Thursday, November 3, 2011
The August Pinch Flat Award goes to ….Judge Donald Stephens
North Carolina Judge Donald Stephens earned this award for sentencing a cyclist-killing, felony-assaulter to teetotaling.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought lately into the appropriate charges for drivers hitting cyclists, but I should be just as concerned about the sentencing. In Brian Reid’s case the charges were right but the sentence was a ‘slap on the wrist’. Reid killed cyclist Nancy Leidy while driving home from class at NC State after a night of celebrating his 21st birthday. He blew a .12 on the Breathalyzer. The charges were appropriate; felony assault by motor vehicle. The sentencing last week by Judge Stephens was a joke; community service, 5 weekends in jail and teetotalism (really, he was sentenced to teetotalism).
Perhaps if you think ‘giving up drinking’ is a harsh enough penalty for such a crime…alcohol must be a pretty important thing to you.
Perhaps, just to be safe, judges with psoriasis, discoid eczema or superficial infections, common in heavy drinkers, should be barred from presiding over cases that involve alcohol – just to be safe.
How would Charlotte citizens react to ‘slap on the wrist’ sentence for a drunk student that killed a cyclist? Would they be outraged? Or would they sympathize with the student’s drunken rite-of-passage and not understand why the cyclist was in the road in the first place
Posted by KC Johnson at 11:51 PM