Free Randy

It was at an elaborate breakfast buffet in an upscale Manila hotel – courtesy of a Filipino concert promoter – where I first had an in depth conversation with Randy Blythe. Sure we’d run into each other before, always at a show, in a big crowd but never one on one. Minutes earlier, we’d noticed each other sitting alone at tables and got a kick out of seeing someone else from our respective bands that had risen early and headed to breakfast with a paperback in hand. One of us, I forget who, waved the other over to his table.

Soon we were deep in discussion of shared passions for not just books but also spicy cuisine, adventurous travel, diverse music and films. It was a mutual favorite movie, Lost In Translation that solidified this bromance – if you will. We each own the film, have seen it numerous times, frequently quote it and both love the soundtrack that consists of ambient textures and indy rock not typically listened to by metalheads. It was good to find someone else in the metal world that enjoys a good thought provoking, artistic, independent film while so many of our friends prefer dark fantasy, horror and violent action movies.

To my pleasant surprise that morning, Randy turned out to be someone that defies stereotype, is an independent thinker, well read, articulate and unafraid to express honest opinions. Whenever we’ve hung out since, it is not as the singer of Lamb Of God and the guitarist of Testament, but simply as two guys that have a lot of common interests.

A few months later, I went to see chef/author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain on a book tour – Randy and I are both die hard fans. When I met Bourdain, I passed along a message from Randy and got each of us a personalized copy of Bourdain’s latest book Medium Raw, in which Bourdain drew a picture of a chef’s knife and a personal inscription. Randy returned the favor by giving me an incredible book by computer programmer/musician Jaron Lanier – a technological manifesto covering the positive and negative implications of the modern computers and the internet, entitled You Are Not A Gadget.

This is the Randy Blythe I know- bookish, passionate, smart someone that, like myself, is a nerdy intellectual oddball who just happen to be in a well known metal band. That scowling, scary face in his band’s publicity photos and live shots? An onstage persona.

As I write this, Randy sits in a Czech prison, unjustly accused of manslaughter, denied bail and facing a 5-10 year sentence. He was arrested on sight at the Prague airport, without warning. Apparently two years prior, a fan succumbed to head injuries weeks after attending a Lamb Of God concert. While this is a tragic unfolding of events, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Randy is not to blame. Here’s a report from Richmond’s local CBS affiliate, WTVR

As of this writing, it has now been more than two weeks. It’s getting more difficult by the day to think of a friend unfairly locked away in a foreign jail, kept from family, loved ones, liberty and life. One is reminded of films like Midnight Express and novels like Franz Kafka’s The Trial (the type of creative works that Randy appreciates on a deep level, but surely never thought he’d have to live through).

At this point all we can do is try to stir up noise, keep tweeting, petitioning and drawing more attention to this case and hopefully get this great, well deserving guy out of jail. There are a few petitions going around, including this one from It can’t hurt to Tweet media and government figures, including the State Department Bureau Of Consular affairs, @TravelGov, an official US agency that describes its purpose as “protecting lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas.” So far not a peep out of them. Adding to the frustration, this case is barely making a dent outside of Randy’s hometown of Richmond, Va. As of yet there has been no national TV coverage of the case, despite brief mentions in the LA Times, New York Times and Rolling Stone (shortly after the arrest, with little or no follow up). One can’t help wonder if prejudice against metal and its reputation could have something to do with this. As one fan, @GarthGreen13, posted on Twitter: ” Justin Bieber gets speeding ticket & its headlining news, Randy gets put up 4 MANSLAUGHTER in another country, nothing.” One would like to think that simply being an American citizen comes with certain inalienable protection against mistreatment by foreign justice systems, especially those of European Union countries such as the Czech Republic. And it would seem like being a four time Grammy nominated singer would help. Apparently not.

Addendum: Unfortunately, in the days following this post, a very select but vocal few have chosen to interpret the last sentence of the post as demonstrating ‘American exceptionalism,’ causing a chain reaction on certain other websites. These irresponsible ranters fail to mention or even consider how often I’ve been a critic of blind patriotism, cultural illiteracy and global ignorance as demonstrated by some in the US. Someone even had the nerve to accuse me of having a stance reminiscent of the George W. Bush era. I normally don’t feel the need to justify anything I write, but this is no doubt the most false, shocking and absurd reaction to anything I’ve written, ever.

In defense of these accusations, here is a comment I posted following my 9-11 anniversary post that can be found here: Ten Years Gone

“…anger and seeking of retribution can be extremely dangerous when it is misplaced. The leadership of the US at that time, specifically George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, took advantage of a self-serving agenda that has made the world a more dangerous place. Reaction is something that must be handled with care, one must think before action, whether as just one person and especially as a group or nation…So much of the country was blind with rage. It became acceptable to hate immigrants, moderate Muslims and even France. French Fries became Freedom Fries.”

More examples of my own combating of overzealous Americanism can be found throughout my blogs, comments and Twitter posts, including some that I had back and forth with Randy Blythe, especially on the 4th Of July and 9/11 anniversaries, drawing the wrath of a few ultra ‘pro-American’ folks.

As soon as a couple of my own readers expressed such concerns, I immediately posted the following comment, certain all confusion would end here:

” …If Randy was a Japanese citizen, I would hope that someone from the Japanese government would intervene. If he was Canadian, I would expect the Canadian Government to get involved. In either hypothetical situation, I’d expect the respective medias of those countries to be all over this. No one from any country, famous or not, deserves this situation Randy has found himself in.

In no way was I implying that being American or famous means someone is deserving of special treatment (it’s a bit puzzling to me that anyone would interpret it that way, but ok). The fact that he’s well known doesn’t place him above anyone else. It does, however make it less excusable that US officials and media are ignoring his case.

I do not bring up the “American citizen” factor out of a sense of superiority, but merely to point out that a false sense of security exists among our citizens (I can’t speak for any other country). Supposedly our government has agencies that are “protecting lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas.” Many of us in the US have grown up believing this.

The truth was put rather well by Roger Waters the other day at Yankee Stadium, when he sang “Mother should I trust the government?” The answer flashed across The Wall in red spray-paint like lettering: “NO FUCKING WAY.”

I have no issue with anyone who’s commented on this blog that may have misunderstood the purpose of this post, which was to humanize Randy and show him as someone separate from those scary publicity photos. He is not someone above the law, just one who finds himself in an unfortunate legal limbo. I’m deeply sorry that a life was lost and am sure that Randy is as well.

I am, however, bemused with those who have miscast my words on other sites in an attempt to vilify me for the sake of serving their own self interests – even after the above comment – using me as a scapegoat for the purpose of enhancing their on-line personas and drawing attention to their own posts. As a writer, this is something I would never stoop to.

92 Responses to Free Randy

  1. One of the hardest things in life is feeling concerned discomfort and hurting for someone that you care about who is experiencing some type of pain and ill will,, a clear sign of a true caring friend and loved one.. Sorry about this situation Alex, please know I will keep you and Randy in my prayers. I emailed my former congressman, Dennis Kucinich, (who,has a righteously bent soul to his political endeavors for the people he serves.)Hang in there! Peace.

    • We're all hoping for the best. Kucinich does have a reputation for integrity extending beyond any political ideology, would be great if he or someone like him got involved.

  2. Never give up x 1000 – ! JUSTICE! This case is an outrage! go get'm tiger ! Thanks to media for all thd help – too bad we can't just pull a Shasta County break out like in the early days! The newspapers in Czech republic might be your next route – get a good article in the public forum, for the people there to fight for him. Great blog Alex! Ty

    •  Thanks. It's all about raising awareness, which seems to be happening at least on some level, though not fast enough. 

  3. For the first time ever, I find your post to be blown out of proportion. I think you're overreacting when, in your last paragraph, you mention prejudice against Metal. As for the Justin Bieber comment, most certainly, he alone has more fans than all Metal band together and, as you know, the Media shows out what most people want to hear, not necessarily the most important of news.
    Being American or a Grammy nominee doesn't grant any privileges when it comes to any judicial system. The latter, may however, grant loads of privileges when attending social events.

    • they have a judicial system in the czech republic? sure doesn't seem like it. name another country in the world where you aren't charged, pay bail, and sit in jail for two weeks. 3rd world country with 3rd world laws. i am really concerned for randy. despite his obvious innocence he will probably be railroaded because he is a rich american and that isn't right either. alex is right on with his post.

      • First, to answer the original point, the message was never that Randy should have privilege, only that the case deserves more awareness.

        Second, there absolutely is a stereotyping that occurs amongst metalheads and the US justice system is guilty – case in point: look up the term “West Memphis 3.”  Just because I'm critical of what's happening in Prague doesn't mean I'm not critical of the US Justice system, which has proven to be quite flawed at times.

         Finally, while no one here knows exactly what occurred, that doesn't take away the unfairness of no notification, a surprise arrest, agreement of bail and denial of release upon said payment. 

    • I completely agree with this article, if you are not a metal head, you don't understand the way people stereotype us and look at us just for dressing a certain way and liking a kind of music

      • Who on this page is not a metal head?

        Metal may still be stereotyped sometimes, but that has nothing to do with it this time. If the case was all over the media and the undertone would be that metal heads are criminal scum or something, THEN I would agree.
        And also, the Czech Republic is not a 3rd world country. I’m German, but I’ve been to the Czech Republic before, and apart from the low wage level the country is as developed as any western country.

        Everyone needs to take a step back. Just because someone is accused of something does not mean they will be convicted for it. It would be absurd to charge Randy for manslaughter and I’m absolutely sure they’re not going to do that. It’s obvious that he didn’t mean to kill anybody. But it’s still possible that he overreacted (no matter how nice a person he may be in general) and they may end up charging him for battery or something.

        I’m sure they won’t send him to prison – not every country is like the US where people are sent to prison for 300 years.

  4. Unfortunately, who he is should have nothing to do with the case.   Having posted bail and not being released is very frustrating.  Also, they can't possibly have a solid case here.  There was another person involved in pushing the kid off the stage.  The kid could have been hit in the head by a flying elbow in the pit.  And a lot of things could have gone wrong in the two weeks between the concert and his death.  To say that Randy's actions caused this is ludicrous.  It's is a very unfortunate situation for all involved, both for Randy and the kid's family.  FREE RANDY BLYTHE

    • Agreed- who he is should have nothing to do with the case, other than drawing media attention to it (not denying that there other stories out there equally deserving of attention). Totally unfortunate for everyone involved.  

  5. geat piece alex. randy isn't a murderer, or even a bad guy. it is refreshing to see his fellow musicians stand up for him but the political arena and news media need to do more. this is a great injustice-thanks for your help. i've always liked testament's music and respected your guitar playing but as of this moment you have another fan. FREE RANDY.

  6. Thanks for the support Alex!  We here in Richmond and around the world need people to realize this isn't a case of heavy metal, it's a case of a human being that is falsely charged with Manslaughter and wrongfully being incarcerated.  Please everyone go to the link about the petition and sign it asking President Obama to help free Randy.  #FreeRandyBlythe!! Shadiguy posted the link below

    •  That's exactly right.  No one deserves this kind of treatment. Even it did turn out that he was anyway partially responsible, he should've been given notice and had the chance to obtain international legal representation, not locked up upon entering the country. 

  7.  I know it must be hard to hear that someone you like has been put under arrest, but comparing Randy's situation with Kafka's The Trial seems absurd to me. The way he was arrested was weird too, but that is nothing that unusual in Czech Republic. I wasn't at the gig, but I read three reports from time before the young fan died and all of them said that Randy was agressive towards fans that tried to get on stage and even kneeled on the throat of a fan before throwing him off stage. I wasn't at the gig so I am not to judge what has and what hasn't happened there, but neither are you, Alex. You are an amazing person and guitar player but I guess you just got too subjective here.

    • Absurd? 

      A man is never notified that he's been under investigation for two years. He's arrested on site at an airport. He's offered a chance to post bail and does (a very high amount). He's then told that all the bail money does is entitle him to hearing to determine whether his bail will be accepted. It's not accepted. He remains in jail where he sits indefinitely until the next hearing and the next with no end in site.

          No, it's not a literal comparison to The Trial. But if you don't see at least a few parallels, you need to re-read it. 

      As far as whether Randy's been aggressive in the past (provoked or otherwise), I hope not. But even if he was, he should've been notified and prepared for extradition, not arrested in a backhanded move by authorities.

  8. Alex – first, I'd like to say that I agree with much of your sentiment, and I hope that everyone involved (Randy, but also the deceased's family) receives a just and equitable resolution to this tragic situation, and one that is quick, fair, and free from prejudice.

    Second, though, I'd like to say how disappointed I am by your statement that “One would like to think that simply being an American citizen comes with certain inalienable protection against mistreatment by foreign justice systems, especially those of European Union countries such as the Czech Republic. And it would seem like being a four time Grammy nominated singer would help.” The fact that Randy is American should not – and must not – have bearing on his treatment. All human beings should be treated fairly and equally, and even though the US is notorious (wrongly or rightly) for differential treatment of non-citizens, I would hope we could all agree that any human being in Randy's situation should be equally protected against mistreatment, regardless of nationality. Also, I would further hope that all travellers – musicians or otherwise – realize that once you cross the border into a foreign country, you are subject to their laws and judicial system. As a Canadian who regularly travels in the US, I can assure you that it's made abundantly clear to us that when we enter the US our Canadian rights are irrelevant – and that if we have outstanding traffic tickets (that have automatically matured to a warrant) we may be arrested and detained! Also, the fact that Randy is a grammy-nominated artist should not be a factor – he should be subject to the same laws and same judicial processes as everyone else, and should receive neither beneficial nor detrimental treatment as a result of his accomplishments as a musician. If Randy has been subject to mistreatment by authorities, it is wrong and we absolutely should be outraged and should be doing whatever we can to have this remedied as soon as possible. But we shouldn't be doing it because he is American or because he's an accomplished musician – we should do it because he is a human being.

    • Please see the addendum above.

            While I appreciate the participation of all my readers, I cannot think of a more inaccurate misrepresentation of my words.

           Being the eternal optimist, I'm choosing to see a bright side here. This is an excellent reminder of two things:

             1. It is very easy to take someone's sentence or paragraph, re-interpret the meaning in such a manner that may rile up others, and then use it as a soundbite (someone from seems to have taken the ideas expressed here and ran with them). 

            2.  One must 'idiot proof' every sentence of everything he or she writes, as it can and will be taken out of context and used against the writer, even one who stands diametrically and ideologically opposed to the mindset they are being accused of. 

            3.  Even if the writer has blogs, tweets comments and countless other proof that they don't think the way they are being accused from, it doesn't matter. After all, we live in a blogosphere where too many people don't read and don't get the facts for themselves. Just look how many people fell for the humorous articles on Rick Santorum's War On Metal and Metallica calling it quits on April Fool's Day.

             Rumbletone, thank you for these reminders.

  9. Alex, I generally agree with you that this is shitty situation and I can understand it sucks seeing a friend go through this… On the other side none of us were at the show, so we can not really judge what happened there… Anyhow I don't know Randy, but I know people who do… And they all told me he's a great guy whatever happened that night was an unfortunate accident… Nobody meant to hurt anybody and I'm sure randy didn't have the intention to harm a fan, even though he was giving the band and venue staff a hard time… Like I said, it's was an unfortunate accident and I'm sure investigations will proof this and Randy will regain his freedom sometime soon… 

    I respect everybody's opinion, but I would like to comment some of the posts below: 
    – Rumbletone, I agree with you 100%…
    – claiming that being an american Citizen, or being a successful musician makes you better than someone else and untouchable for justice is a questionable statement…
    – @Todd Brown: almost any other country except for the US doesn't allow people to BUY their freedom by posting a bail. Normally, if people are kept in custody, there is a reason for it… I'm no expert in Czech law, but as far as I'm aware of, most European countries don't have the possibility to post bail… 
    I don't see anything obvious here and I'm sure justice will be done and hope Randy can return home soon… 

    • Good points except for your 100% agreement with the other comment. If that's what I meant, that would be a questionable statement. But by now it should be quite obvious that it's not.

        Going on a rant based on the misinterpretation of someones words is a very questionable action. 

  10. Wow never been a big Lamb Of God fan but this story is awful to read, I will gladly sign the petition hell I would even sign it if it was Justin Bieber the one in this situation. No human deservers to be treated with such injustice, Free Randy!

    •  As many have pointed out, It has nothing to do with what band he's in, fan or not. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone…even Justin Bieber. Well, maybe Justin Bieber (KIDDING!)  🙂

  11. I have been closely following this story, mainly through the Gauntlet, which has provided up to date information daily. There is even a video of the night in question which proves Randy is being unjustly charged. The main point I think we can take from this situation is that an American citizen is being held in a foreign jail even after posting bail of $200,000. Where is the mainstream media coverage on this? How long does this situation have to go on before a US government entity finally assists in the matter? What if this was your husband, son or loved one?

  12. Time to invoke Occam's Razor.

    The most simple, direct explanation of CZ officials' behavior is that they feel — rightly or wrongly — that LoG burned them.

    To remove this as a possibility I need to see Team LoG swear up and down that they did not dodge or ignore any CZ inquiries into the incident prior to Randy's arrest. I understand that such interaction might be several layers removed from Randy himself, but if his reps stiffed in any fashion questions from CZ this would explain much.

    Note that is explain, not excuse.

      • And that uncertainty is why we need a timeline from the LoG team laying out the facts as they understand them.

        For example, when and how did LoG et al first learn that a fan who had attended that performance had died?

    • I did see a statement by LoG's manager / agent (or some such person affiliated with the band) that they were completely blind sighted by this and would never have sent LoG to CZ if they knew one of their band members was going to be arrested the second they touched down.

      If he had a case to answer for Randy should have been contacted by the relevant authorities two years ago and then he could have received the appropriate counsel and acted accordingly.

      What I have been thinking is, If Randy wasn't a well known musician and just Joe Normal would there have been an international arrest warrant issued for him? Did the CZ authorities assume he would be back there eventually and then they could arrest him making the whole process simpler? Had he never ventured back to CZ would he or anyone else have ever known about this unfortunate incident?
      That begs the question (and regarding the misinterpretation on Alex's original post), was Randy Blythe arrested for he is? or was he arrested for what he has (supposedly) done?

      Great post Alex and thanks helping raising awareness of Randy's plight.

    •      I agree with you in part.  It's not the perspective that Blythe burned them, but that officials were notified that a man with a warrant out for his arrest arrived back into the Czech republic.  It's hardly surprising, though not a conspiracy, that neither did the U.S. government inform Blythe or his lawyers that there was a valid warrant for his arrest, nor that they likely will continue not to bestir themselves to aid him, outside of visits from a representative of the consulate. 

        Our government tends to behave the same apathetic way with citizens
      arrested abroad for smuggling and even homicide; the U.S. government
      also takes a hard line against negotiating with terrorist organizations
      who hold U.S. citizens hostage (we still have at least one AWOL U.S.
      soldier who's been held by the Taliban for two years, and despite his
      family's pleas, our government is unwilling to lift a finger).  Alex is
      right about the erroneous assumptions of many Americans that our
      government will do everything in it's power to assist them, should they
      be arrested abroad.  Don't hold your breath, unless you're a pretty murderess who does cartwheels.  

         Nor is it a conspiracy, as some fans have been saying, of the CR to arrest a man on a valid warrant, or to prosecute him for a crime, whether he is ethically guilty of that crime or not.  Nor is it extortion (a term that's been used on other sites) for Nosek's family to want an investigation into their son's death, and possible prosecution should someone be deemed culpable for it.  Both Nosek and Blythe matter to their families and friends, and it's bothered me that Nosek, in many of the online articles about him, has been discussed as almost a footnote to his own death, sometimes not even mentioning his name.

         There has been much validation of the video that seems to exonerate Blythe, but there are also eyewitness testimonies that suggest that he did throw Daniel Nosek around, as well as did members of security.  I'd like to see all the evidence that the prosecutor has, and I'm curious if any of the security staff have been questioned or investigated.   I feel bad for Blythe, in that neither he nor the staff likely intended to cause Nosek harm.  Fans can act stupid, band members and security get irritated.  Regardless of who contributed to Nosek's death, the fact is that to have no intent to cause injuries that led to his death, does not mean that you can not be held legally culpable for it.  

  13. It appears this case is built on pure heresy, and circumstantial evidence, nothing solid! Set him FREE! It's terrible that a fan has to Parrish this way, but you can't hold this man accountable with out any proof! What kind of justice system does that country fallow?

  14. Put it there because a fan died after a concert in a mess, or even collapsed because the stage is the same as dying in a car accident and blame Ford for this!! at other times in history had metal bands in the courts because idiots killed “in the name of the song” or because his lyrics inciting doing wrong … In my humble opinion this is an insult to the intelligence of anyone.

    Even though the incident had happened in America, is no reason to put someone in jail because it is known to all that  skip at the audience is common in metal concerts. Normally this type of event is the responsibility of the promoter, which should give security to the public. he could be brought to testify, but to be put in jail is wrong.

    The fact that he is an American citizen does not put you in prime position in front of people from other countries, even though political relations between the two countries be good. I know that this moment as american, you are frustrated with the system. I also feel this when I read something  similar happening with brazilians.

    I really want him to solve this as fast as possible and return to play with the band,  he  is a person – as you said – who actually uses the brain.

    • Yes, you seem to understand the gist of what I'm saying. It has nothing to do with being American  (so many cases of our own laws, system of justice etc…being rife with failure and deserving of equal criticism). But the American media and agencies ought to do something, not because he's American because it's their responsibility to pay attention, as it would be the media and Gov. of any other country with a citizen in such a situation.

  15. I'm closely following this story … Did or did not???
    ignored LoG any Czech inquiries into the incident prior to Randy's arrest ?????
    … American or a Grammy nominee doesn't grant any privileges when it comes to
    any judicial system – none…

    Alex, I generally agree with you and I respect everybody's opinion, but none of us were at the show… I'm not expert in any
    law nor in Czech law, but as far as I know, in European countries they don't allow to post bail … usually. Randy's wife is in Prague and spent hours with him today – 7/11 … and Randy is fine. This all matter has nothing to do with the Czech Republic, but with one judge only! Those of you who really know him (Randy) … ask him for awesome time in Prague … always … of course, prior to this incident … and for the reason why metal, hard rock, jazz and rock musicians love to come there. This applies to both musicians and more than
    hundred thousands of Americans living in Prague … most of them illegally !?

    And US government assistant? HA! … US embassy in Prague is just 15 minutes drive away from Pankrac prison. Randy's situation should be subject to the same laws and same judicial processes as everyone else. It's is a very unfortunate situation for all involved.


    •       No matter what happens, this case has certainly been enlightening in terms of European law. It's unfortunate that there isn't a bail system in most countries (not that ours is perfect, but it seems like a better option). One should at least have the opportunity to wait out a trial and not be locked away. 

  16. I'm closely following this story … Did or did not???
    ignored LoG any Czech inquiries into the incident prior to Randy's arrest ?????
    … American or a Grammy nominee doesn't grant any privileges when it comes to
    any judicial system – none…

    Alex, I generally agree with you and I respect
    everybody's opinion, but none of us were at the show… I'm not expert in any
    law nor in Czech law, but as far as I know, in European countries they
    don't allow to post bail … usually. Randy's wife is in Prague and spent hours
    with him today – 7/11 … and Randy is fine. This all matter has nothing to do with the
    Czech Republic, but with one judge only! Those of you who really know him
    (Randy) … ask him for awesome time in Prague … always … of course, prior
    to this incident … and for the reason why metal, hard rock, jazz and rock
    musicians love to come there. This applies to both musicians and more than
    hundred thousands of Americans living in Prague … most of them illegally

    And US government assistant? HA! … US embassy in Prague is
    just 15 minutes drive away from
    Pankrac prison. Randy's situation should be subject to the same laws
    and same judicial processes as everyone else. It's is a very unfortunate
    situation for all involved.


  17. Thanks for all the comments so far. There's no time to answer every comment at the moment. I wrote this in a bit of a frenzy, as I was packing to leave to Mexico
    City, where I am now for an AST concert tomorrow (technically tonight,
    it's very late).  Perhaps a couple things weren't clear…

         No-one from any country, famous or not, deserves this situation Randy has found himself in. The fact that he's well known doesn't place him above anyone else, but it does make it less excusable that US officials and media are ignoring his case.  And in no way was I implying that being American or famous means someone is
    deserving of special treatment  (it's a bit puzzling to me that anyone
    would interpret it that way, but ok).

         If Randy was a Japanese citizen, I would hope that someone from the
    Japanese government would intervene. If he was Canadian, I would expect
    the Canadian Government to get involved. In either hypothetical
    situation, I'd expect the respective medias of those countries to be all
    over this. 

        I do not bring up the “American citizen card” out of a sense of superiority, but merely to point out that a false sense of security exists among our citizens (I can't speak for any other country). Supposedly our government has agencies that are “protecting lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas.” Many of us in the US have grown up believing this.

         The truth was put rather well by Roger Waters the other day at Yankee Stadium, when he sang “Mother should I trust the government?”  The answer flashed across The Wall in red spray-paint like lettering: “NO FUCKING WAY.” 


    • hi all.

      sorry for my english, but:
      czech republic is a member of european union, nato, shengen area … corruption is everywhere, sure :-).
      the system of justice is probably on the same level as in usa = nobody screams – the police does nothing. it seems so, that a friend of the dead guy asked the police about the progress of the case in the time of the arrival of the band to czech (this is a very simple version). and then was randy taken in the custody.

      there is a wide discussion about this accident in the internet czech/slovak metal community and the conclusion is, that randy was at the time very agressive and he het (kicked) some guys (one of them should be the dead one) with the purpose to take them down from the stage.
      this guy was probably injured in the head, taken to the hospital by his friend, where he fell for 2 weeks in coma (bleeding inside the head???).
      reports from this concert from 2010 say the same.

      this accident is 2 years old, so it is very complicated to say what exactly happened, but the hit from randy was there.

      the question “why now?” is very good – the delay shows some system problem.
      but please write no stupid comments about no existing justice in czech etc.
      $200,000=year income of randy

      sorry for any inaccuracy.

      • Wow, you think Randy earns $200,000 a year. I seriously doubt it is even close to that. The point is that if they accept the bail, why not release him? They have said they think he is a flight risk and have kept him in jail, well then refund the bail money. You cannot have it both ways. 

        Why now? Because he would not be extradited by the US to to the Czech Republic so they waited until Randy was there. If they gave any hint he would be arrested, he wouldn't have gone there. The bigger question is why the venue, LOG, their management or their security were never informed of the kids death. That is suspicious. Also after 2 years, they should either have the evidence or not. The delay is prosecution is also very weird. 

        • there is always a big difference between media and reality, please do not forget this.
          in 2010 here was no media boom about this accident. all happenes now here too.
          to find somebody guilty in his absence is for sure a problem.

          there is an international cooperation in extradition of own citizen. and i hope that the usa site will have eventually no problem to find randy guilty, when the czech court does so. we all are equal.

          eu citizens killed somebody with a car in usa or usa citizens killed somebody with the car in eu – it is allways the same.
          i hope, that nobody would like to flee home :-).

          the system is very slowly and too complicated. please try not to find here an international conspiracy.

          • The problem with your statement is, you are judging Randy as guilty without knowing any of the facts, or at least presenting them in your posts.

            Judging by the videos and photos of the incident that I have seen, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that RANDY IS NOT GUILTY!  In the videos and photos of the incident, Randy couldn't not have caused the death of the young man in question, he did not hit the young man (though if he did it wasn't very hard), he wasn't choking the kid, and in all of the photos of him being “choked” he is enjoying himself.  Those responsible for the young man's death are the guys that were working security at the event that used unnecessary force to remove the young man from the stage.  THEY are the ones that should beheld up on criminal charges not Randy.

            The Czech government arrested Randy 2 years after the fact because they don't want to seem like they are inept morons and don't care about the case.  Randy is being made a scapegoat for someone trying to advance his political career.

            So, please, state facts with your statements before you make them.

          • i am not a jury. but it seems so, that randy has something to do with this dead.
            there was no fight between randy and the fans. the fact is, that the fans were not welcomed on the stage and they climbed there again and again.

            the media made a mass. and people who do not understand czech (it is very similar to slovak language) are lost in translation :-).
            as i know there is no public video recorded at the time of the accident. the accident did happened before the end/ at the end of the set.

            randy sad something like “too much people on stage” and he took down two guys (was there the dead one?).
            it seems so, that there was an ambulance.
            the czech police asked for cooperation (year 2010!, 3 months after the accident?) but the usa site did not cooperate/ without any answer? (rumors from the newspapers or fact?). no surprice, that lof did not know about the death.

            well, it is not so simple as many people (from both sides) want.

          •  Ne, nemáš pravdu, čeština a slovenština v mnoha směrech není s češtinou až tak velmi podobná jak tvrdíš, řada gramatických floskulí i fonetiky je úplně jiná a od středního Slovenska dál na východ Slovenska vám nerozumí Češi vůbec.  Ty také nebudeš rozumět češtině, kterou se mluví v pohraničí s Německem, severní češtinou v Lužických horách, přitom se jedná o jednu z nejpůvodnějších verzí češtiny.

          • viem, co je salina :-). beznej pisanej forme sa da az na vynimky rozumiet. btw. som narodeny pred '85. problem je skor, ked cech nerozumie slovakovi (cim je dotycny mladsi, tym je to samozrejme horsie). a mesiace v cestine su ako za trest :-).
            … ok, the languages are not so similar. thanx for suggestion.

            here is a update:

            “I really don’t know. Let me put it this way: nobody was expecting
            that unfortunately, this young man Daniel Nosek would die a month after the
            concert. His father then spoke to the police who launched an investigation
            and called several witnesses who were at that concert. They also approached
            the US Department of Justice and asked them to take part in the
            investigation which the department refused to do.”

            “Refusing to do so, they did not notify anyone from the band or the
            management, so no one really knew that investigation was underway, which I
            think is not something the US Department of Justice can be proud of.”

    • The problem is that american administration is not cooperating with Czech side. Some petition on White House web, i know, but there is not solution as law..  it is only apel, nothing more…   Czech republic is quite normal and very nice country, not some shit as said some “good friends” from Randy “support” group. Stupid and vulgar speaking from mouth as for example Vincent Bennett (“One of my biggest fears in the entire world is being locked up in some weird fucking country for no goddamn reason at all,” ) – it is not support for Blythe, it is only very STUPID and paradoxically can made situation more bad…    I saw a few videos with Randy from this concert and he was VERY AGGRESSIVE and quite BRUTAL. Nobody can not beat fan on the stage, but fan can not be on the stage. So there is a problem. I think is very important to have contract with: fans are not accept on the stage as a law!!! World i changing with many and many things, people are bad and sick with their morale and psychic health, relationships are bad too, so only control and stop mechanism can check it. But America with globalisation together with their capital corporation is destroying the world!!!  And destroying the humanity around………..!!!   ALEX, if you not see INVISIBLE EMPIRE film and ENDGAME, so please watch this two/three films, maybe together with other band members from Testament here:…     and…      and…        It is important to know this kind of latent madness!!!!!!!!!!!   

  18. Alex, you are an excellent representation of going against the stereotype of a metal musician. I've fought that stereotype most of my life and now am a Tax Accountant at a very reputable firm. I made no attempts to hide that I'm a rock guitarist from them and fortunately they respect that and actually appreciate the different perspectives I bring to the table some times. I'm not a Lamb of God fan but I am a huge supporter of fair treatment and the application of fair justice (I am a Testament fan). After the evidence that has come to surface it is clear Randy is being held unfairly. Tragedies happen, unfortunately someone always wants to find someone to blame, when sometimes the victim is the cause of their own fate, as it would appear is the case in this accident. I hope your friend and fellow metal musician is home soon cooking up a storm from that chef's book you got him soon. If the mainstream media hasn't heard about the story, it has certainly gone viral in the social media. If we keep it up sooner or later the mainstream will catch up. I'm reposting this on my page. Lots of non-metal fans will read there and hopefully get it and maybe even change a few's judgemental views about just who we metal musicians are really like.

    •     Thanks for the nice words and glad someone else can relate.  I don't expect others to go against type, but hey, it's good to know you're not alone. A few have accused me of being pretentious, elitist etc… but I'm not putting anyone down, only trying to show that it's ok to be different.

  19. Good text! But!!!!! There is a but sir… I don't think that it matters that the guy, Randy, is nice. The law is the law, even if some of you think that european laws are bad. And, hey. Europe is not a country… i thouth you all knew that by now.

    The “bailing system” is someting that you guys have i USA. Its unfair towards the poor, is sucks. Fuck bailing. Another thing that sucks, of course is the charge against Randy. Please let this be onley about freeing Randy, not about your personal predjudicem towards other countries. Amaricans should be treated differently? Are you better than the rest? You christian gay-haters. ) I can do prejudicem to. 😉

    Randy should be freed now, couse it is crazy to put some one in jail for an accident. People go to metal shows to let of steem, and have a good time – and listen to the best music there is. How many people have died before on a metal show? 10? Considering how many metal shows that there are and have been… Thats not many. Of course a tragedy will happen – to some one. But this is crazy. Randy is not a killer. He is an entertainer. I dont think he wants to kill his employer, the audience.

    Free him now! Its the only right thing to do!

    •      You say there is a 'but…' yet I'm not seeing it.

            Europe is a continent not a country (who insinuated otherwise?), our bailing and attorney system in the US is oppressive toward the poor (ok, it sucks), we have a lot of gay hating, overly religious nut jobs.There are many other countries setting examples in terms of culture (France), economics (Germany) and so many other ways in which the US needs to learn. And yes, Randy should be let out of jail.

             I think we're pretty much in agreement on everything! 

  20. I am from Czech Republic and I agree in everything you wrote. Whole incident was a tragedy, but I doubt it would have happened if that fan acted normal. He climbed the stage three times for no reason. Anyway, it is not Randy's fault at all. He is playing in an agressive band, the concert itself was pretty sure wild as hell and that fan was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Who knows, if he climbed there five seconds sooner or later what would have happened. From what I have seen from the concert footage, he got hit a few times by the security too, so they overreacted as well. When the guy fell, he might have already had injured head from someone else.
     However it is not fair to Randy that he is still being kept in prison. He expressed remorse, he didn't even know what happened at first. He paid the bail so he should be out, but he is not. They don't have the rights to hold him now.
     When I talked about the incident with a few people, their reactions were all the same. They said Randy was being a jerk, that he deserves all this etc. I told them they don't even know the guy, so they can't talk about him like that. As you said, this looks like people are afraid of him because of the music he plays.
     Today, everyone who plays metal is taken as a drunk stupid agressive person, but clearly, Randy is far from that. I am 17 years old, I have long hair and I listen to pretty much every metal I get hands on. At school, people look at me like I came from Mars and grew a second head. Don't get me wrong, I listen to other genres too, even classical music (which may be more weird than listening to metal in my age). Truth is that almost every metalhead is a clever person who likes books, movies, culture etc. Again, you wrote that and I agree. Today, being normal is being dumb.
     Well, I am glad that Randy has friends like you in music industry who can stand up for him. The support from bands and fans is very big, and that's good. I hope everything will be OK for him. He deserves it. Free Randy 🙂

    •   Thank you for your words. 

           It's great to hear from someone from the Czech Republic, the very country in which all this is taking place, that understands that I'm not advocating preferential treatment for anyone based on nationality or status, that understands the stereotyping by and of metal fans and most of all, realizes an important life lesson:    “Today, being normal is being dumb.”

           You're a wise young man. 

  21. holy shit lets get him out of there before the poor guy looses his mind hes  a singer in a metal band not murderer .sorry for the family of person that died but that was in gods hands not randys .lets make some noise metal fans 

  22. Although tragic, how does the fan not have some responsibility here?  The stage is supposed to be for the band.  If a fan takes a risk and wants to jump up there, I am not sure how it's Randy's fault?  I have never been to a Lamb of God (not really a big fan of them) show so I don't know how crazy they can get, but isn't it enter at your own risk?

    •  It's true. Stage diving has been a fun, though risky, part of the experience at live metal shows for a long time. Because of this, I'm afraid that may come to an end soon.

  23.    I keep seeing all these comments about how irrellevant it is that he's an American, or in a metal band, or has been nominated for a Grammy.  What is with you people?  It's called raising awareness.  If your father/brother/husband went out of the country and was taken from the airport into custody where he's waiting for his prison sentence to be handed to him – for an accident, no less –  you would want the situation handled immediately. 

       So how do you go about that?  Call 911?  “Well, his name is Joe…and he sells insurance…we live in South Dakota….” 

       Randy is fortunate enough – odd to say, given the circumstance – to be in an Grammy nominated American metal band, where if nothing else, his condition is being reported.  Is he a celebrity of Jay-Z or Madonna stature?  No.  But the chances of the Chech police beating him within an inch of life and NO ONE knowing about are fairly slim.  Why?  Because people – like Alex Skolnick, among others – are raising awareness of Randy's situation. 

       I live in Richmond, but have never been a fan of Lamb Of God's.  I can understand the assumed prejudice against them, though.  I think it's safe to say that if it were Katy Perry or Taylor Swift in that prison, her attorneys would be over there escorting her away before the arresting officer had the chance to check for nipple rings.  If it were Will Smith or  Beyonce, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be on the first thing smoking in that direction, and would have the oppression speech written by the time they got there.  But it's not any of them, it's Randy from an evil metal band that you don't listen to, so why should you care, right?

       True, the laws are different throughout the world, and apparently, in Prague, they don't have to have proof of what they are accusing you.  Tragic?  Yes.  Illegal?  Not in Prague.  It's not like Randy was caught on camera stabbing a guy in the hotel elevator, in which case, he would deserve the treatment he is currently receiving.  Which, by nature, DOES make his being an American important here.  He's been arrested, informed of his charges, has probably viewed the “evidence”, paid the bail, and is STILL not freed.  We, or at least our fearless leaders, should be doing everything imagineable to bring him HOME.  You would want that for your insurance salesman husband.

    •  Exactly. It was really good to read this comment shortly after all the misinterpretation and attempts to brand me as some kind of pro-American 'exceptionalist,'  especially elsewhere.  That's the whole point: raising awareness.    Thank you.

  24. I really appreciate this post.  I always try to point out that metalheads aren't what people think they are – violent and socially awkward – but often times, really smart and considerate.  I try showing people what some metal musicians are capable of.  I'll turn on one of yours or Chris Poland's jazz songs, I'll play Viridian by Between the Buried and Me, or maybe something off of the Damnation album by Opeth.  It's important to know that people are very dynamic and metalheads are no exception.

    As far as Randy's situation goes, I believe it is very unjust.  He was never even told that a fan died because of what happened at his concert.  The fact that he may have played a hand in his death must be very painful.  He should be free right now.  I've heard that he's not even complaining about the situation, and that he's even learning Mongolian from a fellow cellmate.  That is incredible.  Most people won't even try to find the opportunity in every difficulty as Randy is doing by learning another language.  I hope he's freed soon.

    • “It's important to know that people are very dynamic and metalheads are no exception.”  That's so true.  So often we end up typecast a certain way. It's good that more and more of us are standing up against that, listening to whatever music we want to listen to. After all, that's the freedom that metal represents.

      I'm sure it's beyond painful for Randy to know that a fan has died. It's also a true sign of Randy's character that while locked up, he's learning his cellmate's language (Mongolian) and teaching him his own.

  25. Alex, i'm a Canadian citizen and a fan of all things good and right in the world. It is unfathomable that a government would let one of its citizens rot in a foreign jail while a foreign country decides his fate. I'll sign any petition to help, and wish i could call my government to raise the alarm. Good luck in raising awareness for Randy's situation. He's got an awesome friend in you.

  26. Thank you Alex, I am a longtime fan of you and of L.O.G. and I am distraught over this whole thing… You take a certain responsibility when you go stagediving and do crazy shit jumping on and off of a stage. I feel bad for the family of the guy whom this happened but that was the risk HE took when he went up there repeatedly. This whole thing is nuts and was an accident, What was Randy to do with dude jumping on stage. I am certain that was never his intention and I don't personally know Randy but its common sense. Man this upsets me…

  27. Its a very sad situation all around, the guy, his family, Randy, Randy's family etc. My understanding is that there is not much the US authorities can do, he does have help from the embassy in Prague, but its not possible to necessarily circumvent the laws of a country whether you like them or not. Bail laws in the Czech Republic are not the same as in America, so no point crying about it. It is what it is. They have stated they think he would be a flight risk, so they won't let him go. I would also caution everyone who thinks they are a legal expert cause they have watched a grainy film allegedly of the incident. The Czech authorities arrested Randy because they suspect there is a case to answer, they are investigating it, which will mean talking to all the witnesses, Randy more than likely, medical staff who treated the kid etc. Now it is sounds like I don't support Randy, and that is not the case as you will see, but you do have to allow the authorities to investigate it. 

    I remember as a teen being at shows in Glasgow where we were up on stage with the bands, stage diving etc and it was a blast and a great time in metal. All that stuff ended definitively the day Dimebag was killed. And not just Dime, but fans and security also died that day. We as fans need to remember that while guys like Randy are in bands, idols to some etc, this is their job. And with a job comes the right to feel secure doing it. When fans rush at the stage, I can only imagine if I was in Randy's shoes, I would feel threatened and certainly wonder what the guys intentions are exactly. IF someone had bad intentions, bands are sitting ducks on stage as we saw the day Dime died. IMO, if the kid really had been on stage 3 times, the security should have grabbed him and taken him away rather than shove him back into the crowd, but hindsight is 20/20. This is what they used to do at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, if they see you over the barrier too many times, out you go. So what I am saying is, I don't blame Randy or security for shoving the kid away. He was the one who was causing the issue, not the band. He then has to accept the responsibilities of his actions. Too many people today want their cake and eat it. Well guess what, everything has a consequence. We as fans sometimes need to remember these bands are people too and have the right to do their job in a safe environment. Its a sad situation all around and I am sure Randy will be released after the investigation is done. I am also willing to bet you won't see LOG in the Czech Republic ever again. 

  28. Randy and LOG did a show in Melbourne, Australia about 3 years ago. In an era where bands on tour, understandably, struggle to keep up with what day it is, Randy launched into a between songs talk about the Black Saturday bushfires that had recently swept across Victoria, killing 173 people.  They then went in to Walk with Me in Hell and Randy launched himself, and the mic, at the audience in an obvious and passionate show of solidarity. Whilst probably no big deal to Randy, he got a big mental 'thumbs up' from me that night, and I'm sure of many others.

    If we take the Czech example as precedent, why would Randy come back to Australia- who knows he may have injured someone. Further, why would Randy, or any other performer get on stage anywhere at all? Why would any audience member ever contemplate turning up to a show where even bumping into some one could send them to prison? This is part of what's at stake here. The notion that 'we', whether it be fellow musicians, friends or fans should should just shut up and just allow supposed 'due process' to play out (based on an antiquated notion of the neutrality and autonomy of legal systems) is offensive. As you say Alex, it really comes down to self aggrandisement and a desperate need to demonstrate one's relevance in the most obnoxious manner.  

  29. Alex, thank you for bringing awareness to this unfortunate situation. I think the most frustrating part of it all, is the fact that the media refuses to  cover or address any of it (all because of the type of music Lamb of God plays). It's crazy to see such discrimination toward a member of the Metal community. Like you said, Justin Bieber getting a ticket is a national story with people debating back and forth on whether it was fair or not. An American Citizen wrongfully held in a jail abroad doesn't command any attention whatsoever except for the local media in his hometown.

    Some of your readers are completely missing the point- this is not about Randy Blythe being an American and thus deserving special treatment. Randy Blythe deserves the same justice and treatment as ANY U.S. Citizen abroad. The usual process for a case like this would involve the Czech authorities demanding an extradition from the US. It's ridiculous that 2 years after the incident they decide to blindside Randy Blythe while he is visiting the country. It's not like there was an extradition order and a warrant for his arrest in the Czech Republic.

    Furthermore, with the precedent set by the murder of Dimebag Darell onstage, there should really be greater protection for performing artists. Even if Randy was rough getting fans off stage, in my opinion, he was justified. Rushing the stage and stage diving are not legal! The reason there is a security team is to prevent this in the first place. I think anyone that climbs on stage in the middle of a show, assumes all risk. 9 times out of 10, these fans stage dive and go back to enjoy the show. It's unfortunate that this happened, but I think it was just a tragic, freak accident.

  30. One thing that I think is indefensible on the part of our own government is that apparently, Czech authorities notified the U.S. Dept. of State about their desire to pursue arrest with the assistance of the U.S.D.O.J. Our govt said no, but never informed Randy Blythe or anybody else in the LOG organization about the pending charges.

  31. I'm an American metal guitarist. My drummer is Slovak. He likened the Randy Blythe situation to the Judas Priest trial in the 80's. Just as some older (Christian) Americans still view black Americans as savages and criminals, perhaps some post-communist elders of a (Catholic) society still view heavy metal as evil. American courts (tried) the same thing to Priest 30 years ago. The name “Lamb of God” is blasphemy to these cavemen. However, witch hunts have always been evil, and never God's will. God is not Christian or Catholic. We made that (religion) crap up to justify our evil ways and feel good about our evil selves.

  32. I'm sorry for your friend. Its hard to believe that he does not have the support of his government. What is a man without a country?

  33. It is very disheartening to imagine Randy where he is now.  I've seen the footage of the alleged “manslaughter”.  The fan had apparently tried to charge the stage twice and had been pushed aside by the security guards.  The third time he apparently got through and was running at Randy, to which Randy and a security guard responded by throwing him offstage.

    Whatever happened after that is lamentable, as no one I've ever met at any metal concert has the slightest wish to hurt anyone else there.  However, I'm in complete support of how both the security guard and Randy handled the situation.  What were they supposed to do?  let some fan run at the lead singer after climbing onstage and possibly pull out a knife or a gun?  We have the death of Dimebag to remind us why that's not such a good idea.  In my, and I imagine other's opinions, the situation was handled as it should have been.  The fan made a choice to climb up onstage, either knowing full-well that he was going to get dispatched or being too drunk to comprehend that.

    As for the circumstances involving Randy's incarceration, it continues to baffle me that the Czechs were even able to secure a warrant for his arrest given the flimsy circumstances of the “event”.  The only reason I can come to is some prejudiced prosecutor who views heavy metal as evil jumping at the chance to convict someone from the musical world that we all love.  At this point, Randy has had his bail doubled twice, has made bail twice, and has had it denied twice.  It is my firm belief that this is nothing more than a “witch hunt”, lead by people who have no concept about what actually happened and who don't even bother to look because, for them, it's just too-juicy of a morsel not to swallow.  “Heavy metal frontman throws a fan offstage and kills him”.  For someone who regards the music I love as evil and its members deserving of punishment, it's the perfect chance to meter out “justice”.

    Many people say that they have faith that justice will prevail.  However, if he was even arrested and charged with manslaughter based on what actually happened, has has his bail doubled twice, has made bail twice and had it denied twice… I am loathe to say that I don't see why these unsympathetic and uneducated people won't convict him too.

    There is a petition to get the White House involved in Randy's incarceration.  Here is the link (https://petitions.whitehouse.g…  To all those who read this comment, I beseech you, create an account, sign the petition and keep spreading the word and raising awareness as much as you can.  I don't know if it will help, but doing something is better than sitting idle waiting for things to get better.

    Free Randy Blythe

  34. I met randy at a show lamb of god did and randy is the nicest guy i ever met he hung out with me and my friends before the show in the parking lot shooting the shit 

  35.   As we all know by now, this situation is finally resolved and Randy's back home and in good spirits. In fact, I got a message from him that began “Well…THAT was interesting!”   He was very appreciative of everyone's thoughts and efforts and mentioned this blog specifically.  

         I think this interview, his first after being released, expresses the character that this guy is. We're all glad to see him out and ready to get back to work.


       PS Thank you all and thanks those who posted comments during the last couple weeks- sorry I couldn't get to them. 


  36. Regardless of what anyone “thinks”, regardless of status Americans do not receive special treatment from the State Dept. (barring some kind of inside political connection) when they get involved in legal disputes in foreign countries. The state dept. has very specific wording in it's policy regarding this issue. They will check on your level of treatment, and if necessary will petition to have you treated humanely, provide a means for you to contact family and receive legal counsel… but the harsh reality is that if you get in trouble overseas, for the most part, you are at the mercy of the local system. The hypocrisy is that if you are a US Govt. employee – State Dept., DOD, etc… and you get in trouble, the US Govt. will work diligently to get you released (depending on the circumstances). This is more to cover their ass than yours though because having official govt. personnel in prison means interrogations and a high potential for state secrets to be compromised… at that level it's an international game of CYA – and if you are the poor guy locked up you just happen to get off the hook because of your association. That doesn't mean however that you won't answer for your mishap once you get home. Take the case of Raymond Davis for example…

    In any case, The Czech republic isn't known for it's inhumane treatment of detainees, ( with the understanding that jail, regardless of where, generally sucks ). And there is an extradition treaty between the US and the Czech Republic that predates Czechoslovakia's dissolution, so standing trial is really Randy's only option at this point. Let Randy's situation be a lesson to us all that when you're an American in a foreign land, it's very important to mind your P's and Q's – because unfortunately, as I believe as is the case with Randy's plight, all too often foreign governments will pounce on the chance to scapegoat an American citizen for their own lack of effectiveness.

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