• Katie

Today I Believe: Gary & Jody Plauche

What do I believe about Gary & Jody Plauche?

Day 4: #TodayIBelieve Writing Challenge


I believe that Gary Plauche was somewhat justified in his motive, but this case is a firm reminder that the American justice system is, and always has been, broken. The story of Gary and Jody Plauche is tragic and complicated. Essentially, the 1984 case goes like this:

  • Gary Plauche is 11-year-old Jody Plauche's dad. They live in Louisiana.

  • Jody takes karate lessons from Jeff Doucet, who sexually abuses the boy for over a year.

  • Eventually, Doucet kidnaps Jody, takes him from Louisiana to a motel in California, and sexually assaulted him.

  • Doucet is caught and arrested after Jody places a collect call home. Jody is returned to his family.

  • Gary, who was separated from Jody's mom at the time, finds out through various sources that his son was sexually assaulted.

  • Doucet is flown home to Louisiana to stand trial. Gary finds out when his plane lands and is at the airport on this day and time.

  • When Doucet exits the plane and is escorted through the airport.

  • Gary appears from around a corner, fires a single shot into Doucet's head; Doucet dies the next day

  • Gary pleads "no contest" to manslaughter is sentenced to "seven years suspension, with five years probation and 300 hours of community service."

Honestly, for what this fucker Doucet did, I can see how Gary Plauche would have found himself in the position of wanting to end Doucet's life. And to be perfectly honest, you don't often find cases where the system treats the crime fairly. Avoiding prison time and being on a short leash for multiple years seems fitting; especially considering the fact that he had entered a "temporarily psychotic state after learning of the abuse of his son." Now, I would never go out and shoot someone point blank, but I can't say that I don't understand the motive. In general, if we are talking motives to kill, that's a solid contender.

But as much as I want to focus on the aspect of a father loving his son and acting on that, I can't help but think that if Gary Plauche had been a black man, he would likely be facing jail time, at the least - especially given the fact that Doucet was white. Unfortunately we live in a world where a white man can defend the honor of his son and exercise his rage in a murderous way, and avoid jail time completely. But there are black men sitting in prison for getting caught with some weed when they were 19. I know those are different kinds of crimes, but doesn't that seem strange to you? Wouldn't normal logic reverse those circumstances?


Oh wait...a country quite literally built on racism and the hatred and marginalization of black and African-American people doesn't follow normal logic. Silly me.


This case serves an important reminder: yes, there are times that the justice system works; but when it's broken the majority of the time, does it really work?


Primary source: Wikipedia


#writingchallenge #garyandjodyplauche #truecrime #justicesystem #racisminamerica #blacklivesmatter #writingexercise

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