Hatchet job: When I interviewed with Chris Vogel for this article, I suspected it was an Andy Kahan hatchet job, and it turned out to be just that ["Hate Crime & Punishment," by Chris Vogel, December 9, 2010]. He left out the two polygraph tests given to Jon Buice showing no deception in any matter covered by the tests, including the Chaplin Hill incident and his case. There was no mention of the eight reversed accusations against Chaplin Hill involving other inmates. Vogel reported "multiple" stab wounds when the autopsy reports only one. Vogel is not the first reporter who has fallen victim to Andy Kahan.
What about the city? All can sympathize with Nancy Rodriguez's grief over the loss of her son, Paul Broussard, but I believe that her emotion on the issue should not be directed solely at Jon Buice. The City of Houston also played a great role in his death. After the EMS vehicle arrived, its personnel refused for an hour to touch Paul to place him in the ambulance because, this being 1991, there was fear on their part that they could catch AIDS by doing so. Only when Ray Hill appeared on the scene was Paul lifted into the ambulance.
But instead of going to Ben Taub Hospital, the ambulance went instead to St. Joseph's Hospital, where no emergency physician was on duty. The trip from Montrose to the hospital took 45 minutes — it should have taken five at most. There is also controversy over the medical care administered to Paul as he was alive upon arrival at the hospital. I and others believe that the city's handling of the case was a greater cause of Paul's death than the single stab wound.
For those who want more information on this tragedy, please type my name into Google where two videos will come up in which I interview Ray Hill and also Bill Habern, Jon's legal parole consultant. I visited Jon six times in recent years at the Huntsville prison and came away with the impressions that he truly has heartfelt regret for what occurred and that being a model prisoner, he has been an exemplary example to other inmates.
Killing is killing: The whole hate crime thing is wrong. The jury should determine the punishment based on their perception of the facts and motive. Any legislative guidelines should not be discriminatory, as they currently are written. Hate crime? Hell, no. Flip the situation. I find it totally hilarious the supposedly liberal side is so supportive of this race/sex discrimination.
Buice should stay in jail for 45 years. Not one day less. The jury said so. Without the randomness of sentencing guidelines and early-release provisions — supported by liberals — the jury can have confidence in what they are doing and make more rational, fact-based decisions. A day is a day. A month is a month. A year is a year. The jury should and must know this.
Online readers weigh in:
Stick to radio: Luckily, Ray Hill is not an attorney, nor was he on the jury that convicted Buice. He has a profound lack of understanding of the word "intent." What does he think Buice intended when he stabbed Broussard in the chest and stomach with a knife? That Broussard would get a paper cut? What do people usually intend when stabbing someone in the chest? Obviously, the jury inferred from Buice's action that his intent was to kill. Instead of legal analysis, Ray Hill should stick to what he is apparently good at: referring to himself in the third person and using foul language.
Chance for reform: All Jon Buice was concerned about at the time was rolling a joint in the backseat. Jon saw one of his friends get hit, so he got out and then he got hit, and that's when the knife came out. Two stabs in the stomach. Jon has friends and family who are gay and were "out" at the time. He personally had no intention of killing somebody because they were gay. A group of teenage boys was looking for trouble and found it.
All I'm saying is that there is a good chance that kids can be reformed in prison if they take the opportunities given to them. Jon has lived in prison most of his life. Why would he want to do something to cause him to go back? He has a mother who is in very poor health and has been for a long time. His parents didn't raise him to be a hooligan; in fact, his dad was quite strict.
Everybody in any way connected to this case has been hurt beyond comprehension by a stupid and senseless act.
No credibility: Thank God Andy Kahan is actively participating in this case. Who is Ray Hill to determine the "intent" of Buice? I don't remember him being present during the attack. I guess if I were to go out, get high on meth and kill someone (in a gang-like attack), then I would be innocent because it would not have been my intention.
Ray: Sweetie, you're tired. All the nonsense you spew about Buice being "reformed," while great for publicity, is actually destroying any credibility you may have ever had. I guess bad publicity is better than no publicity, huh, Ray?
Up in Smoke
Online readers comment on "One Last Hit of K-2," by John Nova Lomax, December 2:
Great and timely story, John: I share your concerns about the dangers of K-2's unknown quality, and my teenage son experimenting with its myriad incarnations. Seems like a good argument for legalization and regulation. As long as there is demand, all sorts of highs will be brought to market, with no oversight of the ingredients and potential hazards. Legalize, regulate, propagandize against the use, and treat the abusers. Reaping the revenue is just (badly needed) gravy.
Know what you're smoking: I highly doubt they will be able to regulate this by banning merely a few blends and certain chemicals. People can get this if they really want to, especially in the digital age, where everything is a keyword search away. I've never smoked it, as I'm a dedicated weed smoker, but I had lunch with a friend of mine about two months ago before he took a job in Louisiana and he had just smoked a joint of Serenity. He walked into the restaurant with his glasses on, but when he took them off his eyes were glazed to hell, and bloodshot red. He looked like shit, but I could tell he was stoned off his ass.
The only reason I'm against this is because nothing's really known about it. If you wanna get high, more power to you, but don't jeopardize yourself. Hopefully we all see the day where weed becomes legal so folks can enjoy a genuine high with no side effects. Gimmicky shit like K-2 needs to go — not knowing what you're smoking is never a good thing.