In case anyone didn't see it coming, "Dr." Kent Hovind has been convicted of tax-fraud. As a result he faces over 200 years in prison. As expected, his loyal band of loonies is crying persecution.
But let's not forget Hovind's history on the matter:
-In 1996, Hovind attempted to file for bankruptcy to avoid having to pay income taxes. Meanwhile, he was making millions from DVD sales, talks, and other venues (as demonstrated in the seizing of financial information in 2004). This attempt failed when the good doctor was found to have lied about his posessions and income.
-In 1998, Hovind still hadn't paid up and decided to try to get out of it by trying to revoke his signature on the contract promising to pay.
-2002, and he still hasn't paid. He's been given 6 years now and the IRS starts getting on his case. Instead of actually taking the hint, he decides to sue the IRS (unsuccessfully) for harassment. Meanwhile, he also made physical threats to investigators.
-By 2004, he still hadn't paid and his estate is raided. Hovind decides to try to transfer property between himself and his son to avoid paying.
-In the years between 1996 and 2006, Hovind is known to repeatedly have bragged about "beaing the system" showing he knew full well what his actions constituted.
-Hovind instructs his wife to withdraw money from their accounts in sums of just less than the limit which requires reporting to the IRS showing again, he knew precisely what he was doing to avoid taxes.
-Hovind also attempted to renounce his citizenship at one point to exempt himself from US tax laws.
-To avoid having to accept knowledge of his actions, Hovind repeatedly refused to speak with IRS agents.
So now, it's 2006, a full decade after Hovind decided to play games with the IRS, and yet he still thinks he can claim ignorance? Sorry, but I have no sympathy for ignorance when it's a sham or self imposed. Hovind is the master of both.
But what of the 200 years that Hovind faces as a result of his actions? Is it just that he faces this much when murderers many times face less than life sentences?
My opinion is absolutely. With many crimes like murder, a large number of people that are convicted of this never do it again. If someone commits a crime, does the time, and has truly been reformed, then I have no problem with forgiveness. But this is not the case for Hovind. He's been warned for a full decade of the consequences of his actions, repeatedly showing that he thinks himself above the law. Thus, Hovind is not likely to suddenly have a revelation and decide to better himself. I'm firmly of the belief that criminals should be held for only as long as they're still inclined the commit crimes. Hovind, I expect, will never get over his self serving attitudes.