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Is Life Sentence Too Harsh For Man Convicted of Ninth DWI?

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posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by Xiamara
I say let them rot in prison. Too many people die these stupid deaths because some idiot gets behind the wheel drunk high or both. In my home town 5 teens were killed in a drunk driving accident. 6 months previous a 3 week old baby, mother and the father were killed by a drunk truck driver. He got off with man slaughter. Not triple homicide. Manslaughter. It sickens me to my very core. I'm the daughter of a functioning on and off again alcoholic, and sometimes I wish I could call to have some one lock them up. My Father has driven so intoxicated that I would get calls at 2 am when the bars closed that I don't think I could understand 1 word of it. A slap on the wrist isn't good enough anymore. Jail time is needed if by the 9th DWI they haven't the need to serve some long term jail time.


I regret to inform that you 'homicide' is not in and of itself a crime - it is merely a term used to describe the death of a human being.

As for the manslaughter? I can't say I've looked it up recently, but I'm fairly certain that vehicular manslaughter whilst driving intoxicated carries a sentence with it that is not much lighter than that one would receive for murder (unfortunately, by legal definition, killing someone whilst driving drunk, unless absolutely 100% intended with malice, cannot, by it's very definition, be a "murder"). However, those members in the legislature have circumvented this need for 'intent' by stating in statute (though I cannot recall seeing this in the Texas penal code, I am aware that such legal logic is fairly widespread) by stating that such intent is implied by virtue of someone's recklessness in driving a car whilst plainly very impaired by alcohol.

People very often go to jail for lengthy for drunk driving crimes, and rightly so; but the issue is here is one of proportionality. Should we start making every indictable offence punishable by death so that we may try our absolute best to discourage to the maximum extent possible all crime, everywhere? Probably not. The issue here is whether being sentenced to spend the rest of one's natural life in prison is commensurate with the criminal act committed. I think, fairly arguably, the sentence probably does not fit the crime, as incredibly reckless and dangerous as it was, the point remains that fortunately (but also, from a societal-safety standpoint, unfortunately) the man did not actually kill or injure anyone throughout the course of his intoxicated driving.

I would like to think our society does not believe in convicting and interning those who have committed no physical act of wrong (in this case, I mean that in the sense of criminal wrong-doing beyond the mere drunk driving).




posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
In fairness, he should have got the life sentence after his second DWI charge - not his ninth.

Why do so many people treat drink driving with such leniency ?
One of the key aspects of morality is responsibility, and getting in your car while over the limit is irresponsibility of the highest order.

While it might be fair to give a drink driver a second chance, only on the proviso that if he ever re-offends, then he serves life in prison.

If you drink drive again after being previously convicted of the same offence, then it shows you are extremely reckless, irresponsible, and have no concern for what harm you may inflict on innocent members of the public.




Unfortunately, so long as the consumption of alcohol is legal in the United States, drunk driving will always be a menace. When your towns and cities expanded as your population increased, instead of living in dense, urban areas as we do in Europe, you all decided to move out to the far-away surburbs. Whilst such personal space is all very well and nice, people continued to want to drink at bars, and with virtually no useful or practical public transport in most large american cities (I personally live in Houston, 4th largest, and am using this as a point of reference) make, unfortunately, drunk driving an inevitability. Although I have never ever done so myself (as I really and honestly feel that no night of drinking is ever worth the legal costs and criminal record associated with conviction of a DWI offense, let alone the horrible thought of killing or injuring someone through my own recklessness), the vast majority of people in this city (at least, in the 18-25 age range) do drink and drive on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately, the only real practical solution, is highly impractical in a city of this size as the costs would be absolutely enormous.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
I doubt any sane person would try to debate this serial offenders right to operate a motor vehicle.


I respect his right to operate an automobile while impaired.
I also respect his right to go to be tried for a crime if someone is hurt.

You can't legislate common sense, however you can legislate consequences should someone commit a crime from lack of common sense.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Yeah, I didn't phrase that optimally! Thanks for pointing it out! I need to fix that as it should actually communicate that he has no right to operate a car at this point.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
This thread brings to mind one of my worries about our society as a whole - that we tend to house those we don't have a rational place for in prisons.

Obviously this man should be prevented from driving while in his current state. I doubt any sane person would try to debate this serial offenders right to operate a motor vehicle.

My point is that this man might be so lost at this point that he may not even understand that he's endangering others. We shouldn't judge him thusly until we are positive that he is capable of understanding the consequences of his actions.


Sorry, mate, but alcohol is easily attainable. A motor-vehicle is easily attainable.
If he's not kept in prison, then he's going to combine the two again, with possible disastrous consequences.

Would you be saying that we had a ''rational place'' for him ( other than prison ), if he'd mowed down and killed a family of four on his latest ''escapade'' ?

Just how do you stop someone from driving, other than keeping a 24-hour watch on them ?

I agree that alcoholism is an illness, but there's a huge difference between drinking excessively, and driving a car after you've had too much alcohol.

If you aren't so drunk that you're still able to drive a car, then you aren't drunk enough to be unaware of your reckless, irresponsible actions.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


He DOES have the right though. That's what I'm saying.

Buried beneath all these statutes that restrict, deprive, and place sanctions upon our rights. Are, our rights.

We don't have the right to harm another or deprive them. So he has the right to operate his automobile right up until he commits a crime while doing it.

So he should be charged for damage to property, not DUI.

DUI laws exist to pervert societies accepted understanding of government and "general welfare" with the likes of "public safety".



Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
with possible disastrous consequences.


The "pre-crime" protagonists... Big thumbs down...

Possibly may might probably....

[edit on 14-8-2010 by mryanbrown]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


My post did suggest a place other than prison. A long stay in an inpatient psychiatric - chemical dependency hospital. Followed by extensive and long term outpatient supervision.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Totalstranger
it is harsh. And you can't lock him up for life because he MIGHT kill someone.


The likelihood that someone COULD kill someone shouldn't get them jailed for life. This is the U.S.A.


If i fired my rifle indiscriminately up the street where i live and yet i didn`t kill anyone ....... would those be grounds for incarcerating me ?

A car is a projectile ........... with a drunk behind the wheel.

9 times ....... 9 times .



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


Intent comes into play...

Computers are bullets because hackers can take down the power grid, so everyone who can hack should be banned from computers for life...

BECAUSE THEY MIGHT DO SOMETHING BAD.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by mryanbrown
The "pre-crime" protagonists... Big thumbs down...

Possibly may might probably....


LOL.
Thanks for taking my comment out of context.

You don't release a schizophrenic back into the community, after he's served an arbitrary tariff for his crime.





[edit on 14-8-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


This specific facet of your position I cannot agree with because this drivers license to drive would, assumptively, be suspended - thus he would presently have a right to drive a car by law.

Other than that I am with you 100% regarding rights and how we should defend them.

[edit on 8/14/10 by Hefficide]

[edit on 8/14/10 by Hefficide]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
My post did suggest a place other than prison. A long stay in an inpatient psychiatric - chemical dependency hospital. Followed by extensive and long term outpatient supervision.


Yes, he should get psychiatric help while he's serving his sentence.

If he responds well to his psychiatric treatment, then I'm sure he'll be up for parole and eventual release much sooner than his life sentence suggests.

And long-term outpatient supervision doesn't equal 24-hour around-the-clock alcohol and motor-vehicle supervision.

Some alcoholics start drinking again months or years after being ''clean''.
If the same alcoholic has a tendency to drive a car while drunk, then any deaths he causes will be on the conscience of the social workers, counsellors and judge that contributed to his release.

[edit on 14-8-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


Why not? Does being crazy deprive someone else of their right to life, liberty or happiness?

Or is it that they *might*.


Originally posted by Hefficide
Other than that I am with you 100% regarding rights and how we should defend them.


Licensing it's self is a restriction of our rights, preventing us from exercising them without permission.

The right to travel via automobile may be suspended, not revoked as part of the punishment of a crime if the crime is related to vehicular offenses which create an injured party.

It has absolutely nothing to do with DUI. DUI is a guise to demonize the exercise of *particular* rights which aren't in accordance with societies accepted standards.

"But hey *may* do it again"

Good, then when he does you can impose another sentence if he's convicted.



[edit on 14-8-2010 by mryanbrown]



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by mryanbrown
reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


Intent comes into play...

Computers are bullets because hackers can take down the power grid, so everyone who can hack should be banned from computers for life...

BECAUSE THEY MIGHT DO SOMETHING BAD.


Repeated reckless endangerment .

Intent:
I can have every intention in the world not to shoot someone or kill someone with my car driving under the influence....... but that is not enough.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


Statistically many criminals end up engaging in recidivist behaviors. Many don't. We cannot rationally base our justice system upon the idea that a person is simply assumed to be guilty of a future indiscretion.

Only in the most extreme cases do we, as a society, ever blame judges or parole boards for recidivist problems. They make the best decision they can given law and situation.

Personally I would be suprised if this man ever is allowed to legally drive again. And if he were to do so in the future - well that's an entirely different case with different consequences.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


Right, so does being intoxicated necessarily make you reckless? Or can it?
Charge for the crime, take the fact he was intoxicated into account. But not charge for intoxication.

Obviously he's an alcoholic, which is both a physical and mental disease. Deserving of empathy. These judges have power to put him into treatment. They would rather make an example against DUI rather than serve justice.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 10:06 PM
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Driving is a privilege, not aright. Big difference in the eyes of the law.

Forget the 9 DWI's, this guy has flaunted his rights to the court, while sober, with DWI's being the deal breaker. He has no respect for the laws or the legal system.

He would not have a legal driver's license, a registered car in his name, nor even be able to afford insurance if he found a company who would insure him.

Anyone stupid enough to let him drive their vehicle and get caught will find their insurance canceled. It's not fair nor right, but that's the way it is when everyone is sue happy.

Life in prison is the best for all parties involved. One less not yet convicted murderer is off the streets beating the odds he hasn't killed anyone, yet.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 10:13 PM
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Originally posted by hinky
Driving is a privilege, not aright. Big difference in the eyes of the law.



Depends who you ask, the commercial statutes book or the US Supreme Court.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 10:13 PM
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Originally posted by mryanbrown


Obviously he's an alcoholic, which is both a physical and mental disease. Deserving of empathy.


Empathy evaporates when confronted with such repeated recklessness of other peoples health and safety.


Bradley said that in addition to the multiple DWI convictions , Stovall also had a extensive rap sheet for other crimes, including burglary, credit card abuse and supplying alcohol to a minor.

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Originally posted by mryanbrown

These judges have power to put him into treatment. They would rather make an example against DUI rather than serve justice.



"This is someone who very deliberately has refused to make changes and continued to get drunk and get in a car and before he kills someone we decided to put him away," said Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley.


"He basically walked through the penal code for the past twenty years without any regard for safety or society," said Bradley. "In every single one of his cases he had an opportunity to change."

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On the ninth DUI he injuried somebody with a " blood alcohol concentration of .32, four times the legal limit in Texas."

Come on ..... Ryan.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


That's where we diverge, I maintain my empathy for humans despite their actions, especially when they're truly nearly almost uncontrollable. Apparently you have no idea what a disease or addiction is...

If we made screaming in public illegal, and started imposing sanctions against the disabled who make outbursts...

Would you feel the same? Who cares, the disabled person repeatedly screamed out loud! Lock him up!




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