This is one of those things that turns the stomach. I doubt the 17 year old
intended to kill the ref, and I can't imagine the anguish being suffered by
the family of the man who lost his life in such a pointless situation.What is also disturbing is how little regard is shown lately by so many. Our
society is aimed at eliminating personal responsibility as much as possible. My
heart goes out to the kid, but perhaps we would see fewer of these incidents if
we began to restore a sense of personal responsibility and the understanding
that there are consequences for actions - large and small. There is a reason
why we keep our tempers under control, why we don't speed, why we
don't bully others.
(cont'd) You can't compromise on justice and still call it justice;
and there is no real mercy if the ends of justice are even partially met. The
judge is not Jesus Christ applying the atonement. 6) In addition to a more
appropriate criminal charge, the prosecutor and the court also have a variety of
sentencing options. Already built into the system, they will look at the
kid's history, whether or not he was under the influence of drugs, his
actual intent (as best they can figure that out from the circumstances), his
mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, and on and on,
when they decide what kind of sentence to give him. Please, good people,
remember: a) he took someone's life, and there is nothing he can do to
provide adequate restitution for that; but b) he didn't intend to kill the
man, so this isn't murder, maybe not even manslaughter. Killing with a
single punch can happen, but no one reasonably expects it to. Mercy is already
built into the system, to the extent that justice is very fact specific; we
don't need any more added on.
A few misconceptions rampant in the postings: 1) Everyone is acting like this is
a choice between giving the kid probation and life in prison. The kid
isn't being charged with murder. The sentence for the actual charge is
already set to actually punish and deter appropriately for what he actually did;
and that's NOT murder. 2) People assume that the prison systems produce
hardened criminals because they appear to be thinking about prisons from 300
years ago. 3) Similarly, that this is a "punishment" -- every state
calls their prison system the "Department of CORRECTIONS" now, for a
reason: the focus is on correcting and rehabilitating, rather than shoving
someone in some dark hole for however many years their sentence is. He will
take classes that help him learn and change his assaultive tendencies, etc. 4)
He isn't a "boy" -- and he isn't a "man". But the kid
is 17, not 12; so quit using his youth to make excuses for him. 5) Too many
people are throwing around the terms "justice and mercy" as if they both
can be had. These are two opposing ends. We cannot have both justice for the
victim and mercy for the accused.
A tragedy. My question, was he and his family here as legal immigrants or
awhen anyone commits a violent crime against another person espcially resulting
in death, We as a society need to punish the offender and punish hard. if this
kid gets away with murder whats to stop other youth from killing a ref or coach
or each other because of a bad call or losing a game. If the offender is old
enough to beat a ref to death he is old enough to go the point of the mountain.
So this is like the 3rd time that Mr Portillo had been assaulted in the capacity
as an official in soccer. I can think of several other instances where soccer
officials have been threatened or punched in older youth soccer leagues. And in
other countries where soccer is taken more seriously, officials put their lives
in danger every time they step onto the field, particularly in the pro ranks.On the other hand I can think of only one or two instances where an
official has been assaulted at any level in basketball, football, or just about
any other sport (sure, they get berated, but VERY RARELY assaulted). So what is
it about soccer that brings out the worst in people?
MormonSeanI have noticed that all your comments are about showing
compassion and mercy to the kid--the assailant who beat a man to death, and not
a word about sorrow for the family and the devastation this kid caused.You
also say that he would never do this again. How could you possibly know that?
And do you know for a fact that he hasn't assaulted others prior to this
incident?I agree with the approach of the DA on this. If this kid
has a history of violent behavior or run-ins with the law, then he should be
tried to the full extent of the law. If there are no priors or no history of
other altercations, then leniency would be in order.I don't
think that MormonSean understands that Justice serves a very important purpose
in rehabilitation. If you want him to develop into a good citizen, then let him
take responsibility for his actions and suffer consequences. I have seen way to
many kids who continue to make the same mistakes over and over again because
they are never held accountable in a significant way by their family or society.
This is a true tragedy, with an innocent victim dying from an attack by an
impulsive young adult. Only God can rectify this horrible event. The family is going through extreme grief and pain. They need what only God
can provide: peace and the knowledge that their loved one is in His care. May
they be surrounded by family, friends and God's Love.The young
adult surely did not mean to cause serious harm or death. He was obviously
overcome by the emotions intense sports bring out in serious athletes.
Hopefully the judicial system will recognize his poor judgement, impulsive
reactions and lack of desire to cause serious harm. He faces a life of guilt
and sorrow. Hopefully he can use this nightmare to change himself and reach out
to those in pain. His life can become an inspiring turn-around for all of us
that at times fly off the handle over insignificant things.
rfpeterlin,I am at a loss of words in response to your comment. I
tried writing something very cordial. Then I tried writing something very
direct. In either case I believe anything I say will offend you. If that is the
case please know that your feedback on my beliefs and how I express them is not
welcome. I do not wish to discuss the meaning of the word "blasphemy" to
you.My primary reasons for replying to you:1, to
respectfully say that my intention was not to offend you or anyone. Though my
intentions probably don't matter to you. At very least, I know they matter
to God.2, to show my respect for President Hinckley and every other
prophet and apostle. I believe they are amazing men who serve more than I could
ever live up to. They inspire me and others. They frequently quote and they are
frequently quoted. So again, blasphemy was not my intention.I do
have a question I would ask you not to argue with me, but simply to consider: If
President Hinckley's words are not appropriate here, how were they in the
Unfortunately Sports is like most other activities or professions. Not that all
people who participate are evil because I feel its only a few that are in each
area(maybe politicians are more rather than less). But they are the ones who
cause the rest of us to lose our freedoms. Mercy and justice in this case
...umm... well maybe . But who is going to take care of the family now and give
love to the daughters and wife.We have become a society where
cheating is ok as long as we don't get caught whether it's BYU, or
elsewhere. We are only dooming ourselves with the attitudes and mores we have
adopted over the last 50-60 years.
All we can do now and wait. But, whatever the outcome on this 17 year old boy
(yes I said "boy") he will suffer forever in remembering his mistakes
with unthinkable death of Riccardo. You just never know what might go wrong to
other people lives (physical and mental).
JWB: Agreed. If the league is not emphasizing sportsmanlike conduct and this
behavior is somewhat condoned, I would hope a suit would be brought against the
league and force them to close. It would send a message to other leagues that
they need to emphasize sportsmanship. As for the youth in this particular
league, I imagine there would be more appropriate leagues they could join.
procuradorfiscal,You argued that showing mercy to the boy shows no
mercy to the victim. But the victim needs no mercy as they have not committed a
crime. Mercy is the wrong word.But I do understand your point. You
want to prevent future crimes. I'm in complete agreement on that. I also
believe this boy is not likely to do this again. Don't you? If not, then
why? Because this tragedy is not expected typically, the burden of proof is on
us and the justice demands that the boy receive the benefit of the doubt. The
burden of proof demands that we credit him as "not intending this to
happen" unless proven otherwise.So unless this kid has been on
some sort of killing spree, where is your claim? Sports get people angry on an
impulse. It was not a premeditated act, so you ought not treat it like one.It was an act that is likely not to be repeated. Hardening the boy in an
adult prison increases the odds of him accepting poor behavior. As the juvenile
court is more 'counseling for youth', it will serve to help him
change.What do you want?
@MormonSeanReally? The "boy" / man deserves to be locked up
PERIOD end of discussion. No mercy, no leniency, none. His actions KILLED
My heart goes out to Portillo's family. What a horrible tragedy!As to what punishment the young man should receive, I'll leave that
decision to those who have more experience in these matters and more information
on the young man's history. Courts should concentrate on rehabilitation
and prevention of recurrence, not on retribution. Retribution could lead to
becoming a hardened criminal. For some youth, the guilt of realizing what they
have done, along with some anger management skills, will be enough to prevent
them from hurting others in the future. If this is the case, the focus should
be on anger management. Putting the young man away with hardened youth could
create the wrong influences and friendships and turn him to a path of crime. On
the other hand, if the young man has a history of violence and criminal
activity, trying him as an adult and removing him from society may be
appropriate.I hope that the courts will be able to discern what
steps are necessary to rehabilitate and prevent recidivism and will act
accordingly. As for the rest of us, compassion, love and forgiveness are the
order of the day.
@kosimovWouldn't it be nice if sportsmanship was taught. Playing a
hard game and being a good opponent can be as rewarding as winning. Although
winning is undoubtedly the ultimate goal, how you get there is VERY important.
Lance Armstrong and many others can testify that falling from grace sucks. Being a good sport and being an honorable opponent is what needs to be taught
at a young age. So the culture of sports can change.
rfpeterlin; Blasphemy? I seriously doubt it. not according to the definition
It appears this league has had a history of violence as this same referee has
had multiple attacks and not just the ones where he was injured. The league has
responsibility in ensuring that the game is as safe as possible as soccer can
be. It is really a non-contact sport and should not have very many abuses with
players and definitely with referees. The lady who had the rock dropped on her
car was still alive even though seriously injured. The Portillo family
isn't that fortunate. I have seen two countries go to war over a soccer
game. This may be a learning experience, and if this is within DA Gill's
area, he has plenty experience on determining cases with WVC very recently. The
system should work and even though not perfect, hopefully, the League will be a
part of that process. Coaches, families, players, and spectators all have a
part in ensuring violence is not on the field. Players for years have been
given yellow or red cards for their actions. This player didn't get the
black card for his actions but there is a price for what grief/pain he caused
The last thing this youth needs is to be made to feel like he's being
victimized by the Justice system by having to face the consequences of his
actions.I agree in Mercy, but it's a troubling crime. A life
was lost. How many murders do people get before we apply the law? So
he couldn't control his temper--what evidence do we have that if mercy is
shown, that he will be able to live out the rest of his life never again being
I'm torn on this one. This kid's violent actions removed a father
figure from a home with 3 kids, he removed a breadwinner, making the
family's future endeavors that much harder. He has no idea what he did
because he cannot fathom what that means, to be a father of 3. Hitting
the referee is probably one of the most taboo things you can do on the field.
This isn't the actions of a naive innocent boy. It's the actions of
someone who is willing to break one of the most important rules in the game.
Justice for the family will never be attained to satisfaction, the sin is
unforgivable. What thoughtless actions. On that same note, it seems a
shame to ruin two lives. This young boy and his inability to see the
consequences of hitting an old man will now haunt him for a long time, probably
in prison. @rfpeterlin, as for blasphemy, I doubt President Hinckley would
even agree with you one bit about that, you are entitled to you opinion, but his
writings are there for all to read and use as they are prompted to do so.
Seriously,Here is where the "what if's" are gonna
undermine this situation. Justice, she is blind, and for a reason. What is
wrong with our society is not the laws and those enforcing the laws, but the
people who feel that the laws do not apply to them or those like them. The
debate is not about conservatism or liberalism, but the application of the law.
And I quote, "the unlawful taking of another's life". If that
happened, then he needs to be convicted of that crime. If you disagree with
that outcome, change the law!The issue here is that too many people
are not afforded the right to suffer the consequences of their behavior. We
want to control bullying and we want to protect our families, but we do not want
to do what is necessary to do so.Lastly, quoting the prophet is
blasphemy. President Hinckley also spoke about personal responsibility on more
than one occasion. My heart goes out to the both families.
Sorry if I am saying too much about myself here, but, this is an issue I feel
very passionately is a big problem in our society, even in the Church’s
athletic programs which are established for good and honorable purposes, and
generally run by good people. I recall that in basketball classes I took
at BYU way, way back when, I was ridiculed by the coach when I complained
privately that his teaching methods were encouraging cheating and violence, but
the instructor just chewed me out in front of the class for "being a cry
baby", and other things, referring to efforts others were making to clean up
the program with disdain, and continued to teach the kids how to do things which
were wrong, and especially, how to get away with them. Coincidently, the kind of
play he taught resulted in a rather serious cut under my chin which needed quite
a few stitches, that very day. It didn't seem to affect him at all. I
wonder how many other coaches and teachers teach like that, and if their
teaching has an effect on young men which results in tragedies like this one.
I have long had concerns about attitudes in athletics. I've often heard
announcers praise an athlete who can cheat, and that athletes should learn how
to break the rules without getting caught. I haven't heard this on sleazy
shows, but on mainstream shows such as BYU TV, KUTV, and of course, professional
sports. I had personal experience with this when I was younger, which caused me
to give up on sports entirely. I had always wanted my four sons to
participate in athletics as they went through school, but I eventually stopped
encouraging them as I noticed problems like this and others become epidemic. In
fact, one son was a great soccer player, but he chose to leave the game for
similar reasons. He decided to officiate games, and he came to enjoy them in
spite of the disrespect and threats he received when he tried to do a good job.
He finally quit that as well, because a player's FATHER had threatened him
so violently, my son decided it just wasn't worth it.
Ah the cries of "bleeding heart liberal".... from the conservative
crowd... like being called that should be offensive. Me, I am a bleeding heart
moderate. Not ashamed of it at all, and here is why. In this life, our ability
to extract "justice" is extremely limited. I worry about this kid going
into a gang infested environment, and coming out worse than he went in. But his
actions can't be ignored, and a price must be paid.At the
extreme, taking one life for the loss of another life doesn't restore
anything to the victim. On the other hand, probation for someone who kills
another in an auto accident doesn't come close to justice either. This
case lies somewhere in between. Striking the ref was not an accident... it was
an overt act. On the other hand, it would be hard to argue the kid intended to
kill. Getting "justice" right here is nearly impossible.That is why I have complete faith in the Lords judgement. In this earthly
existence, we do our best to serve justice, but will always come up short. We
have to have faith in the ultimate judgement to make things right.
The bottom line here is that the culture of youth sports must be fixed. There
can be no tolerance for egregious behaviors that are unsportsmanlike. The death
of this referee is such a senseless tragedy.
Notice we call the assailant a 'boy' when we hope for mercy.
He's definitely a boy when it comes to emotional control but a man when it
comes to physical muscle. I would still hate to see him enter the
prison system. Perhaps he could be required to earn a degree in a high-paying
career then have his wages garnered and given to the victim's family and
for the rest of his life.
Mercy and forgiveness are individual virtues. Justice will hopefully result from
the judicial system. Both can work simultaneously, but don't confuse the
The ref's family should be allowed to have serious in put on the decision
of the DA. This is just a massive tragedy.
How much violence is there in HS sports though? If you physically assault an
official you can no longer play sports on the High School team. Some skirmishes
happen but most of the players play the game let coaches and officials do there
jobs. An official is a thankless job as someone is mad at you. Some of my
favorite memories were playing High School sports. I attended the State
Tournament and before and after the game seeing players hug there teammates and
even some cases opponents. Many of the Athletes are better citizens. That
person that assaulted a player and volunteer now he was not kind. No one
deserves to be hit since you disagree with the call.
Re: "I would hope we want justice to uplift rather than inflict
vengeance."We all hope the same.But, it's not
merciful, to malefactors, or their future victims, to release them with too
lenient a penalty. It permits, even enables predation directed toward future
victims.Burden's on this young tough to demonstrate he's
not a danger, that he deserves extraordinary leniency. Courts'll examine
his record for previous crime, any reproach he feels for current actions, and
his motivation to avoid the occasion to fail again.It doesn't
look good for him so far. He appears to have no champions among those that know
him. Only naive liberal bleeding hearts, inexperienced with this and other
criminals, have so far come forward to demand leniency.The enormity
of his crime, not just the horrendous result, suggests this miscreant is not an
ingenue. Time will tell, of course, but I believe jails are full of his type.
And, permitting him to avoid a lengthy sentence of his own would send precisely
the wrong message to others similarly situated.
If the young man has a clean record and his behavior is uncharacteristic of past
behavior, then he should be tried as a juvenile. But, if what he did is part of
a pattern of violent behavior, then perhaps it would be best for him and for the
safety of society if he is tried as an adult.I worry about the
violence in sports. My grandson (10 years old) has been asked to play in a
better soccer league because he is very good. But I don't know if he
should. It seems that the more involved a young man is in sports, the greater
the chance he will be corrupted by participation. To say nothing about permanent
injury. I think all of society would be a lot better off if the
public schools did not sponsor athletics. Inter-mural sports could involve a lot
more students, they are safer and perhaps the students involved would learn good
sportsmanship rather than violence and cheating.
Prisons and jails are full of people who act impulsively, giving no thought to
the consequences of their actions and choices. Impulsivity is a very negative
character trait full of danger and destgruction. Weigh carefully the results of
an impulsive act. Stop and think things out. What happens in seconds could
influence your future life for years.Murder, theft, assault, rape,
angry words, thoughtless behavior all have eternal negative conseqauences.
I agree Sean. Well said.
I guess along with that quote I should explain myself before everyone criticizes
me again.I have followed this case carefully and will continue to
follow the DA and judge. I hope and pray they show mercy in their application of
justice.I would hope we want justice to uplift rather than inflict
vengeance. Justice can in fact served to help the sinner. My opinion is
unpopular. Its critics say I am seeking to deny justice; that is a lie.Wishing to help the boy in juvenile court serves both justice, and mercy for
helping the boy rather than breaking him. I will not cast stones at him. That
isn't a crime. I want justice AND I want the boy to have a hopeful future.
Those who demand only the first and reject the latter want vengeance, not
justice.Justice isn't about inflicting something in return.
It's about teaching people to live upright. The juvenile court will do
that. The court for adults will not. An adult prison will not. I don't want
to harden the boy. I want to help him. That is not wrong or unjust. It's
both compassionate and just.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:"There are hardened criminals
who may have to be locked up. There are unspeakable crimes, such as deliberate
murder and rape, that justify harsh penalties. But there are some who could be
saved from long, stultifying years in prison because of an unthoughtful, foolish
act. Somehow forgiveness, with love and tolerance, accomplishes miracles that
can happen in no other way."I guess I'm praying for a