Let’s see… Two idiots set a fire in an apartment building. The fire results in the death of a college student. Tragic. One of the arsonists is sentenced to 20 years, the other 30 years. ConsequencesIs are meted out for a criminal act.
A group of college students vist a strip joint and tank up on alcohol. A decision is made to drive drunk. The vehicle crosses the center line and kills two people. The drunk driver gets 60 days. And this is justice???
The first case was adjudicated in the federal court system. The second, allowing a drunk driver to ‘skate’ with relatively minor consequences, was adjudicated in the District Court by the Governor’s college roomy. Was pressure applied by the alcohol lobby to go easy on the drunk driver? Were local interests fearful a harsh sentence for drunk driving might curtail the dollars generated by events like Faux Pattys Day? Did the court system think a college student’s life “more worthwhile” than two blue-collar people from Ogden? Was the vast difference in sentences simply one judge vs. another judge?
How do we ask the younger generation to respect the court system, when such inequities in sentencing is allowed to happen? How do we teach the younger generation that there can be consequences for making poor choices when the life and safety of others are at stake?