Friday, January 23, 2004

 Justice shrugged 

I saw a news tidbit tonight about that Representative Janklow in South Dakota, who was convicted on second degree manslaughter. He's been sentenced to 100 days in jail. No, correction - 30 days in jail, with 70 days followup reporting to the county lockup. And after 3 years, his record is clean.

So let me get this straight. I can show a pattern of irresponsible driving behavior, including speeding and driving under the influence, and do that for decades...and then even if I eventually kill someone through my negligence, I can still get off with a month in jail, a couple years probation, and then eventually a clean record?

Oh wait, what am I thinking? That kind of sentence only gets handed down to high-profile Republican politicians; you know, the real "tough-on-crime" variety prosecutor-types who would seek nothing less than the maximum 10 years in prison for some no-name who committed the exact same crime under the exact same circumstances.

And don't even try telling me this guy didn't deserve anything harsher - not with this record - and that's just from 1990 on. You can imagine the lecture that someone lower-profile would get from a judge if they'd run a stop sign and killed someone. I just hope the civil suit filed by the victim's family can bring some greater sense of justice to this whole sad affair.

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