn't spend any time in jail.

I don't know if that's right. I don't think that Michael and Jeffrey acted in malice when they allowed the pyrotechnics to go off in their tinderbox club. I think they're idiots who had no business running a nightclub since they clearly had no idea of the risks involved, evidenced by the lack of insurance and use of cheap, flammable foam as insulation. I think Dan Beichele is also a dumbass for setting off fireworks in a small wooden building. It was a bunch of stupid people acting stupidly, and sadly 100 people paid with their lives. There's nothing right about the situation at all. I do think that each of the Derderian brothers should spend some time in jail. I don't think they should be locked up for life, nor do I think they should be put to death. I read a suggestion that they should have to serve community service in a burn ward so they realize the agony the victims went through, and that seems fair.

I understand why the victims and their families are so upset over the deal. It minimizes the consequences for these boobs who hurt and killed so many people. Frankly, if I were Jeffrey or Michael, I would not step foot in Rhode Island ever again, because a distraught family member is going to assault or kill them. For real. If my last name were Derderian, I would pack up and head to Kansas or something to avoid the hate that people have for those brothers.

I called my Mom yesterday, and mentioned the plea deal and that it seemed a little too light for the crime. She responded she could see it both ways. "It was a horrible thing," she said, "but that trial would have torn the state apart. It would have gone on and on, people would be upset every day with all the testimony and pictures of people dying. I don't know if it's fair, but I think it's better that Rhode Island doesn't have to go through that."

And, of course, the people who were effected by the fire still need help, so here's the information for the Station Family Fund, which has been helping pay medical bills and provide counseling for relatives since the fire happened. Many of the people who hung out at the Station didn't have great jobs with benefits, so it's money well spent.

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