In a deal that angered the victim’s family, a Boston judge sentenced a member of the Saudi royal family to one year in a prison on Martha’s Vineyard yesterday after he admitted driving drunk when he struck and killed a man on a downtown Boston street, the Boston Globe reports. Prince Bader al-Saud, 23, pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide while drunk, a misdemeanor, before Judge Christine McEvoy. The victim’s relatives harshly criticized the sentence and the location of the imprisonment. Ordinarily, he would likely have served his sentence in a Roxbury, Ma., jail where more than a thousand prisoners are housed.
McEvoy said Saud’s position as a prince in his native Saudi Arabia did not influence her. ”Regardless of whether he’s a prince from Riyadh or a plumber from Readville, he would have gotten the same sentence,” said a spokesmanfor the prosecutor. The sheriff on Martha’s Vineyard, Michael McCormack, said he agreed to house Saud in his 1873-vintage prison because the prince is a slightly built man and could be targeted by gangs in larger prisons because he is from the Middle East. ”Martha’s Vineyard is a recreational area, no question about it,” McCormack said. ”But jail is a jail, whether it’s on the Vineyard or in Boston.”