Monday, December 14, 2015

Conformity: Not Always Bad (English Final)

At 6:30 a.m. on April 24, 2012, federal agents raided Kurt Mix's home in Katy, Texas. Kurt Mix is an engineer. In 2010 Mix helped stop the BP oil spill that spilled crude oil directly into the Gulf of Mexico. He was called in by BP to help stop the spill, and believed he could make a difference for his industry and home state. Mix was not home at the time of the raid, but his wife was. The agents searched Mix's home and interrogated his wife. After Kurt Mix's wife called him, he immediately drove to a police station and turned himself in. Mix had no idea that he was about to become the focus of the investigation into the BP oil spill. Kurt Mix had no idea that he was going to become a scapegoat.

Over the next three and a half years, there was a Justice task force that was dedicated to putting Mix in jail. Mix had no idea what he did wrong. He naively gave the full record of his actions and believed everything would be fine. What he didn't realize though, was that the prosecutors wanted a conviction, not the truth. He was charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for a potential of 40 years in jail. The case was centered on the fact that Kurt Mix had deleted two text messaging conversations related to the efforts to stop the oil well. Kurt Mix recovered the messages, and turned in over 10,000 records.

After a new case was started over and the grind of even another case over the course of two more years, the prosecutors offered Mix a deal. They would drop all felony charges and acknowledge he was not guilty of obstruction of justice, as well as not require him to pay for fines or serve a day in jail. He would have to plead guilty for a misdemeanor for deleting the text messages without BP's permission.

Kurt Mix agreed to the terms Friday, November 6, 2015.

I believe that Kurt Mix is a conformist. In recognizing that he is a conformist though, we must realize that conformity isn't always a negative thing. Kurt Mix conformed to the deal from the prosecutors because it was the best way to stop the horror of all the court cases, and hounding from the government. Kurt Mix conformed because he didn't want to give another possible two years of his life away. Kurt Mix didn't have to conform, but he did so so he could put this behind him. Mix was simply trying to save his family from the courts so in a way, he had to conform. What must be realized though, is that conforming is not always a negative thing as sometimes a person must conform.

For the article:

1 comment:

  1. Jonny,

    I like your (non-conformist?) idea that conformity isn't always bad. But, is the case of KM really the best test case? Also, here you summarize an article rather than analyze particulars. Why not pull out quotes and explain them fully? Seems to me the Feds here conformed to corporate interests in rushing to judgment -- is that your takeaway too?