What is your life worth? I'm not asking in the context of the monetary value of your life insurance policy or estate--but rather, if someone committed a criminal act that resulted in your death, how long should that person spend behind bars?
Of all the things we cover in the courts, sentences for homicide cases are the least consistent. A girl who was sober at the time decides to drive well above the posted limit on a rural road in the dark and kills three friends gets a year in jail--with release privileges for school and work. A boy driving while drunk and high crashes on a rural road and kills two girls gets 16-years of prison time. A guy operating his boat while drunk crashes into a seawall and kills a friend gets probation only. A guy driving drunk and killing his girlfriend gets 15-years prison. A father sets fire to his house to kill his three kids so he can "start his life over again" gets three consecutive life sentences. A woman who beat her baby to death 57-years ago very nearly got just 45-days in jail.
But a Sheboygan County judge stepped in yesterday and handed out a much stiffer penalty than that. That woman ended up getting a 10-year prison sentence after the judge--correctly--pointed out that anything less than that would unduly diminish the severity of the crime. Yes, the mother is now old and frail--but she got to enjoy a lifetime of freedom that her child never did.
So if I am to die as the result of a negligent or intentional act, here are the guidelines I would like the presiding judge to consider in handing down punishment:
Killed by a drunk or drugged driver: THE MAXIMUM SENTENCE ALLOWED BY THE LAW. Drunk driving does not happen by accident. The perpetrator makes a conscious decision to not only drink, but also to drive--ignoring the danger that they present to the public. This goes for any relatives or friends I might be riding with at the time of the crash.
Run over while riding my bike through a roundabout: THE MAXIMUM SENTENCE ALLOWED BY LAW--but not for the driver. I want that sentence served by the Department of Transportation engineer who included the roundabout in the intersection reconstruction project. They are the ones who created the situation that would eventually lead to my death.
Shot to death by a liberal upset by comments in My Two Cents: COMMITMENT TO A STATE MENTAL INSTITUTION FOR LIFE. Obviously, they already have some kind of diminished mental capacity if they support the Affordable Care Act or Carbon Taxes--and they should be getting the psychological care they need after taking it out on me.
Stabbed to death in my sleep by my wife for not bringing the laundry up from the basement after being asked to do so a fourth time: TIME SERVED. I'm sure she would claim it was justifiable homicide--and an all-female jury would likely agree.