Dec 14, 2003

A drunk driver received a reduced manslaughter sentence after he paid $100,000 to the victim's family," prompting criticism that he was buying more lenient treatment"

While I agree with the sentiment that "if you have money you can get your sentence lowered", simply throwing a drunk driver in jail does little to help the victims and their families. Isn't that more what a sentence should be about? Simply putting someone in jail does nothing to help with alcoholism, and even less to put a face on the crime. If more drunk drivers had to deal with the consequences of their driving while intoxicated, couldn't that do more to make them face up to the fact that they have a problem?

I'd rather see sentences that have a set amount of jail time (no matter what the consequences of the drunk driving) and incrementally add punishments like restitution to the victim in long term payments (as a regular reminder of the crime) and additionally, punishments that bring in the human element - helping with therapy, or taking over some of the duties the victim can no longer do. Or some volunteer work on a regular and continuing basis.

No more commit the crime, do a little time, go on about your business like everything's fine.

Time to put the brakes on that little ditty...

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