"I'd dearly like to see admission and contrition," says Jeremy Prince

By Eunice Oh and Katherine Perry
July 30, 2010 12:20 PM
The Republican/Landov

The father of Phoebe Prince says he doesn’t want revenge or even tough justice against the people who bullied his daughter before she committed suicide. He’s simply seeking an apology.

“I’d dearly like to see admission and contrition so that I could forgive,” Jeremy Prince tells Slate.com about the six schoolmates charged in the death of the 15-year-old.

“If they confessed to the court and said they were sorry, I’d appeal to the court for total leniency,” Prince says in his first interview since Phoebe hanged herself after she was allegedly bullied at her South Hadley, Mass., high school.

Though the teens have been accused of tormenting Phoebe, a previous Slate article reported that Phoebe was “deeply troubled” long before the Jan. 14 suicide.

The most serious charge the group faces is the civil rights violation with bodily injury offense, which carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence. But Prince says he doesn’t think such a harsh punishment may be necessary.

“There are levels of culpability among the kids. You want to see the law acknowledged, and reasonable penalties, but without making an example of them,” he says.

“You can go two ways. You can look to the court for revenge or you can look for leniency,” says Prince. “The latter path is mine.”