A Virginia woman and her ex-husband will spend 27 months in prison for allowing her son’s16-year-old friends to drink beer at a sleepover. Elisa Kelly’s reason for providing the beer was that she didn’t want the kids to drive to get alcohol. About half of the kids at the sleepover drank no alcohol at all.
Ryan Kenty, Elisa’s son, was so distraught about his mother’s situation, for which he felt guilty, that he dropped out of high school. Ryan’s younger brother, now 16, will not have his mother around for quite a while. It seems unlikely that anyone’s life has been improved by the government’s actions in this case.
Still, Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney James L. Camblos III isn’t feeling the family’s pain. It would appear that he didn’t become a public servant in order to make life better for other people, but to make life better for himself. This seems like another case where the justice system is being abused by someone with a pathological need to inflict pain. Camblos knows that a good way to get people to vote is by identifying an evil, and working everyone into a frenzy over it. Certainly underage drinking is a problem, but it’s also a reality, and Mr. Camblos’ actions are not likely to stop 16-year-olds from drinking. Camblos will just make it more likely that they’ll drive somewhere to get their alcohol.
Daniela Deane of the Washington Post writes:
“"No one left the party," said Kelly, 42, who collected car keys that night almost five years ago to prevent anyone from leaving. "No one was hurt. No one drove anywhere. I really don't think I deserve to go to jail for this long."
“Kelly said she's "scared" to go to the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, where each of her sons will be able to visit her only once a month for 15 minutes at a time, and worried about how her sons will fare without her. "I'm going to miss the end of Brandon's high school," she said of her 16-year-old son, choking back tears.
“After the incident, Ryan dropped out of high school, where he was an athlete and a member of the school's basketball team, saying he couldn't take the constant attention. He shelved plans to attend college and now works full time at UPS. The brothers will live nearby with their father, Marc Kenty, until their mother is released.”