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Driver 'must carry coffin photo'

Crime Punishment Pennsylvania

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#1 the 'Hawk

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:40 PM

As usual, from the BBC.

Quote

A woman who killed a man in a car crash must carry a photograph of her victim lying in his coffin despite her objections, a US judge has ruled.

Jennifer Langston, 27, was ordered to carry a picture of Glenn Clark for five years as part of a plea bargain.

But when his family gave her a picture of the dead man in his coffin, Langston initially refused to comply.

The judge has now enforced the punishment, part of a trend in the United States for creative sentencing.

Other trials have also seen convicted defendants ordered to carry photographs of their victims or lay flowers on their graves.

So many lines being crossed with this one, it's not even funny.

Quote

Langston was drunk and talking on her mobile phone when her car collided head-on with a vehicle carrying Glenn Clark and his pregnant wife, Annette, in Pennsylvania in June 2002.

He was killed and Annette is in an irreversible coma. Their son, born by Caesarean section, is being raised by relatives.

Judge George Hancher sentenced Langston, a single mother of two, to 30 days in jail followed by house arrest and probation.

He also stipulated that she carry a picture of her victim in her purse at all times for the next five years.

Langston's lawyer said being forced to carry a picture of the man in the coffin was not in the spirit of the plea agreement and "was cruel and morbid".

But Judge Hancher has now ruled that Langston has to carry the photo provided by Clark's mother, Rosellen Clark Moller, who remains unapologetic.

"That's where she put him - in a casket. That's just what she did for him," Mrs Moller said.

I know there's supposed to be a pendulum-swing to the nature of justice on these sorts of thing, but c'mon. That's just wrong.

Either punish them within the accords of the system (namely, with jail time-- involuntary manslaughter, hello?) or the system fails.

This isn't justice, it's depraved.

But, of course, maybe I'm wrong.

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#2 G1223

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:43 PM

I argue involuntary no one poured the drinks down her throat. She agreed to the deal and now wants out. Gee I guess giving her life for two lives might be fair. Because it was no involuntary manslaughter. It was depraved indifference and drunk driving.

#3 jon3831

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:02 PM

Yeah... I'm not convinced of the "cruel and unusual" here...

Cruel and unusual would be chopping her hands off so she couldn't lift a glass anymore.

Quite frankly, carrying that picture for 5 years is a light sentence. If it were my way, I'd make her carry it for the rest of her life.

But that's just me. YMMV.
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#4 usmarox

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:20 PM

Well, there is a school of thought that says killing one person and putting another in a coma because you were drunk is a bit cruel and unusual, too, but what do I know.....?

Can't do the time, don't do the crime.  It's as simple as that.
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#5 silverwind

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:26 PM

Hell, if it were *my* decision to make, she'd be carrying a picture of that child for the rest of her life too.
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#6 jon3831

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:27 PM

^Good point.

And the mother, too.
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#7 Godeskian

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:31 PM

I appear to be the odd man out here in that i do find it cruel, and unusual punishment.

having seen my own grandfather in his coffin, and knowing how those brief minutes smashed me down for days, i can't imagine how this woman is going to deal with this.

She screwed up, royally, and should by no means get away without punishment, but i cannot agree with this.

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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:55 PM

What's cruel and unusual about it?  Lenient penalties for people who kill people with their cars just because they went out and drank first are ridiculous.  

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#9 Godeskian

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:15 PM

: shrug : our definitions of lenient must vary. Frankly i think it's sick.

just my opinion mind you

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#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:19 PM

I think that people who drive drunk are very irresponsible.  And maybe they *need* a little shock treatment when they KILL PEOPLE because of it.  Maybe the prospect of not being able to ever forget who you killed will make some people think twice before driving drunk.  Frankly I think it's a brilliant idea.
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#11 Godeskian

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:29 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jan 14 2004, 10:19 PM, said:

I think that people who drive drunk are very irresponsible.  And maybe they *need* a little shock treatment when they KILL PEOPLE because of it.
agreed

Quote

Maybe the prospect of not being able to ever forget who you killed will make some people think twice before driving drunk.  Frankly I think it's a brilliant idea.

again, based on my own familial experience i think it's sick. i'd like to think that if i was asked to help punish a criminal i would care more about justice than vengeance, and in my opinion this isn't justice, this is sadistic vengeance.

[edited for quote tags]

Edited by Godeskian, 14 January 2004 - 04:29 PM.

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#12 Shalamar

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:29 PM

Cruel and unusal? Not in the least. Like SW I'd have her carry the comatose mother's and her son's picture as well, for life.

I have utterly no sympathy for Ms. Langston, none what so ever.  And I feel that she is getting off incredibly light.

#13 Kosh

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:30 PM

A friend of mine killed a woman, while he was driving drunk. The case is pending.

I like the guy a lot, but he killed a woman, and should do jail time. That woman needs to do a lot more then 30 days. I think that if you kill someone in an accident, while DUI, you should never be able to drive a car again, and do some jail time. Picture is a nice touch.
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#14 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:56 PM

First I have no mercy for drunk drivers.  My personal opinion is that the first time someone is caught for drunk driving or under the influence of anythging they should not drive a car for at least 5 years with heavy fines.  If they have an accident the first time without fatalities or serious injuries then it should at least a decade without driving and then a month or two of jail time.  If they kill someone it should be manslaughter and they should never drive ever again.    

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Jon:
Cruel and unusual would be chopping her hands off so she couldn't lift a glass anymore.

I have to agree.  The crew and unusual punishment clause was put in place to prevent all the creative, painful, debilitating, and often lethal after long suffering tortures that the British had in place.  

Quote

Jon: If it were my way, I'd make her carry it for the rest of her life.

At least that along with displaying it in several places in her house and maybe on her desk at work.  Explain that one to your friends and family.
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#15 Lover of Purple

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:03 PM

So, this child has no father and a mother who is comatose and may never recover yet some are worried about the person that did this? I have a hard time with that, but that is me. Listen I'm basically an easy going guy but when it comes to drunk drivers I think that they are handled way to easy. Especially when they kill someone. As far as I'm concerned anyone that kills someone while driving drunk should be charged with premeditated murder. They knew that there is a good chance they would get in an accident, so they should have known theymight kill someone. And saying that they really didn't know is the same as claiming ignorance of the law (again, in my opinion). Also, anyone who is caught driving drunk should be charged with attempted murder.

No, I have no sympathies with drunk drivers, I've lost too many friends to them. And yes, I had a friend who drove drunk. Luckily he didn't kill anyone, but he could have. He refused help saying he had no problem. He and I are no longer friends.

But again, that's me.

Edited by Lover of Purple, 14 January 2004 - 05:04 PM.


#16 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:04 PM

{{{{{{{{{{{{LOP}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Eloquently put!
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#17 FlatlandDan

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:13 PM

30 days isn't enough.

30 months isn't enough.

30 years isn't enough.

This women knew what she was doing when she starting drinking.  She knew the risks.  She was stupid and decided to drive home.  Frankly, she shouldn't even have driven to the bar.

You know what, I knew her life is messed up.  But she made a choice.  And people have to deal with the choices they make.

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#18 eryn

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:41 PM

I don't think it is cruel at all. This woman killed someone. She chose to drink, she chose to drive under the influence and she killed one person, put another in a coma and left a child parentless. I personally think she should have gotten more jail time, but hey that's just me.

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#19 G1223

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:50 PM

Godeskian, on Jan 14 2004, 09:29 PM, said:

justice than vengeance, and in my opinion this isn't justice, this is sadistic vengeance.
I remember a quote of the Chinese. Sometimes Vengence is Justice. But how is this vengence. She has a to carry in her purse a picture of the man whe murdered.  No one said tatooed to her forehead or made to wear a shirt that has that picture on it 24/7.

Why not make the family pay her money for embarassing her. I mean she will be humiliated for the crime of vehicular homocide. She will also get to go home and see her Children. Neither of her victims will be able to do.

#20 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 05:53 PM

Having to carry that photo for 5 years is just frelling wrong! It really, really is...

She should have to carry it for the rest of her sorry ass life...The B***h deliberately drank, then *made* the DECISION to get behind the wheel...As a result, one person is dead, another in a coma, and an infant has basically been orphaned.

If I had MY way, she wouldn't be serving just 30 days....Hell no. She be serving the maximum sentence allowed...in solitary, with her victims painted on all 4 walls. The mere fact that she objected to carrying it because it was of him in a coffin tells me she has NO remorse. And, it all likelihood, these will not be the only people she hurts and kills.
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