Outrageous: This sickening story about a criminal case pending in Linden, Texas reads like it was from 1955, not 2005:
After a mentally disabled black man was found beaten, unconscious, and shivering on a fire ant mound in 2003, four white men charged in the crime could have faced 10 years in prison.
But folks in this poor, pine-locked Texas hamlet of 2,300 say they knew better.
On Friday, the four young men accused of severely injuring 44-year-old Billy Ray Johnson during a late-night pasture party are expected to be sentenced to probation or brief jail time after juries rejected more serious charges and recommended suspended sentences for two of them.
The victim survived the attack but can't walk without help or speak clearly.
Some white residents believe it is a fair outcome for a few "good boys" from prominent families with no previous legal trouble. But other residents, blacks and whites, say the sentences are far from fair and just another example of justice being tainted by small-town politics, racism and a court system that favors whites.