100 days for manslaughter is ridiculous.
I'm no legal eagle like some of you, but this seems a bit lenient. What's a dime bag of pot get ya nowadays, 5 years hard time?Bill Janklow, who dominated South Dakota politics for three decades as governor and then congressman, was sentenced to 100 days in jail Thursday for a car crash that killed a motorcyclist and ended Janklow's career in disgrace.
After 30 days behind bars, Janklow will be allowed to leave jail during the day for up to 10 hours to perform community service. After he completes his jail term, he will be on probation for three years, during which he will not be allowed to drive.
The 64-year-old Republican was found guilty Dec. 8 of second-degree manslaughter, speeding and running a stop sign for a collision that killed 55-year-old motorcyclist Randy Scott at a rural intersection on Aug. 16.
100 days for manslaughter is ridiculous.
That is rather stupid, seeing how a cousin of mine got a year for about the same thing.
Not to mention he was a repeat offender on the speeding. If it was a one-time thing, maybe. But he knew what he was doing.
Well, considering that the range of options was "anything from no jail time and no fines to a total of more than 11 years behind bars and $11,400 in fines" and he got 100 days and $10,400 in fines, it does seem a little on the soft side.Originally Posted by Midnight Son
Then again, "Scott's daughter Brandee told KELO-TV of Sioux Falls...she was satisfied with the sentence." So maybe it's not so bad.
Then too, there this from the AP "Forty people in South Dakota have been found guilty of second-degree manslaughter since 1989, according to computerized court-system data. A review of the records show that 32 of those people were sent to prison or jail. The average jail term was six months; the average prison term was nearly seven years" it goes on to say that "Two of the cases involved failing to stop at controlled intersections. One of those convictions resulted in a six-month jail term and the other brought a five-year prison sentence." So maybe it is a little soft.
Or maybe, it all depends on the circumstances. 64yo guy, civil servant, pillar of society, maybe the judge cuts him some slack. Greaseball with a string of domestic abuse convictions, whose lawyer got the DUI charge dropped for a plea, maybe the judge teaches him a lesson. So, Jason, just how similar were the circumstances?
My cousin was drunk and hit a guy, killing him. Sounds bad, right? Ah, but there's fun details about the guy he ran over:
1) The guy had been in and out of mental hospitals his entire life.
2) He had previously tried to commit suicide a few times.
3) He had crossed 3 lanes of traffic and a median.
4) There were drugs in his system at the time of death.
IMHO, that my cousin was drunk was entirely superflous, but hey, I'm no lawyer. My cousin refuses to drive anymore, interestingly.
You can actually get into an interesting "whats the point of the law" discussion here. If its deterrence - which everyone insists it is anymore - shouldn't they be throwing the goddamn book at Janklow? The point of the law being moral reform - which Jankow doesn't need much of, apparently - mysteriously makes its way back out into the sunlight in this case.
I wouldn't disagree with you that your cousin's state probably had little to do with the accident, but in that state, only one year is probably better than he could have expected. Sure, you've got the same end result (ie one person dead) but the crime committed during the accident (running stop sign vs. DUI) is a big negative to your cousin, even though it wasn't the major cause in your cousin's case.
Oh, I agree it looks bad and he would have a rough time against any jury, but on its face I don't see why first-time DUI + what was in all likelihood accidental manslaughter should result in a year.
Why should the guy go to jail at all? It was an accident, right?
My track record driving on ice is not impressive. Several donuts, some skidding, a few free-glides, etc.
Only one rear-end (and that was minor)... otherwise totally unscathed. I've gotten very lucky.
Lets look at the opposite spectrum of luck. Lets say during one of those free-glides a child crosses the street, I glide through the stoplight and run him over, killing him.
Should I be jailed for being very unlucky? I could easily have killed a child already in my life if luck had conspired against me. In addition to the names I'm already called I could be known as Child-Killer. Little old ladies would spit in my face. Respectable citizens would frown at my presence and slowly withdraw as if from a disease.
Why should whether I live in a jail cell or a residential address be largely dependent on luck?
Maybe I should turn myself in. I am a potential murderer of innocent children, a real manslaughterer. Noone feels safe from the wrath of the free-glide.
Lock me up, now. Do it for the children. I'll say hi to Janklow for you.
Brian "Potential Child-Killer" Koontz
What can I say, MADD's been a damn effective special interest group since the mid-80's.Originally Posted by Jason McCullough
Of course accidents will happen, but if you don't run a red light they might be reduced a little!
Yeah. And some people win the lottery, so everyone should send me money. Except that some people get cancer, so just shoot me instead.Originally Posted by Brian Koontz
Getting a DUI should result in license suspension for life. No second chance bullshit. If you are drunk and behind the wheel, you don't deserve to drive.
On top of that, I think penalties and fines for offenses should be doubled or tripled for politicians. After all, they should be setting some kind of example.
No... for being very stupid.Originally Posted by Brian Koontz
If it is just bad luck and ice conditions and you weren't at fault, this isn't an issue.Originally Posted by Brian Koontz
Janklow was speeding, had a record of reckless (not just bad) driving, and concocted some story about avoiding another vehicle to lessen his responsibility.
I'm a bad driver too, but I'm not reckless. Recklessness has its own baggage to carry.
You can't be serious. Are you telling me you've never driven in the 24 hours after taking a drink?Originally Posted by Charles
You're not legally drunk for 24 hours after you stop drinking. Unless of course you were at a really good party.Originally Posted by Jason McCullough
No, but I've never driven while legally intoxicated. These days I don't drink, period. My father was an alcoholic; it left an impression.Originally Posted by Jason McCullough
While "suspension for life" might be too severe, it should be much, much tougher than it is now.
I haven't driven while legally intoxicated either, but it's exactly the sort of hard-to-measure thing you can't expect people to be perfect at. Which is why there's no "driving death penalty" for the first time.
Sure, but the whole meaning of an accident is an unfortunate incident out of your direct control.Originally Posted by Midnight Son
If you're drunk and spacey, why should there be a difference in penalty based on whether or not a car happens to be at the intersection when you run the red light? Lucky to Normal and you get off scot free. Semi-unlucky and you get a charge of reckless driving or a DUI count, a fine, and points on your license. Highly unlucky and you land in jail for one year or more?
Jesus... is life like Dungeons and Dragons where you roll two ten-sided dice and hope for the best? Whew... a 79. No cops around. Damn! A 2... spend two years in jail!
In cases where the other car (if there is one) cannot be avoided given the crime, I don't see any difference in the degree of badness of the crime whether a car is there or not. Obviously there is a difference in the effect, but the effect is again... based on luck. The crime itself of running the red light is to a much less extent based on luck.
The only reason I can see to make a greater penalty in the cases of unluckiness is Injured-Party Revenge. But its a pathetic kind of revenge that takes pleasure in the pain of someone who caused a mere accident...