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home : opinions : letters January 25, 2015

1/16/2013 10:57:00 AM
Letter: Punishment excessive for mom under duress


Regarding a Dec. 11 Daily Courier article "Woman sentenced to four years probation, jail time for causing injury accident," I was sufficiently disgusted with the court's decision that I carefully re-read the article.

The report's information indicates a woman, 56, was rushing her profusely bleeding son to the hospital when she misjudged a traffic signal and drove through a red light, resulting in a three-car crash and serious injuries to two adults and a 9-year-old child.

There were no indications in the article that the obviously upset mother was on drugs or had a history of accidents or reckless driving.

In other words, she is apparently a normal, fallible, middle-aged woman, frantically rushing to get emergency help to save her son, who seemed to be losing consciousness.

Unless there's additional evidence, I consider the court's sentence related to this terribly tragic "accident" outrageously excessive. Four years of supervised probation, the loss of the woman's driver's license, and 45 days in jail? The court also ordered 300 hours of community service and even counseling for some strange reason that's beyond my comprehension.

Again, solely on the basis of the article's information, this traffic tragedy was an accident by a stressed, remorseful mother who, like the rest of us, happens to also be a vulnerable, imperfect human who intended no harm to anyone, especially her bleeding son.

If all courts criminalized our mistakes under stress, we'd all be in jail.

Larry Wonderling, Ph.D.


Related Links:
• Woman sentenced to four years probation, jail time for causing injury accident (dCourier.com)

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