An unruly man who caused a ruckus on a Los Angeles-bound plane that caused the aircraft to be diverted to Denver, now faces twenty years in prison. Authorities say that Varoujan Khodjamirian consumed several alcoholic drinks and became loud and disruptive, kicking the seats in front of him, shouting threats, and even striking a flight attendant. If anything is certain, in today’s society, Mr. Khodjamirian needs to acquire a good Colorado criminal defense attorney, and fast.
Airlines, trains and busses are places that people should not mess around these days. In the post-9/11 era, unprecedented security measures are in place in the United States, and even striking a bus driver is classified as a crime under the United States Patriot Act. Naturally, folks tend to be a little on edge regarding disturbances on aircraft, even ten years later. As a result of his acts, Mr. Khodjamirian is facing twenty years in federal prison, plus up to a quarter of a million dollars in fines. What he did is also a crime under the U.S. Patriot Act.
Now, does Mr. Khodjamirian deserve twenty years in prison and $250,000 in fines from being unruly and disruptive on an aircraft? Does he deserve it even for striking a flight attendant? We have in many cases gone overboard with these types of criminal charges, out of a desperate desire for security. Perhaps Khodjamirian’s criminal defense attorney well be able to put up a strong argument along these lines. While it’s understandable that we as a society are being extra careful after one of the most brutal attacks in our history, we also need to maintain a sense of perspective and ask ourselves if the punishment truly suits the crime. Remember also, our judicial system supposedly frowns on cruel and unusual punishment.