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General News    H3'ed 9/8/11

Are Blacks More Likely Than Whites to Face Stiff Penalties in Child-Support Cases?

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Message Roger Shuler

Terrell Owens--Most recently with the Cincinnati Bengals, Owens long has been one of the NFL's most flamboyant and productive receivers. A product of Alexander City, Alabama, Owens faced charges in late June that he was failing to pay the full amount of his child support. The child's mother sought to have Owens held in contempt of court, but the case was resolved after Owens reportedly paid the amount owed.

Jimmy King--A member of the University of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" in the early 1990s, King went on to play for the NBA's Toronto Raptors. He was arrested in early August on charges of failing to pay $17,000 in child support and ignoring repeated warnings to get back on schedule.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is leading the case against King, indicating the state is bringing out the heavy artillery. From an Associated Press article:

Authorities have been working since 2008 to get King to get up to date with the payments, said Schuette spokesman John Sellek. He said King ignored more than a month's worth of messages to come in and face the charges. Sellek said he couldn't identify the child.

Investigators tracked King to a basketball camp at a northwest Detroit church and arrested him there Tuesday, Sellek said.

"When it comes to child support, you have to play by the rules, no matter who you are," Schuette said in a statement.

Is that last statement true, that everyone has to play by the rules when it comes to child support? Our research indicates it certainly is not true in the case of Ted Rollins. And that apparently goes both for the payment of child support and the amount of child support imposed by a court.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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