Saturday, December 4, 2010

Are you bloody kidding me?

In December of 2008, four teenagers took a ride with another teenager after a youth event in Louisville because the provided vans were all full.  As they drove, a policeman noticed that the car they were driving in was stolen, and attempted to pull the driver, Herbert Lee, over.  Rather than pulling over, Lee floored it, leading LMPD on a chase.  Eventually he crashed the car with enough force to break it in two pieces, sending half of it through a fence and wrapping the other half around a tree.

All four of his passengers died.

Prosecutors charged him with murder, but the jury decided to convict on manslaughter.  While I don't agree with that finding, the jury was given that option, and the jury system is what it is.

It's the sentence Lee received that I have a problem with.  He was given one year in juvenile detention.  Read that again.  This guy killed four young men by fleeing the police in a stolen car and he will serve one year in juvie.  For this, I blame the state legislature for putting weak sentences into the juvenile manslaughter laws.

Additionally, he's supposed to do a year of probation after that, but his lawyers say the judge can't do that to him, so they're going to appeal.  They sincerely believe that their client doesn't deserve the inconvenience of another year of supervision after the unbelievable light term of one year in jail.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over!

Yeah, I know, I know, the judge should take into consideration this fine, upstanding pillar of the community's upbringing in a rough home, or maybe how he was trying to turn his life around when he stole a car to go to a community event.  Look, I came from a pretty messed up home. My mother was a drug addict, my father disappeared, alcohol and drugs were a major factor in the home, we moved around a lot, and some would say it was an abusive home.  But as screwed up as I am, I didn't grow up to steal cars and kill teenagers.  He'll get no sympathy from me.

When I took an introductory law class in college, the instructor hammered in the concepts of legality and justice.  Normally that means that the state can take into account mitigating circumstances when applying the law. Someone can have broken the law, but in the name of justice, the state can choose to not prosecute.  This is the reverse situation, in my opinion.  Lee and his lawyers are complaining that the judge has exceeded his authority, even though Lee is basically walking away from causing the deaths of four teenagers.  A sense of shame should require that they look more at the justice of the additional year of probation they are planning to appeal rather than it's strict legality.

Even if the probation isn't specifically stated in the statutes, Lee should take the sentence as a godsend and live the next 24 months under state supervision.  The families of his victims will be under a cloud the rest of their lives; he can at least give up two years.


Old NFO said...

WTF is right... If he'd killed a child of mine, he'd be hoping he went to prison where I couldn't get my hands on him...

Julie said...

WTF !!!!!!!! Piss weak sentence ....

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