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Old 01-27-17, 12:29 AM   #1
TenSpeedV2
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Sentence for man who hit and killed a cyclist - this makes me sick

Drunk Driver Who Fatally Hit Cyclist Bobby Cann Gets 10 Day Jail Sentence: Chicagoist

This is absolute bullsh.
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Old 01-27-17, 12:33 AM   #2
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Cook County Judge William J. Hooks
Make sure he has a very bad time come the next election.
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Old 01-27-17, 12:38 AM   #3
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I hear people say all the time that if motorists are drunk when they kill then there will be some sort of noticeable sentence. However, over and over I see these wet noodle wrist slaps even for intoxicated motorists who kill people who are not in cars.

Granted, there is evidence that vigorous enforcement of traffic laws would be much more effective at cleaning up our streets than more severe punishments. However, ten days for willfully choosing to drink and drive, and making that choice should constitute intent (and does in some jurisdictions for drivers with prior drunk driving convictions) is simply too much to take. Gee, I wonder how long the sentence would have been if the victim was the son of a judge.
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Old 01-27-17, 03:21 PM   #4
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I hear people say all the time that if motorists are drunk when they kill then there will be some sort of noticeable sentence. However, over and over I see these wet noodle wrist slaps even for intoxicated motorists who kill people who are not in cars.

Granted, there is evidence that vigorous enforcement of traffic laws would be much more effective at cleaning up our streets than more severe punishments. However, ten days for willfully choosing to drink and drive, and making that choice should constitute intent (and does in some jurisdictions for drivers with prior drunk driving convictions) is simply too much to take. Gee, I wonder how long the sentence would have been if the victim was the son of a judge.
Except that any attempts of "vigorous enforcement" will be challenged by some as violating civil rights, and harsher sentences as persecution of those suffering from a substance abuse desease . This is what we get when personal, and social failure becomes normalized, enabled, and excused.
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Old 01-27-17, 04:06 PM   #5
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I have said this many times, if you are so deranged you want someone dead, buy them a bike and run over them.
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Old 01-27-17, 04:27 PM   #6
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Would it make a difference in the outcome,
  • if the dead is a driver of a small car?
  • if the dead is a pedestrian?


I guess it depends on the degree of drunkuness of the killer.

ps. I did some more research and found that this killer:
  • has a history of DUI
  • hired a high-price attorney
  • from a polictically connected family
Quote:
...that San Hamel had a history of being arrested on DUI charges and was let off with relatively light penalties before he fatally struck Cann. That's not unusual, particularly for drivers who can afford private attorneys. And San Hamel can: he comes from a politically connected family and in this case is being represented by the high-profile defense attorney Sam Adam Jr., whose clients include R. Kelly and Rod Blagojevich.

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Old 01-27-17, 04:35 PM   #7
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Life is apparently too cheap in Chicago...
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Old 01-27-17, 05:38 PM   #8
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I wonder what the applicable law and sentence guidelines are for this.

Is aggravated DUI with a fatality manslaughter, (negligent homicide) in Illinois, and if so what are the sentence guidelines?

Also keep in mind that this was not a conviction at trial, but a plea bargain. It's possible that the plea was to a lesser charge, not including the element of negligent homicide. If so, than the fault lays with the prosecutor, or maybe no fault if the case was weak, and this was the best he could do with the hand that was dealt.

I'm not any happier with the pitiful sentence handed down, but I'm also realistic and know that there's a lot of backroom give and take as these pleas are negotiated. I'd like to see prosecutors show their hands and explain why they settled so low.
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Old 01-27-17, 05:52 PM   #9
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I just don't see how a 10 day sentence is acceptable by any standards. It is more on pace with a sentence you would receive if you were caught DUI, not if you had killed someone while DUI. People do more time in jail for uttering bad checks than DUI manslaughter. Makes no damn sense.
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Old 01-27-17, 06:07 PM   #10
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I just don't see how a 10 day sentence is acceptable by any standards. It is more on pace with a sentence you would receive if you were caught DUI, not if you had killed someone while DUI. People do more time in jail for uttering bad checks than DUI manslaughter. Makes no damn sense.
This is exactly what he plead to and was sentenced for. There was no plea or conviction relating to causing a death.

Here's a link to info relating to "aggravated DUI" in Illinois.

As to why the prosecutor accepted the lower plea to the lessor charge, who knows. Bad case/evidence, rights technicality, etc, influence, out lawyered, etc.

So, like so many cases, the sentence range was defined by the prosecutor and his unwillingness (or inability) to pursue a conviction for the more serious charge.
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Old 01-27-17, 07:19 PM   #11
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One would like to think the prosecutor made the decision based on being left with a weak case if they went to trial. The spectre of wealth and political connections makes one fear that is not the case.
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Old 01-27-17, 07:23 PM   #12
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The civil suit will be the real punishment.
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Old 01-27-17, 07:25 PM   #13
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Life is apparently too cheap in Chicago...
Say it louder and with greater emphasis, so Cook County hears you.
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Old 01-27-17, 07:59 PM   #14
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The civil suit will be the real punishment.
It would be nice if it were so. But I'll lay 3 beers to one that the civil suit against the driver is settled within the limits of the insurance policy.

I have no idea how the suit against the 3rd party will play out, but I've never liked these because, while they might make drinking cheaper, they don't put drunks into the cars and turn on the ignitions.
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Old 01-27-17, 11:24 PM   #15
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I have said this many times, if you are so deranged you want someone dead, buy them a bike and run over them.
You have posted similar trite, hackneyed platitudes concerning legal and safety issues many times on BF, they do not improve with constant repetition.
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Old 01-29-17, 10:26 PM   #16
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1- those calling for the judges head are misguidong their anger.
2- without knowing more, 10 days seems insultingly low.
3- i would love to know the circumstances surrounding such a plea.
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Old 01-30-17, 01:03 PM   #17
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All the reports I've read stated that he pled to both Aggravated DUI and reckless homicide.

Despite the tearful expression of remorse before the judge, San Hamel has spent more than three years attempting to avoid accountability, starting immediately after the accident where he was "smart" enough to refuse a breathalyzer. The 0.15 BAC is from a hospital blood test hours later, which San Hamel and his lawyer spent months attempting to have kicked out on a technicality around the signing of the warrant for it. During all this time, the victim's family have been flying in from out of state for each hearing.

San Hamel was arrested for open container in 2003 (pled down, avoiding license suspension) and arrested again for DUI that same year (pled down, avoiding license suspension). This time he was doing at least 50mph on a busy city street, drunk.

In passing sentence, the judge, incredibly, said that he "[had] to weigh what Ryne San Hamel needs". I really don't care what happens to this guy, but I'm sickened by the message this sends. Little wonder so many Americans think nothing of driving after a bunch of drinks.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:11 PM   #18
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Money changed hands. Bet on it.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:18 PM   #19
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I'm not privy to any details of the plea bargain and/or any promises regarding the sentence, and whether the judge had the leeway to modify it.

But the Illinois law is very clear in it's sentencing guidelines for "aggravated DUI", involving death. The language is very explicit and even includes the rare provision that the entire sentence must be served with no "good time" reduction.

Given the guideline of 1 to 5 years, and no good time reduction, I have to wonder how this sentence passed muster, and were I an Illinois resident, I'd be asking that those involved issue written explanations for their decision to disregard the guideline so flagrantly.
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Old 01-31-17, 10:03 AM   #20
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Unfortunately even repeated DUIs don't seem to have enough punishment. There's a big stink here about a Nevada Transportation Authority supervisor who crashed a state owned car this month and fled the scene of the accident. He was sober by the time police caught up to him but there were open cans of beer found in the car. He had three prior DUIs. There are questions as to why he was promoted to a supervisor position and allowed to drive the state car after having three DUI convictions. The saddest part is that he destroyed a car owned by a single parent caring for a disabled child and because the car was fairly old she couldn't replace it with the money from the insurance settlement. He was just put on paid leave thanks to the story in the local newspaper.
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Old 01-31-17, 12:11 PM   #21
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@FBinNY - my understanding from reading around is that the sentence for this level of felony is "probationable" in some circumstances. Hence the four years probation on top of the ten days' jail.
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Old 01-31-17, 12:25 PM   #22
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@FBinNY - my understanding from reading around is that the sentence for this level of felony is "probationable" in some circumstances. Hence the four years probation on top of the ten days' jail.
I prefer to give judges broad latitude, and I don't have an issue with that, or with sentences outside the guidelines.

But I wish that judges were required to provide written explanations when they go to either extreme or beyond. If not to the gneral public, at least to the superior courts.

When I used to hire, I'd explain that every rule had exceptions, and they were free to make them. But exceptions have to be exceptional and they needed a valid reason for making them, otherwise we had chaos instead of rules with exceptions.

Obviously, we're not privy to everything the judge had in front of him, including the pre-sentencing report, but from what little I know (2nd hand or worse) I didn't see anything that warranted going so light.

I take note that the legislature intended serious sentences for these violations, as evidenced by the no good time clause, so IMO judges should be taking the legislative intent to mind.

People ask for stiffer punishments for various crimes (this WAS a crime) and legislatures provide for them, but if SAs, judges, and juries aren't willing to convict and apply these sanctions, they're meaningless, and that's the issue. I've said it before, we need more options, so that judges can and will punish, rather than opt out of sentences they're unwilling to impose for a variety of reasons.

Were I the judge and were it legal, I'd have imposed 1 year + 4 years probation, with the stipulation that the one yea could be served at a rate of 100 days per year over 3-1/2 years.
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Old 01-31-17, 05:44 PM   #23
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I just don't see how a 10 day sentence is acceptable by any standards. It is more on pace with a sentence you would receive if you were caught DUI, not if you had killed someone while DUI. People do more time in jail for uttering bad checks than DUI manslaughter. Makes no damn sense.
People that write bad checks usually cannot afford high priced attorneys and are not politically connected?
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Old 01-31-17, 09:03 PM   #24
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That poor family, hope they get the support they'll need after this.
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Old 02-03-17, 11:40 AM   #25
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You have to hope for a better system/outcome than this
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