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  1. #1
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Sometimes justice IS done

    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Justice?

    It's not clear to me that any good will come from incarcerating this woman for 18 years.
    If anything, it's likely to encourage others to and run after an unintentional (though clearly negligent) hit.

    In the heat of the moment (especially when drunk), who is going to calculate that they're better off turning themselves in, paying huge fines, losing their license, and probably getting some jail time, than if they try to run to get off scott free? Remember, we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets.

    There are thousands of people driving drunk out there right now. This woman did nothing worse than the rest of them, except get unlucky by crossing the center line at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The criminal penalty should be the same for the crime (drinking and driving) regardless of whether in that particular instance it happened to lead to a tragedy.

    If it's justice to put this unlucky bastard drunk driver away for 18 years, then all the lucky bastard drunk drivers who happen not to hit and kill anyone should get 18 years too.

    Penalizing someone for being less lucky than the others is not justice.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 05-26-06 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Justice?

    It's not clear to me that any good will come from incarcerating this woman for 18 years.
    If anything, it's likely to encourage others to and run after an unintentional (though clearly negligent) hit.

    She was NOT like some other drunk. She ran and tried to cover it up, one of the things she was convicted of was hit and run. No hit and run and she would not be convicted of hit and run.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I understood that Keith. I just don't think convicting someone for drunk driving and hit-and-run is going to make the next drunk driver who hits someone less likely to run. If anything, the reverse. That's what I meant by these guys being the Lottery ticket buyers.

    You're assuming rational behavior from people who buy Lottery tickets when they're sober.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    So not having any consequences for running is going to make them less apt to run?

    Now if we start comparing to those who intent kill and injure I think there is a problem with the sentence. Of course we know very little about the details. Repentant vrs. Unrepentant apt to do it again should and often does make a big difference in the final sentence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Justice?

    It's not clear to me that any good will come from incarcerating this woman for 18 years.
    If anything, it's likely to encourage others to and run after an unintentional (though clearly negligent) hit.
    As long as the penalty for hit & run is less than the penalty for stopping, you're right. However, suppose she had been driving sober and killed someone. Your logic still applies-- it's safer to run than to stay and face the penalty for killing someone. The answer isn't to reduce all penalties to the level of a hit & run, Instead, a hit & run charge should be even more severe than the penalty they're trying to evade. It should be treated along the lines of a *** charge: if you commit a crime, there's a penalty. If you use a *** to commit that crime, there's an enhanced penalty. A hit & run should be an enhanced penalty. Double the fines and jail time for drunk driving. Double the fines and penalty for vehicular homicide. That's how you stop hit & run, not by reducing all penalties.

    In the heat of the moment (especially when drunk), who is going to calculate that they're better off turning themselves in, paying huge fines, losing their license, and probably getting some jail time, than if they try to run to get off scott free? Remember, we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets.

    There are thousands of people driving drunk out there right now. This woman did nothing worse than the rest of them, except get unlucky by crossing the center line at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Not very logical thinking there. She certainly did do something worse than the thousands of other drunk drivers out there-- she killed two people.

    The criminal penalty should be the same for the crime (drinking and driving) regardless of whether in that particular instance it happened to lead to a tragedy.
    More nonsense from the Master.

    Your logic can only mean one of two things:

    1) All drunk drivers should receive the penalty for both drunk driving and vehicular homicide, regardless of whether they actually kill anybody or not; or

    2) All drunk drivers should only receive the penalty for drunk driving, even if they kill somebody.

    In the first instance, drivers who have not committed the crime of vehicular homicide are nevertheless being punished for it; this would certainly raise constitutional issues. In the second instance, drivers who have committed the crime of vehicular homicide are escaping punishment for it; in effect, it would be better to be drunk when you kill than to be sober, because the sentence would be lighter.

    If it's justice to put this unlucky bastard drunk driver away for 18 years, then all the lucky bastard drunk drivers who happen not to hit and kill anyone should get 18 years too.

    Penalizing someone for being less lucky than the others is not justice.
    She's being penalized for taking two human lives, not for being "unlucky." There is absolutely no logic in your argument that a driver who does not commit vehicular homicide should nevertheless be punished for vehicular homicide.

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    HH, maybe it will discourage people from drinking and driving. The penalties for that are criminally weak.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Who said no consequences for running? I think the problem is having such heavy penalities for drunk driving that people would rather risk hit and run, no matter what the penalty is for hit and run, than face the consequences for drunk driving, and any additional penalties for any damage that results from the drunk driving.

    My point is this. There are too many drunk drivers out there. Regardless of how many there are, they put all of us at risk. Every now and then one of them hits someone, all too often fatally. Whether any particular drunk driver loses control, and whether that loss of control will lead to the death of someone, and who that someone is, is all a matter of luck. The drunk drivers who get away with their drunk driving (time after time) are just as responsible as the one who has the bad luck. But only the ones with bad luck get punished. That's not justice. There has to be a better way.

    Perhaps more sobriety checkpoints? Perhaps sending drunk drivers to treatment and education rather than penalizing them with fines and jail time?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Who said no consequences for running? I think the problem is having such heavy penalities for drunk driving that people would rather risk hit and run, no matter what the penalty is for hit and run, than face the consequences for drunk driving, and any additional penalties for any damage that results from the drunk driving.

    My point is this. There are too many drunk drivers out there. Regardless of how many there are, they put all of us at risk. Every now and then one of them hits someone, all too often fatally. Whether any particular drunk driver loses control, and whether that loss of control will lead to the death of someone, and who that someone is, is all a matter of luck. The drunk drivers who get away with their drunk driving (time after time) are just as responsible as the one who has the bad luck. But only the ones with bad luck get punished. That's not justice. There has to be a better way.

    Perhaps more sobriety checkpoints? Perhaps sending drunk drivers to treatment and education rather than penalizing them with fines and jail time?
    The answer is STILL that hit & run must be a much tougher penalty than drunk driving. Let's say drunk driving carries a 1 month jail sentence. Add a hit & run to the charge, and make it a year in jail. If Vehicular Homicide carries a five year prison term, add a hit & run, and make it a 10 year prison term. Take away the incentive to run-- that's how you stop hit & run.

    Your "logic" is faulty. Some people are sober and kill because they weren't paying attention, fell asleep, didn't get their brakes fixed, whatever. According to your logic, these people are "unlucky," and therefore shouldn't be penalized for vehicular homicide. Otherwise, we'd have to penalize all those "lucky" people who weren't paying attention, fell asleep at the wheel, didn't fix their brakes, whatever, and didn't kill somebody.

    It's nonsense, HH. Admit it.

  10. #10
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    "Prosecutor Kristian Trocha told the judge that Garibay had been driving erratically before the crash in an apparent game with a car behind her."

    Driving drunk
    Hit & run
    little remorse
    trying to conceal the crimes
    killing 2 people
    playing games on the highway with a deadly weapon

    Looks like she got what I would consider the minimum reasonable sentence.

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    OK, I changed my mind. I agree it's justice. Apparently this was a bad person who was also drunk.

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    This woman made a decision to act negligently. The result of which killed two people. Then she made a decision to act irresponsibly and got caught. She got what she deserved.

    Too bad for the 19 yr. old daughter, but Mom obviously was not thinking of her when she decided to drive drunk.

    This is the sort of thing that should happen to all negligent drivers, whether the negligence involves alchohol or not.

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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Too bad for her she didn't kill a bicyclist. She wouldn't have even received a ticket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Justice?

    It's not clear to me that any good will come from incarcerating this woman for 18 years.
    If anything, it's likely to encourage others to and run after an unintentional (though clearly negligent) hit.

    In the heat of the moment (especially when drunk), who is going to calculate that they're better off turning themselves in, paying huge fines, losing their license, and probably getting some jail time, than if they try to run to get off scott free? Remember, we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets.

    There are thousands of people driving drunk out there right now. This woman did nothing worse than the rest of them, except get unlucky by crossing the center line at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The criminal penalty should be the same for the crime (drinking and driving) regardless of whether in that particular instance it happened to lead to a tragedy.

    If it's justice to put this unlucky bastard drunk driver away for 18 years, then all the lucky bastard drunk drivers who happen not to hit and kill anyone should get 18 years too.

    Penalizing someone for being less lucky than the others is not justice.
    Can you really not understand the difference between the violation of a traffic law and the penalty imposed as a result of the consequences which result from the violation of the law?

    American law clearly tailors the punishment for breaking a law to the harm caused by the consequences of breaking the law. When someone runs a red light and causes $5000 of damage to another car, the violation of the law results in a punishment of having to pay $5000 for the consequences of running the light. Do you seriously propose that the person should have to pay $1, for $5000 of damage, or a miilion dollors, because by your logic, either $1 or one million would be a logically acceptable punishment.

    The main reason the punishment is tailored to the harm is because our system of laws is based on fairness. Its inherently fair and understandable to anyone that when someone commits a violation and causes catastrophic harm, that person should be punished more harshly than another that violates the same law but causes no harm.

    As far as your argument that harsh punishment will encourage hit and runs, its my sense that unfortunately, human nature is such that anyone who thinks he or she can get away with a crime unnoticed will do so. Its just that in situation where a car runs over a bicyclist, ped or motorcyclist, usually the driver of the car is not physically incapacitated and they have the opportunity to run. If its a hard two car crash, then its less likely that the person at fault has the ability to run, because either the car or the person will be disabled.

    If you have statistical evidence that harsher penalties encourage people to leave the scene of accidents to back up your contention, I would certainly entertain it.

    And what do you mean by "we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets."?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Justice?

    It's not clear to me that any good will come from incarcerating this woman for 18 years.
    If anything, it's likely to encourage others to and run after an unintentional (though clearly negligent) hit.

    In the heat of the moment (especially when drunk), who is going to calculate that they're better off turning themselves in, paying huge fines, losing their license, and probably getting some jail time, than if they try to run to get off scott free? Remember, we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets.

    There are thousands of people driving drunk out there right now. This woman did nothing worse than the rest of them, except get unlucky by crossing the center line at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The criminal penalty should be the same for the crime (drinking and driving) regardless of whether in that particular instance it happened to lead to a tragedy.

    If it's justice to put this unlucky bastard drunk driver away for 18 years, then all the lucky bastard drunk drivers who happen not to hit and kill anyone should get 18 years too.

    Penalizing someone for being less lucky than the others is not justice.
    Can you really not understand the difference between the violation of a traffic law and the penalty imposed as a result of the consequences which result from the violation of the law?

    American law clearly tailors the punishment for breaking a law to the harm caused by the consequences of breaking the law. When someone runs a red light and causes $5000 of damage to another car, the violation of the law results in a punishment of having to pay $5000 for the consequences of running the light. Do you seriously propose that the person should have to pay $1, for $5000 of damage, or a miilion dollors, because by your logic, either $1 or one million would be a logically acceptable punishment.

    The main reason the punishment is tailored to the harm is because our system of laws is based on fairness. Its inherently fair and understandable to anyone that when someone commits a violation and causes catastrophic harm, that person should be punished more harshly than another that violates the same law but causes no harm.

    As far as your argument that harsh punishment will encourage hit and runs, its my sense that unfortunately, human nature is such that anyone who thinks he or she can get away with a crime unnoticed will do so. Its just that in situation where a car runs over a bicyclist, ped or motorcyclist, usually the driver of the car is not physically incapacitated and they have the opportunity to run. If its a hard two car crash, then its less likely that the person at fault has the ability to run, because either the car or the person will be disabled.

    If you have statistical evidence that harsher penalties encourage people to leave the scene of accidents to back up your contention, I would certainly entertain it.

    And what do you mean by "we're talking about people who buy Lottery tickets."?
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  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    My point is this. There are too many drunk drivers out there. Regardless of how many there are, they put all of us at risk. Every now and then one of them hits someone, all too often fatally. Whether any particular drunk driver loses control, and whether that loss of control will lead to the death of someone, and who that someone is, is all a matter of luck. The drunk drivers who get away with their drunk driving (time after time) are just as responsible as the one who has the bad luck. But only the ones with bad luck get punished. That's not justice. There has to be a better way.
    That is how ALL crime and punishment works. Some perpetrators do get away with murder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Perhaps more sobriety checkpoints? Perhaps sending drunk drivers to treatment and education rather than penalizing them with fines and jail time?
    Fines and hard time are far more effective deterrents than "education" and "treatment." The law is clear and rational: a person who CHOOSES to drive while intoxicated has committed a serious crime. Compared to most Americans, Europeans tend to tolerant and accepting of social drinking, but mercilessly intolerant of drunk driving. They may have higher traffic fatality rates from other causes, but they do have a lower drunk driving fatality rate than we do.
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    "You're assuming rational behavior from people who buy Lottery tickets when they're sober."

    What exactly do you mean by the above statement? What does buying lottery tickets have to do with any of this?

    I won't venture a guess as to what meaning lies hidden between the lines - why don't you 'splain yourself.

    Caruso

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    "You're assuming rational behavior from people who buy Lottery tickets when they're sober."

    What exactly do you mean by the above statement? What does buying lottery tickets have to do with any of this?

    I won't venture a guess as to what meaning lies hidden between the lines - why don't you 'splain yourself.

    Caruso
    Lottery tickets are commonly referred to as a tax for the stupid. Looking at it from a purely rational standpoint, the purchase of a lottery ticket has such a small chance of actually producing a profit for the purchaser that it is essentially pouring money down a black hole. One would have to be behaving irrationally to purchase a ticket regularly. I guess irrational == stupid?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    "You're assuming rational behavior from people who buy Lottery tickets when they're sober."

    What exactly do you mean by the above statement? What does buying lottery tickets have to do with any of this?

    I won't venture a guess as to what meaning lies hidden between the lines - why don't you 'splain yourself.

    Caruso
    Buying even one Lottery ticket is irrational. Regulary buying Lottery tickets, spending a significant portion one's income to do so, is stupid. People who do this obviously are not in the habit of acting rationally and intelligentally. And that's when they're sober. Expecting such a person do act rationally when they're drunk (realizing that they're better off calling for help after a collision than trying to get away with it by running), is irrational in and of itself.

    Is that clear?

  20. #20
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Buying even one Lottery ticket is irrational. Regulary buying Lottery tickets, spending a significant portion one's income to do so, is stupid. People who do this obviously are not in the habit of acting rationally and intelligentally.
    Concur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    And that's when they're sober. Expecting such a person do act rationally when they're drunk (realizing that they're better off calling for help after a collision than trying to get away with it by running), is irrational in and of itself.

    Is that clear?
    Yes, but is a too-lenient penalty really going to make that person more likely to do the right thing following a collision, or is he/she going to panic and run, no matter what? I am trying to PREVENT drunk driving, and I still think the prospect of hard time and serious financial personal hardship is a reasonable and fair deterrent, given the horrnedous impact on the victims' lives.

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  21. #21
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    There are thousands of people driving drunk out there right now. This woman did nothing worse than the rest of them, except get unlucky by crossing the center line at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The criminal penalty should be the same for the crime (drinking and driving) regardless of whether in that particular instance it happened to lead to a tragedy.

    If it's justice to put this unlucky bastard drunk driver away for 18 years, then all the lucky bastard drunk drivers who happen not to hit and kill anyone should get 18 years too.

    Penalizing someone for being less lucky than the others is not justice.
    Luck seems to be more in in play for the rest of us, rather than drunk drivers. After all, it's not luck on their part; it's a choice to drive drunk. We don't make the choice of being in their way, we just take the chance.

    That being said, it's clear that where there's freedom of choice, there's responsibility. Drunk driving is a choice. Being hit by a drunk driver is not. Therefore the drunk driver is responsible, period.

    How do you propose to send a message to drunk drivers if it's not one drunk driver at a time?

    But of course, you're saying they should all get the same stiff sentence, which will never fly.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 05-30-06 at 03:24 PM.
    No worries

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Buying even one Lottery ticket is irrational. Regulary buying Lottery tickets, spending a significant portion one's income to do so, is stupid. People who do this obviously are not in the habit of acting rationally and intelligentally. And that's when they're sober. Expecting such a person do act rationally when they're drunk (realizing that they're better off calling for help after a collision than trying to get away with it by running), is irrational in and of itself.

    Is that clear?
    Being fat and buying ice cream is just as irrational... people do that too...

    Sometimes a simple pleasure such as an ice cream, or a lottery ticket is all it takes to satisfy the craving...

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    With her in jail:
    1) She will not be able to pay any restitution.
    2) She will cost 50k-100k/yr to house and be guarded. I am sort of pulling this number out of the air but it seems likely if the guards have pension plans.
    3) She will likely need to be supported by the state well after the 19 yrs.
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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge
    With her in jail:
    1) She will not be able to pay any restitution.
    2) She will cost 50k-100k/yr to house and be guarded. I am sort of pulling this number out of the air but it seems likely if the guards have pension plans.
    3) She will likely need to be supported by the state well after the 19 yrs.
    ... and your alternative recommendation would be ... ???
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    This (as do most BBS) forum represents the freest of free speech venues. As such, anyone is always free to comment as they please. Heck, we don’t even have to face up to the person(s) to whom we direct our comments. Personally, I find the comment about lottery tickets inane - and to have it repeated as though none of us "heard" the first time is almost insulting.

    I am against the lottery all together - not so much because I think it an illogical proposition for the purchaser, but, because, to me, it represents the ultimate in usury abuse. If you win, your winnings are taxed - when you purchase, your purchases are not tax deductible. In my state, every commercial for a dizzying number of "different" games one can "play" states that proceeds benefit older citizens. In reality, those funds benefit other "causes" to a far greater extent than they do older citizens.

    But, my protestations to the contrary, purchasing a lottery ticket is no more an indication of stupidity than any of the other silly activities we all engage in from time to time just because do to so is fun. My wife insists on having a super bowl party every year (including the same high calorie blanketed weenies) whether we find guests to invite or not - and she hates football. But, for her, the "party" is fun. I like to fish - whether I catch anything or not. I have friends who love going to a carnival and throwing balls at those stupid targets rigged so that a major leaguer couldn't knock one over - and I know plenty of folks who love to spend a weekend in Las Vegas getting stiff arms while getting stiff-armed.

    As for drunk drivers, the notion that logical "smart" folks never commit this crime is erroneous and very illogical. The fact is that drunk drivers (those caught and those yet to be caught) come from every walk of life, and the penalties devised to deal with the aftermath are far more illogical than any lottery system or those who buy tickets.

    We could probably eliminate 90% of all drunk driving incidents by equipping cars with fail-safe systems that prevent them from running when piloted by anyone who has been drinking. We mandate seatbelts for all cars (yet I doubt you could cite a single instance where an accident was caused as a direct result of the driver not being belted). Now, we're close to mandating use of those belts (click it or ticket here in PA).

    We will never mandate breathalyzers in autos, because, despite all the mayhem caused by the drinking and driving problem, it is still big business - a huge cash cow for state governments.

    Where I live, the state profits at both ends. The state runs and profits from the sale of alcohol - you can't purchase liquor from any other source. They also profit big time from fines, fees, etc related to drunk driving charges.

    Visit a court house in any populated area - 90% of the cases on any given day will be alcohol/driving related.

    This system is run by some very smart, logical people - yet, it is as illogical as any system anywhere.

    Breathalyzers (or some other means of disabling the auto) would solve this problem - but don't hold your logical breaths!

    Caruso

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