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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    23 Dec '10 02:34 / 1 edit
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5946234

    Long story short, guy's on parole after a DUI conviction, gets stinking drunk, gets in a car, blows through a red light at 65 MPH and kills 3 people and severely injures a fourth.

    Horrible guy? Sure.

    Deserves to go to jail for a long time? You bet.

    But I don't like the idea of giving his consecutive sentences for each murder in this case. Essentially, the judge could only give him 15 years on the homicide charge, so the judge gives him 3 consecutive 15 year terms, plus a few for good luck (maybe for maiming the 4th guy) for a total of 51 years.

    Here's the question. Should a person be punished primarily on how bad the action was or primarily based on the result? Of course the result has to come into play to some extent; but is he inherently a worse or more irredeemable person because 3 people died as opposed to one.

    Now, I understand that California law must allow for the consecutive sentences, but when the legislature made the maximum sentence for this crime 15 years (15 to life actually; but the minimum parole eligibility is the key here), did the legislature intend for a person to serve a minimum of 51 years based on essentially the same unlawful conduct?

    This is a tough one. I'm inclined to think that this sentence is too harsh. I think 15 years (maybe 20?) is closer to what he should serve. As bad a person as he is (and as much as I'd want him dead if it were my family member who was killed), I don't think he's as bad as an intentional murderer.
  2. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    23 Dec '10 04:08
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5946234

    Long story short, guy's on parole after a DUI conviction, gets stinking drunk, gets in a car, blows through a red light at 65 MPH and kills 3 people and severely injures a fourth.

    Horrible guy? Sure.

    Deserves to go to jail for a long time? You bet.

    But I don't like the idea of giving hi ...[text shortened]... e my family member who was killed), I don't think he's as bad as an intentional murderer.
    You may be correct, but everyone knows most crimminals don't serve there full sentences. With this in mind, jail time for this guy will be about what he deserves.
  3. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    23 Dec '10 04:19
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5946234

    Long story short, guy's on parole after a DUI conviction, gets stinking drunk, gets in a car, blows through a red light at 65 MPH and kills 3 people and severely injures a fourth.

    Horrible guy? Sure.

    Deserves to go to jail for a long time? You bet.

    But I don't like the idea of giving hi ...[text shortened]... e my family member who was killed), I don't think he's as bad as an intentional murderer.
    A person whose actions take the life of another person should forfeit their own life--- unless it can be shown that the actions were innocent in nature. Were a person to shoot a gun into the air in a sparsely-populated area and the resulting fall of the bullet to strike and kill a bystander, we can safely assume the actions were innocent (albeit stupid).

    Same person firing a gun into the air above a densely-populated area with the same result? Now that person is liable for the damages caused.

    A drunk driver ought to be judged according to the results of his actions. Merely driving drunk is not a crime. There are many, many people who are able to navigate their vehicles while past the point of intoxication in a manner more safe than those without a drop of alcohol in their system. When arrested without other incident, they are heavily fined. I say: let them go.

    However, to the person who is found to be legally intoxicated and the cause of death in an accident scene: put them to death.
  4. 23 Dec '10 04:57
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    A person whose actions take the life of another person should forfeit their own life--- unless it can be shown that the actions were innocent in nature. Were a person to shoot a gun into the air in a sparsely-populated area and the resulting fall of the bullet to strike and kill a bystander, we can safely assume the actions were innocent (albeit stupid). ...[text shortened]... found to be legally intoxicated and the cause of death in an accident scene: put them to death.
    However, to the person who is found to be legally intoxicated and the cause of death in an accident scene: put them to death.-FreakyKBH


    Interesting.
    A person who has a .08 bac is legally drunk to drive in most states. If involved in a accident they automatically are at fault weather they "caused" it or not because they should not have been on the road in the first place. Hence,making them the "cause" of the accident.
    God forbid some one dies in the accident!
    Your answer is the death penalty for an accident?
    Interesting.
  5. 23 Dec '10 05:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5946234

    Long story short, guy's on parole after a DUI conviction, gets stinking drunk, gets in a car, blows through a red light at 65 MPH and kills 3 people and severely injures a fourth.

    Horrible guy? Sure.

    Deserves to go to jail for a long time? You bet.

    But I don't like the idea of giving hi e my family member who was killed), I don't think he's as bad as an intentional murderer.
    I dont know where you have been but this consecutive verse concurrent thing from the bench has been going on for decades in all kinds of cases. You sound as if this something out of the ordinary.
  6. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    23 Dec '10 06:39
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5946234

    Long story short, guy's on parole after a DUI conviction, gets stinking drunk, gets in a car, blows through a red light at 65 MPH and kills 3 people and severely injures a fourth.

    Horrible guy? Sure.

    Deserves to go to jail for a long time? You bet.

    But I don't like the idea of giving hi ...[text shortened]... e my family member who was killed), I don't think he's as bad as an intentional murderer.
    Consecutive sentencing is madness.
    He's getting triple punishment for one mistake.

    And then you have the 20x life = 1.000.000 years of prison sort of rulings. That just makes the whole thing look like a joke.

    I don't know what a DUI conviction is, but that doesn't change anything in equation. Sure, if that means he's been caught drunk driving before, then the sentence should be harsher (for he's already been warned that he could be endangering people's lifes), but 51 years is absurd.

    I'd give him 10 years. And every month of that ten years, he's taken to a meeting of people who have just lost loved ones due to drunk drivers and he has to tell them why he thought it was okay to do what he did. And how he feels now.
  7. 23 Dec '10 11:29
    I've always thought that killing someone with a car should carry the same penalty as killing someone with anything else. It sounds like 2nd degree murder to me.
  8. Standard member yo its me
    watch the acid...
    23 Dec '10 12:01
    I'm just gald someone else has to decide these things. Nothing's fair in life. Perhaps he had no remorse? Wasn't there a jury or not if he pleaded guilty?? Is that how it works- no jury?

    It is obserd that one person decides the fate of another- but then that's what the drunk driver did to four other people and all their extended family, who now have a reduced life. He decided to drive and their lives were effected.

    Umm that's life I think, anything can change in a minute and we all have to live with the consiquences.
  9. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    23 Dec '10 12:22
    If the penalties for DUI were harsher, (lose your license for 2 yrs: have your car impounded, etc) maybe people would think twice about driving plastered.
  10. Standard member yo its me
    watch the acid...
    23 Dec '10 12:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    If the penalties for DUI were harsher, (lose your license for 2 yrs: have your car impounded, etc) maybe people would think twice about driving plastered.
    yes, prevention is always better isn't it and that would work much better then the anti-social adds we have here to influence people to be considerate.
  11. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    23 Dec '10 12:39
    Originally posted by yo its me
    yes, prevention is always better isn't it and that would work much better then the anti-social adds we have here to influence people to be considerate.
    If a murderer has to serve 3 consecutive sentences for murdering 3 people, then its only fair that a DUI should face the same. The event is not an accident. The same driver without alcohol would not likely have run the red light.

    All those who claim that some drive better DUI than those who have never had a drop may be correct, but drinking does not improve driving skills. THose who can handle a car DUI can also handle a car sober. Those that suck at driving sober, are not suddenly going to drive like champions drunk.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    23 Dec '10 14:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by yo its me
    I'm just gald someone else has to decide these things. Nothing's fair in life. Perhaps he had no remorse? Wasn't there a jury or not if he pleaded guilty?? Is that how it works- no jury?

    It is obserd that one person decides the fate of another- but then that's what the drunk driver did to four other people and all their extended family, who now have a ife I think, anything can change in a minute and we all have to live with the consiquences.
    He had plenty of remorse. Read the articles. He's confessed to his crimes and begs the families for forgiveness, etc. etc.

    Come on, folks, shouldn't intent matter? Is he really worse than the guy who points a gun at his friend, pulls the trigger and misses?

    51 years??? 15 makes sense; 51 is overkill. Plus, his sentence is actually 51-life, which means he's unlikely to be paroled before 51 years. I'm not up on California parole procedure, but I doubt he'll serve much less than 51 years unless he succeeds on appeal in having the sentence reduced.

    Bruce Kimball drove drunk and killed 2 people and was sentenced to 17 years and was paroled after 5. Now, that may have been a little light, but do we really need to lock this guy up essentially for life? Is he really among the worst of irredeemable people?
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    23 Dec '10 14:22
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    A person whose actions take the life of another person should forfeit their own life--- unless it can be shown that the actions were innocent in nature. Were a person to shoot a gun into the air in a sparsely-populated area and the resulting fall of the bullet to strike and kill a bystander, we can safely assume the actions were innocent (albeit stupid). ...[text shortened]... found to be legally intoxicated and the cause of death in an accident scene: put them to death.
    As a matter of American law, it is unconstitutional to apply the death penalty for anything but intentional murder. Whether you like the death penalty or not (and I don't), I think it's unconscionable to execute someone for an accident, however depraved.
  14. 23 Dec '10 14:23
    51 years seems an awful lot for someone who, while acting very irresponsibly, never intended to kill anyone. And considering merely getting caught drunk driving does not result in any prison sentence (at least here it doesn't) it seems that there is a very large discrepancy here and basically this guy is spending his life in prison while someone who is not so unlucky but is acting equally irresponsibly walks free.
  15. 23 Dec '10 14:42
    Originally posted by sh76
    He had plenty of remorse. Read the articles. He's confessed to his crimes and begs the families for forgiveness, etc. etc.

    Come on, folks, shouldn't intent matter? Is he really worse than the guy who points a gun at his friend, pulls the trigger and misses?

    51 years??? 15 makes sense; 51 is overkill. Plus, his sentence is actually 51-life, which means he' ...[text shortened]... lock this guy up essentially for life? Is he really among the worst of irredeemable people?
    What difference does remorse make? Of course he didn't mean to kill anybody, but a car is a lethal weapon. I don't think he should be killed, but 3 people died and his remorse doesn't change that. Absolutely he is worse than the guy in your example, he killed people.

    Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life.