Manslaughter verdict brings 30 day sentence

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by shades, Jun 18, 2009.

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  1. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    As reported by the "Associated Press" on 6-18-09, Donte Stallworth, a football player in the U.S., received only a 30 day jail sentence for the DUI related death of Mario Reyes.

    Anybody think this might be on the light side? As usual, if you've got a lot of money you can get away with almost anything. If it had happened to me, I'd probably get about 8 years. Mind Boggling!!
  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I've heard of a man getting a $200 fine for killing someone by not paying attention while driving.

    ...Several years later, he killed a 9 year old girl in a crosswalk.
  3. the fleet asleep

    the fleet asleep Well-Known Member

    wow, and mike vick got more than a year for dog abuse. we really have our priorities straight in the country, eh?
  4. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Justice is blind, and not very bright.
  5. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    The application of law in this country (as in many for that matter) is remarkably inconsistent and often times seems arbitrary. Some murderers get death, others life in prison. Some rapists get let out on probation soon enough, others are locked up like animals.

    From what I learned in law class, it is somewhat the nature of the legal system, especially as much of its rests somewhat subjectively on juries and judges.
  6. The_8th_Wonder

    The_8th_Wonder senior Member

    He had no previous offenses. Most people would have gotten a 30 day sentence; football players don't get a free pass look at Michael Vick.
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    True, and he is also getting 8 years probation, a fine, and 1,000 hours of community service. However, the argument is that he took a human life. Even though Vick had prior offenses, most of them were petty such as a previous history of dogfighting, a connection to marujana distribution, etc. None of them resulted in a loss - or even risk - of life.

    However, I'm sure what you're stating is the logic used by the court that tried him.
  8. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    He DID take a human life, but I've always had a difficult time trying to decide what is a proper punishment for manslaughter involving DUI or DWI. I don't know a single person who has never had too much to drink and gotten behind the wheel. They just happened to be lucky enough not to accidentally kill someone. It's a tough call, but I feel very sorry for the families of the victims.
  9. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Well, I think that DUI should be an automatic prison sentence... As you said, Esmerelda, it's a gamble whether or not someone dies when you do it.

    Oh, reading details on this particular case: Stallworth has a lifetime suspension of his license. He had 0.12% blood alcohol content, which is not especially serious as far as DUI go. The pedestrian was jaywalking across a busy street. It actually seems reasonable that the alcohol was not the major deciding factor in this situation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2009
  10. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Did you notice harsh sentences don't deter crime? If they did, the United States wouldn't have the world's largest prison population. Deterrence means people are so afraid of the punishment, they don't do the crime. Nobody wants to go to prison (Ask someone ya know if it sounds like fun) but somehow, the prison population keeps growing anyway.

    Anyway, I know a guy who recently got a DUI and is a new father. His wife couldn't pay the bills without his income and she didn't do anything wrong.
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    How would she be doing if he killed a guy and had a $5M lawsuit to pay? Or if he died?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2009
  12. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    The first thing you learn in driving school is that your car is a potential weapon, period. Driving drunk only heightens the chances that your vehicular weapon will kill, even if it's but a little inebriated. Perhaps the offender wasn't that drunk, but there's no telling if even that relatively small amount would've made the difference between his reaction time nonetheless (given that alcohol affects people differently).

    The issue concerning the lack of deterrence in DUI laws, and of the American legal system in general given the large incarcerated population, is an entirely different (but well brought up) one entirely. I will say that much, though not all, of it has to do with the preference for vindictive punishment as opposed to rehabilitation. Most people in our prisons are there for relatively petty crimes, especially those involving drugs (both addiction and peddling). Rather than treat the habit or otherwise treat them as psychologically troubled, the system criminalizes them to the point of, ironically, making them worse and more likely to offend.

    But I digress.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2009
  13. GeekGurl

    GeekGurl Well-Known Member

    I suppose the question you have to ask is, if he'd just been caught driving drunk, what would've been the appropriate sentence?

    I mean of course the death was a tragedy but there was no intention, he wasn't trying to kill anyone, so why should the sentence be different just because by chance in this particular case someone was killed?

    Now i'm not saying the sentence was just, that's not really for me to judge I'm just saying that I don't see why it should differ based solely on the (of course in this case tragic) outcome.
  14. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Good observation, but sadly one must keep in mind that trials are often retrospective. Someone accused of attempted murder often get's a lesser sentence than someone who succeeded. In effect, that decision is based on the fact that the accussed just happened not to have killed, even though that may have just as much been his intention as the successful murderer.

    Still, your point is raised often in discussions of law.
  15. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    I was just pointing out that prison sentences hurt more than the person society is trying to get even with and they don't work anyway.
  16. GeekGurl

    GeekGurl Well-Known Member

    I suppose it is the way it is because we want to try and scare people into obeying the law, and probably far fewer people drink and drive for instance with the worry that if something terrible happened it would ruin their life. rather than just the threat of maybe maybe losing your license for 6 months.

    and it would of course be rediculously unfair if everyone charged with a DUI got like 10 years in jail. so the compromise is to make an example out of the few unlucky barstewards.
  17. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    There will always be crime, no matter how harsh - or lenient - the laws are. Democracies, anarchies, and even totalitarian regimes all deal with this somber reality.

    It's not so much the concept of law itself that is the problem in this case, but other issues from the cultural and social spectrum. For example, North America has measurement of what constitute the legal limit of blood alcohol content, 0.08%, if different than the world average of 0.05%. For many analysts, this presents a cultural anomaly with regards to what we consider drunkeness here.
  18. The_8th_Wonder

    The_8th_Wonder senior Member

    With that logic we should just kill everybody who breaks the law that will stop 'em!
  19. The_8th_Wonder

    The_8th_Wonder senior Member

    Update on this - He was released 24 days into his prison sentence but he has 2 years house arrest and a suspended driver's license for life. Not to mention at least 1,000 hours of community service.
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