John Acosta has finally been sentenced for the beating death of classmate James Brier in October 2001. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and three years probation plus anger management counseling on the manslaughter conviction.
The 19-year-old Acosta finally showed emotion in court by crying.
More notable, however, was the deportment of his father, Jose Acosta, whose prepared remarks lasted some 25 minutes. After “apologizing” to the Brier family for their loss, he went on to exonerate his son. Even if he did “participate” in beating Brier to death, it was just a tragic accident, maintained Jose Acosta.
Even more to the point, Mr. Acosta found plenty of blame in a lot of other places. To wit: he blamed the media, the Brier family, prosecutorial and police misconduct, other participants and racial prejudice.
If he were looking for others to assign blame to — and since he had already precluded culpability for his son — he could have pointed a finger toward himself. Accepting responsibility for one’s actions has obviously not been a revered value in the Acosta family.
Perhaps blame management counseling is in order for the senior Acosta.