Mike Kueber's Blog

February 7, 2012

Equal justice in San Antonio

Filed under: Law/justice — Mike Kueber @ 8:44 pm
Tags: ,

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Texas’s draconian DUI law after a 59-year-old woman received a 45 year sentence for intoxication manslaughter of a public servant.  This was her first offense and her BAC was .014.  Today the San Antonio Express-News reported on another conviction for intoxication manslaughter.  The defendant was a 21-year-old man (20 at the time of the accident) with a BAC of .013, and he received 10 years of probation. 

How can this be equal justice under the law?

The only significant difference in the cases that I can detect is that one involved a policeman getting killed, whereas the other involved the DUI vehicle’s occupant, whose family pleaded for the judge to show mercy to the defendant.

As I previously blogged, I don’t think the identity of the victim should exacerbate the sentence.  I do, however, agree that the involvement of the victim in the accident should ameliorate the sentence.  I also agree that the sentiments of the victim’s family should be taken into consideration, especially for purposes of ameliorating the sentence.  But the discrepancy between 45 years in prison for a 59-year-old woman and 10 years of probation for a 21-year-old man is unjustified.

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