Lengel: Prosecutor Kym Worthy Needs To Stop Grandstanding in 'White Boy Rick' Case

September 02, 2015, 7:01 PM by  Allan Lengel

Rick Wershe Jr. as a teen and today.

This Friday, convicted drug dealer Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe Jr. will go before a judge in Detroit and ask for a resentencing -- essentially time served. 

Wershe was arrested in the late 1980s on drug trafficking charges at age 17. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole under a state law that mandated that sentence because of the amount of cocaine he possessed.

The law was later changed, and in 1999 he was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. He's been in prison 28 years, and the state has repeatedly refused to grant him parole.

It's been a grave injustice for a teen to get locked up and serve that much time for drug trafficking. It's time to let him go, and this Friday, Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana M. Hathaway may decide to resentence Wershe and pave the way for him to go free. It's only right for her to do that. No one can reasonably argue that 28 years isn't sufficient prison time for a convicted teen, particularly when no murder conviction is involved.

That being said, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy plans to fight any reduction in time. According to WDIV's Kevin Dietz, she has filed a motion saying that Wershe was properly sentenced to life at the time for pushing kilos of cocaine.

Worthy needs to stop pretending that Wershe is one of the most dangerous, notorious outlaws this city has ever seen, and that she needs to protect us from this monster. He was 17 when he was arrested. He's now 46. I've spoken by phone to him for more than 20 years now, and I -- along with many others including former FBI agents --  think he's worthy of a second chance.

Worthy knows better, that over the decades, while Wershe has been behind bars, far more dangerous Detroit criminals have been granted parole.  And those criminals did nothing to cooperate and help the feds lock up crooked cops and murderous drug dealers like Wershe did.

It may look good for Worthy to rail against Wershe, and playoff his embellished reputation as a teenage Al Capone. 

But the reality is, in this case, it appears she cares far more about political capital than doing the right thing.

Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day