Prisoner 97B412. Convicted July 5, 1997 – Driving while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter. Sentence: 15 years, up for parole in four. Parole denied in 2001. Granted parole in 2003. Returned to OZ later that year due to a parole violation.
Beecher, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is a successful attorney, husband and father, but also an alcoholic. One night, he drives drunk — something he had already been arrested for twice — and hits and kills a nine-year-old girl named Kathy Rockwell. He is offered a plea bargain that would have allowed him to serve his sentence in a minimum security prison, but Beecher, not wanting to do any time in prison, instead goes to trial seeking an acquittal. The effort fails and the judge, a family friend of the Beechers, decides to make an example of him and sentences him to 15 years in a maximum security prison with a chance for parole after four.
Beecher's personal transformation forms is a major part of the show's drama, particularly in season one. Arriving in Oz without any street skills and having a naturally timid personality, he became a target for abuse and was hardened by his experiences, particularly with his archnemesis, Vern Schillinger. He later remarks that, in Oz, he "became the man he always was and never knew". Despite having done some terrible things while in Oz including murdering a guard, Beecher has many moments where he seems aware of how far he has gone and often tries to atone, most notably for his part in the death of Andrew Schillinger.
Read more about this topic: Tobias Beecher
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“Our character is not so much the product of race and heredity as of those circumstances by which nature forms our habits, by which we are nurtured and live.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)