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

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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by UmbraSumus

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.


Although I agree with what you're saying, I can't say I commend quoting the District Attorney who is going to be a blatantly biased character. It is his job to secure convictions, after all.




posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:30 AM
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Originally posted by kalisdad
reply to post by Hefficide
 


if alcoholism is a disease then so is working, paying bills, sleeping, talking...

I'm not arguing that it doesn't have serious health issues
not arguing that once your body is saturated with alcohol, that it won't crave more or that you wont suffer withdrawl from lack of it

I'm saying that all addiction, wether is substance or some other kind of distraction from reality, is just that.... an attempt to distract oneself from reality... once a person realizes this, and many millions have done just that, its something that you can walk away from...

tell someone with parkinsons DISEASE to just walk away from that disease


I doubt whether you were an actual alcoholic and not instead just some sap who liked the taste of drink; I have close familial relations with those recovering, and although it is easy to fob off alcoholism as not being a 'real disease', I don't think anyone who has ever properly had a serious drinking problem that cut into their lives would go around saying that "actually, I could have just started playing video games and I would have been fine".

Also, your willingness to blind your eyes to the vernacular use of words not only annoys me, it seriously pisses me off. You know very well that we are not using 'disease' in the same sense we would when referring to ebola, you sanctimonious person; you are the quintessence of arrogance.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by duality90]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by duality90
 


That's pretty much the vibe I was getting.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by duality90
 


wow, nice personal attacks... glad ATS allows that

as far as me being an actual alcoholic... I would be the one to know best, wouldn't I?

I've been in the same situations that have been described by other on this thread

drank despite the desire to not drink, crying while I was doing it

walking away from a bottle only to be back at it within minutes

drinking to the point of violence torwards loved ones and then doing the same thing the next day

I LIVED it for years


if any of you ever actually went to a group counciling that discussed this kind of stuff, you would see that everything I am saying are not just my thoughts on it

the whole point of AA is finding faith in something else besides the desire to escape into a bottle

if you personally are not an alcoholic or addict, you will never understand where they are coming from, and that makes you the one wrongfully judging other



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by mryanbrown
reply to post by duality90
 


That's pretty much the vibe I was getting.


are you an alcoholic or addict?

and knowing someone that was comes NOWHERE near understanding it



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 02:19 AM
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No sympathy. Life imprisonment acceptable.

Drinking problem, sad and worthy of sympathy.

Driving after drinking due to problem, sadder yet, worthy of a 5x5 cell.

If one gets caught dwi 9 times, how many times does one not get caught in between? 10x? 100x? 1000? More?

It's one of those punishments that has more to do with protecting others than with the convicted's life.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by kalisdad
reply to post by duality90
 


wow, nice personal attacks... glad ATS allows that

as far as me being an actual alcoholic... I would be the one to know best, wouldn't I?

I've been in the same situations that have been described by other on this thread

drank despite the desire to not drink, crying while I was doing it

walking away from a bottle only to be back at it within minutes

drinking to the point of violence torwards loved ones and then doing the same thing the next day

I LIVED it for years


if any of you ever actually went to a group counciling that discussed this kind of stuff, you would see that everything I am saying are not just my thoughts on it

the whole point of AA is finding faith in something else besides the desire to escape into a bottle

if you personally are not an alcoholic or addict, you will never understand where they are coming from, and that makes you the one wrongfully judging other



I attack you personally because you say stupid, hurtful things to other people who don't partake in your own subjective, warped vision of what is apparently a problem requiring at least some medical intervention and one that is not (your belief that you alone have the power to define the meaning of words).

You also deserve personal attack because you blatantly personally have attacked the opinions of several others in this thread, rather than analysing their argument rebutting it with your own, backed up with evidence. Instead, what we see from you is just hollow rhetoric combined with a vitriolic hatred of anyone who disagrees with you.

I make a habit of being as impartial as possible on this forum, and I love the intellectual debate that such fora provide, but what I find myself time and again writing annoying, needlessly tautologous replies to (as you people need reminding again, and again, and again) people who apparently just troll these forums hoping to express a blind opinion which is not supplemented with either fact or evidence, and who far too often hope belittle and humiliate their fellow forum-writers.

You are amongst the more base characters I have thus far met on ATS. You are entitled to your opinion, but when you have the absolute gall to respond, after a fellow ATSer described watching his father die of liver cirrhosis through a dependence on alcohol, stating that there is no such thing as a physical, or chemical addiction to alcohol and that any such 'need' for alcohol is just a 'need' for something, and that those who cannot apparently switch from inebriation to playing Halo to 'get their fix', then I cannot consciously let such supreme arrogance and (and I assure you, I hate this word and use it extremely seldom) ignorance go unpunished and unnoted.

I am loathe to apologize for the biting tone of my message, but your inconsiderate behaviour and tone towards other writers and readers distresses me enough to be so obnoxious myself.

EDIT: as goes for you "apparently being the one to know best", I beg to differ; your replies and posts betray the fact that you plainly never had a chemical or physical dependence on alcohol, unless you happen to be the one person who fit the criteria of an "alcoholic" who apparently, despite feeling the need to anaesthetize and inebriate oneself on a daily basis with alcohol, was able to simply go "actually, I don't fancy this anymore. No longer alcoholic."

[edit on 15-8-2010 by duality90]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 03:08 AM
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Originally posted by kalisdad

Originally posted by mryanbrown
reply to post by duality90
 


That's pretty much the vibe I was getting.


are you an alcoholic or addict?

and knowing someone that was comes NOWHERE near understanding it


An oncologist may not know what it's like to have cancer, but there are regardless blatant objective facts which are obvious to the community at large. I need not have experienced the Vietnam war personally to not know a great deal of historical information about it. I do not know what it was like to be in the jungles fighting the VC, but I have a great understanding of the war regardless. Being an alcoholic or an addict has absolutely nothing to do with having knowledge of what is generally defined as an addiction. By your logic, doctors and surgeons largely have no idea what they are talking about because they have not experienced the diseases they treat.

And, unfortunately for you, I have indeed been addicted to a substance in the past. I am better now, and I no longer abuse it or any other substances for that matter - but the point still stands that at no point was I able to simply replace it with something else (let's say, chewing gum, as you were also apparently able to replace your physical addiction to alcohol with something similarly mundane), and not through any fault of willpower.

Perhaps you are aware that during the course of a physical dependency, one's body becomes so used to the chemical in question that the absence of such chemical causes one to become physically ill? In some cases the results can be so extreme (so I am led to believe by the medical literature on the subject) that the person in question experiencing withdrawal can indeed die; not from the absence of the chemical in and of itself, but from the myriad physiological responses which manifest themselves as symptoms of that absence.

EDIT: edited for clarity.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by duality90]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 06:14 AM
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To be BLUNT, I am gonna say this, HELL NO it's not harsh.

Drunk drivers kill many people a DAY and if he committed a 9th DWI I think he had enough chances to straighten up.

DWI is something I dont tollerate.

[edit on 8/15/2010 by GrOuNd_ZeRo]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 09:12 AM
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At first I was not even going to comment. Then I actually read the source news article. After that I took the time to read other posters opinions. Now that I have done that I will give my own.

I offer this opinion as someone who ...

a) Has been charged and convicted of DUI.

b) Totally, without a doubt, 100% deserved to be charged with such a crime.

c) has been to rehab and has experienced first hand what happens when you abuse, use, alcohol and drugs.

Alcoholism is not a disease. Not even close. It is a learned behavior. It is a habit. It is something you teach yourself as a way to cope, get by, amuse yourself, or any other label you want to put to it. It is simply something you teach yourself to live with. Some people jog, some people drink, some use drugs, some smoke, everyone eats. It is simply just the way it is.

I have been charged and convicted of one DUI. I deserved it. I drove while unbelievably intoxicated. I was celebrating my birthday. I had a few drinks at work, I drove someone else home, I went out and had a few more drinks. I do not remember leaving the bar, I do not remember getting in my car, I do not remember driving. I remember nothing at all about the incident expect hitting the parked truck at a red light, and I remember only the few seconds between hitting the brake and trying to stop...and the actual collision. I deserved the DUI I was charged with and I am very lucky that I did not kill the person who was doing nothing more than sitting at a red light that they were supposed to be stopped at.

Claiming Alcoholism is a disease is nothing more than a way to deflect responsibility away from yourself. The same way I taught myself to drink and drive, I taught myself not to drink and drive. To this day the issue is an uphill battle. I maintain very well when I have been drinking, that does mean I am not impaired and can react in a time frame that is acceptable for driving. I was not bothered by the fact that I had some drinks and tried to drive home. I was not bothered by the fact that I was caught. The only thing that bothers me about that evening is that I easily could have killed someone who was guilty of nothing but stopping at a red light.

Some have told me I am an alcoholic. Some have told me I have a problem. Having lived through it, I can tell you first hand it is all BS. I may not remember getting in my car that night and driving, but I know that I did it for years prior, and that night it finally all caught up to me. Was I incapable of driving after a few drinks? No. Not even close. That night I had more than a few and drank until I was blacked out. I taught myself through years of practice to drive after a few. I had no business on the road that morning when I crashed my car and hit an innocent person who did nothing wrong. That morning I drank too much and was living life through nothing more than instinct, my instinct told me I could drive home drunk.... and why wouldn't it? I had done it many times before.

I learned after one time that my idea of drinking and driving was wrong. Drinking impairs you, driving while impaired runs risk, not only to yourself, but to everyone else who shares the roads with you. If that is a lesson you have failed to learn after being caught 9 times drinking and driving, than you are too stupid to be running around unsupervised. When you drink and drive, you take the lives of innocents into your own hands, and if your hands are too impaired to be responsible and do the right thing, you better learn and be prepared to accept the consequences.

The person in the OP has been convicted of NINE incidents of driving while intoxicated. I know how many times I myself have done it, and I know how many times I was caught. It takes a rather obvious incident to be caught. In my case, I smashed into a truck that was stopped at a red light. It was not the first time I drove home drunk, however it was the last. It would have been easy to blame my own actions on alcoholism... real easy. It deflects responsibility from my own actions to some "disease" that I am simply a victim of. I taught myself to have a few drinks and drive home. As my tolerance for alcohol built up, so did my tolerance to maintain. Eventually I drank myself into a full blown blackout.. and armed with the knowledge that I had made it home with no issues before, instinct told me I could do it again. I was wrong.

Alcoholism is not a disease, it is choice. I choose to drink heavily. On some level, even though I do not remember it to this very day, I choose to get in my car and attempt to drive home. If you have been caught 9 times... your an idiot who did not learn his/her lesson the first 8 times.

Life in prison for someone too stupid to learn from his/her mistakes is not excessive, it is deserved. You choose it... you can live with it. That is called personally responsibility and I am sick of people who can not accept responsibility for their own mistakes and choices they make.

Eventually you must accept responsibility for your own actions. You can not blame it on anything else other than the choices you make.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by MrWendal]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by MrWendal
 


Thanks for the insight Mr Wendal. I can totally see where you're coming from. I guess I just feel life imprisonment should be reserved for people who actually commit a heinous crime that caused someone to lose their life, not for someone whose actions may one day lead to someone losing their life...

Heck... we all belong in jail, we just weren't caught.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by againuntodust
 


I think some ppl are basically insane.

This man obviously has no regard for his safety or others.

I do not think he should be treated as a violent criminal, but
should be considered a harm to himself and others thru
actions that fit a pattern of insanity.

A facility could be setup that costs less than a prison that keeps
these ppl in the boundaries with devices very similar to the
dog collar that shocks and a high well made fence that
is monitored.

They can grow their food, make booze, get drunk, and take
care of themselves.

They try to leave their drunks paradise the collar shocks
the # out of them, and the perimeter is fenced with electronic
monitoring or natural barriers.

I am not responsible for his actions, and I should not be punished
financially for ppl that want to slowly kill themselves.

Why should I have to pay for someones life long drunken party ?

All their property should be seized and auctioned to pay for their
drunk paradise and not one dime of anyones money should have
to pay for their self destruction.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:56 AM
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No I dont think it is too harsh,
but I can think of an alternative,.
Instead of wasting taxpayer money on him in jail,.
send him to the war front somewhere
so he can make a citizen contribution by helping others.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by indigothefish

who knows, but the justice in this country is really falling apart, nice post


Yes it is falling apart. Look at most of the answers in this thread...everyone is falling apart. No one takes the time to do the right thing, just throw it away.

I am a retired Firefighter and have seen more than most of you (unless you also worked in the emergency services) and I really loath drunk drivers.

I am also still a human being.

There are other alternatives to just locking him up for life. WTF is happening to people of the world?



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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The entire judicial system is a bunch of morons in charge of peoples fate. Nobody tries to help anything, they just care about stopping it from happening again. If you would take the time to figure out the situation... half the problems would go away. I know for a fact the judicial system is absolute junk. My girlfriend got her kid taken away from her because someone lied to a judge and said she was homeless. I believe that is something called perjury? Did he ever see ANY repercussions of this? Of course not. /endrant



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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I'm going to bring this point back up, cause Mr. "Alcoholism isn't a disease" went off on a tangent ignoring actual scientific evidence in favor of his personal opinion.

I THOUGHT ONLY A JURY COULD CONVICT A MAN FOR A LIFE SENTENCE.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Never heard of that.. can't even find it with multiple internet searches... looks like the judge acted alone on this one.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by againuntodust
 


I'm looking to dig it up. But I'm fairly certain in cases of a life sentence, a jury is to decide the matter. Not only in cases of murder.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


I can't say as American law is not my specialty, but it makes sense that a life sentence without a jury trial is conceivably possible, assuming that the man in question (or indeed, the hypothetical man in any situation) pleaded guilty to a crime which warrants life as a mandatory sentence.

If Charles Manson pleaded guilty at trial to the charges laid against him, would we be shocked if the judge gave him a life sentence despite the fact that a plea of guilty may obviate the possibility of (and need for) a jury trial?



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 06:46 PM
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No, it's not.

That's 5 or 6 too many chances he's had to kill a member of my family, if not me.

Alcoholism IS a disease. But every alcoholic can make the CHOICE to get better.

And every alcoholic can make the CHOICE not to drive, thus not endangering the lives of innocent people.

Let him rot, he's had a multitude of chances to turn his life around. You can lead a horse to water but cannot make them drink.


[edit on 15-8-2010 by SaosinEngaged]




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