James Ray: Prison or Probation?

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James Ray is scheduled to be sentenced today after being found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide.
Oprah-approved "self-help" guru James Arthur Ray will be sentenced today after a jury found him responsible for the deaths of three people during a 2009 sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona.

Ray, who in September was convicted of three counts of negligent homicide, faces anything from probation to nine years in prison for the deaths of 49-year-old Liz Neuman, 38-year-old Kirby Brown, and 40-year-old James Shore.

See our coverage of Ray's death lodge here.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Ray -- the leader of the "Spiritual Warrior" self-help retreat -- discouraged participants from leaving the sweat lodge, even as some were throwing up and passing out.

Neuman of Prior Lake, Minnesota, died of multiple-organ failure after the ceremony. The other two victims, Brown, of Westtown, New York, and Shore, of Wisconsin, each fell victim to heat stroke after being in the sweat tent.

Predictably, Ray's attorneys are arguing for probation, while prosecutors are pushing for the maximum sentence.

We want to know what you think: should Ray be sent to prison, or should should Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow show him mercy and sentence him to probation.

Cast your vote below.




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13 comments
Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

What about those who are sentenced in Arizona for 25 years where someone else committed a murder while they had no knowledge this would be happening, as they waited in a car a block away?

Former Republican
Former Republican

When the state of Arizona can sentence a non-violent, first offender for non-sexual touching in a swimming pool for 75 years -- then what does a defendant get sentenced when people died?

When the state of Arizona can sentence a non-violent, first offender father/teacher looking at child porn images in the privacy of his home -- 200 years for 20 images -- then what does a defendant get sentenced when people die?

So, how many life sentences will James Ray receive?

Until Arizona reforms it's draconian sentencing laws, the non-violent sentenced for decades has been stripping education, health care and community services from the state budget. It's time the state legislators inform the public of the truth. Locking up so many for so many decades not only makes no sense but the taxpayers cannot afford the mass incarceration of its people.

rex loves sex
rex loves sex

i dont think he should go to prison, unless he forced those people to come and stay there. for some reason those people caused their own death by not having enough sense period, and for not worshipping the right god.  James Ray was not the person who should go to prison. The family members that allowed them to go are more responsible.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I find it interesting that Mr. Ray has made many dollars espousing the idea of 'self-help' to solve life's problems.

Then, at his age, he has his mother plead to the judge to keep him out of prison.

I think Mr. Ray needs to take responsibility for his actions and spend his time in prison trying to help those in prison who need his kind of help. If nothing else, he will have a captive audience.

But the pay won't be the same.

Put him in cuffs and shackles, your honor.

Tubes Fan
Tubes Fan

Not only nine years, but I hope he's a pauper when they let him out.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

James Ray needs to be sentenced in relation to the many others who came before him -- a minimum of 10 years per death or else he is getting special treatment and/or the other sentences need to be investigated, why these women would be given harsher sentences than a privileged, wealthy man?

disgusted by your thinking
disgusted by your thinking

What does being a latent pedophile have to do with this subject? Any teacher that enjoys looking at child porn should have his liscense revoked.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

apparently from what I have heard about this case one of the people that died asked to be let out and they didn;t let them leave.. it was sort of a stick it out kinda thing.

Fed Up
Fed Up

Its nice to see that the "Right God" condones the abuse of grieving family members by throwing salt into their wounds when they are already hurting.  Please tell me what church I can go to to worship this ":Right God" so I can become a callous, unfeeling jackass too! 

Compassion
Compassion

I am sure they worship the Right God  but were in with a Con man.How do Family members "control" adults who have a right to go whereever?He belongs in prison as he did not take responsibility for his actions and when sick and suffering people were identified, he offered NO HELP, NO CPR, NO 911. He was responsible for the safety of participants.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Please define the "Right God?"

Is it the one that people use to justify their intolerance of others?

teknik1200
teknik1200

yup, he was a bogus spiritual leader, and his arrogant negligence caused these three people to die.  It does not matter if they were gullible people, being gullible does not mean someone with fake spirituality can sucker them into dyeing and have their actions go unpunished.

3 years for each death is too lenient for me.

He's a sham, and a snake oil salesman.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Disgusted, I think you missed her point. She is NOT at all minimizing the atrocities committed by pedophiles, latent or not. She is disgusted that this man has been found, by a jury, to be responsible for the deaths of three people and he is not facing anything more than nine years, of which he actually will serve only two.

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