In the celebrated case of Massachusetts v. Junta, aka the “Hockey Dads” case, on January 11th, a Middlesex Superior Court jury found Thomas Junta guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the July, 2000 beating death of Michael Costin. Returning this verdict, instead of voluntary manslaughter, the jury of nine women and three men believed that Junta did not mean to kill Costin, but that he should have known the beating could be fatal.
The facts, such as they are, describe an altercation that occurred when Junta arrived to pick up his son and some friends at a local ice arena. The boys were playing hockey with Costin’s sons, under Costin’s on-ice supervision, and by all accounts, the game got rough. Junta protested the level of violence, was blown off by Costin, and a fight broke out. After a short respite, they were back at it again, with Junta on top of Costin. A few more punches were thrown, and Costin ended up dead.
Not surprisingly, the eyewitness accounts varied considerably as to the number of punches thrown, and most other details, but it is clear that Costin started it.
For reasons known only to himself, Judge Charles Grabau ruled as inadmissible a plethora of evidence showing that Costin had served seven prison sentences, for crimes ranging from assault on a police officer to breaking and entering. Moreover, he had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, had assaulted his former wife and children, and had extensive psychiatric problems that resulted in several hospitalizations and Social Security disability payments. And if that weren’t enough, at the time of the incident, Costin was carrying drugs to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and seizures.
As to the verdict, that will probably bring Junta a three to six year sentence, it was the most reasonable under the circumstances, but one wonders how this could have changed if the jury knew something more about Michael Costin. Beyond the legalities, what happened was simply that a mentally unstable violent thug picked a fight with the wrong guy, and wrong guy didn’t know when to quit. So be it. As always, it’s the kids who will suffer, but when adults make bad choices–which is often–they never care about the kids, so why shed any additional tears in this case?
There are many issues in play here, conveniently ignored by the elite media.
Costin, a walking time bomb, was the beneficiary of modern psychiatry, which has degenerated into nothing more than drug dealing. Unfortunately, the drugs don’t always work. I suppose we can take solace in that this time, he didn’t beat his wife and kids.
Costin’s background was not only inadmissible in court, it was completely suppressed in all media outlets except Court TV’s website. The explanation is simple. Righteous anger, as one component of normal male virility, that might be directed against a thug like Costin, has been expunged from American culture. A father would never defend his family with violent force. He would instead threaten a lawsuit, or better yet, sing Kum Ba Yah to the aggressor. What now masquerades as virility is either the steroid enabled meanderings of pampered and overpaid professional athletes, or the completely cartoon macho images of movie action heroes.
It was no accident that the prosecutor in this case had to be female. Do we really need some jumped up, pants-suited distaff scold, with political ambitions, dressing down the “gentle giant” Junta, in a manner repeatedly described as “aggressive”? Who wins when you suck the manhood out of a poor, unfortunate, not too clever truck driver? Maybe the same folks who think it’s a good idea to let the Lesbian nuns destroy the Catholic liturgy.
Finally, as for youth sports, this case should demonstrate beyond any shadow of doubt, that it’s the parents who ruin it. In my several years of coaching baseball, football, and soccer, I never saw a killing, but I surely did see rampant larceny, appalling racism directed against the white kids, favoritism so ingrained that it cost a superior team a championship, and performance-enhancing drugs being given to boys as young as 12.
How did this all occur? With notable exceptions, the majority of adults actively involved with youth leagues are losers or misfits, having plenty of time and inclination to dominate these organizations.
But competitive athletics is just one more institution intended to nurture kids that is headed straight down the drain, along with the family, and the public schools.