Is this justice or a travesty of justice? DUI vs. jaywalking charge.

Now the mother’s actions clearly led to the accident that resulted in her son being killed, but the potential punishment seems way too out of wack, especially in comparison to the sentence that the guy driving the car received.

What say you?

“Each is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in prison.”

How likely is it that she’ll receive any jail time though? That’s a tragic story. The prosecutors are heartless assholes.

Welcome to Atlanta!

Unbelievable. And the guy has 3 hit and runs. I’d lock him up for an eternity and a half. This woman should get a fine. Period. Maybe some probation or the like.

I read this the other day and was unbelievably shocked that the prosecutor would even consider this a crime on her part.

I am also pretty sure if she’d been a well off soccer mom in her SUV who got t-boned by a drunk driver after some minor traffic infraction, and lost a child as a result, they would have even considered prosecuting her at all, let alone for vehicular manslaughter.

I once saw a boy who was jaywalking with his mother get killed. It was terrible. They were sprinting across Broadway and a taxi that was speeding took the kid out like he was a bowling pin. The mother was wasn’t injured. I also saw a jaywalker get hit by a bus, but he wasn’t killed. Just really badly injured. Jaywalking will get you killed. I won’t do it, but I know loads of people who do. I see it every day.

I think it’s too harsh as she is going to have to live with the fact that her son died because she didn’t want to walk to the crosswalk. The whole “look what he did and he gets out before I do!” excuse really isn’t working for me, but I do pity her and believe her conscience will be her worst punishment.

There is no need at all for the state to bring charges against the woman. It’s a travesty.

I’m not quite sure why it’s a travesty. Is it a travesty when the prosecutor goes after a mother who left her kid in the car when it was 90+ degrees outside? Depending on the road, jaywalking can be very dangerous. By crossing the street in an unsafe manner, Nelson was a contributor to the cause of her daughter’s death. It seems entirely appropriate to bring charges against her.

I have to agree. What in the hell is the judge thinking when he sees this creep before him on a 3rd case of hit and run and ever allows him to walk free again.

Not to philosophize too heavily on cause and effect, but lots of actions led to the accident. The actions of the child who decided to run across the street when in the median. The actions of the mother who decided to jaywalk. The actions of the dude who decided to drink and use painkillers that night (would crossing on a crosswalk even have helped?). The actions of the city planners who decided to place the crosswalks so far from the bus stop (making the total journey over half a mile, which with kids and groceries could easily take fifteen minutes as opposed to two). The actions of the city who decided to ignore politically marginalized apartment dwellers’ needs despite repeated requests for a crosswalk at the bus stop.

We can go like this forever.

One also has to wonder how much significance her being black, and facing an all-white jury in suburban Georgia, had to do with the choice to prosecute and the conviction.

Analyzing this with cold logic…

I didn’t read the link, only what is quoted, but was the driver over the legal limit? It just says he admitted he had been drinking. Obviously the hit and run aspect of it makes it much worse, and the priors. He should be doing much more time than what he got.

As for the woman, prosecuting her has nothing to do with whether or not we think the guy got off easy. They were two separate acts, and I wouldn’t want us to go easy on her just because the guy seems to have gotten a sweetheart deal. Since he pleaded guilty, he probably got a plea bargain, and so could she. That is, assuming there really was neglect.

Let’s say you’re speeding on a road, and a drunk driver hits you and kills your child.

The speeding made it more likely you’d be involved in a fatal accident. Does that mean you’re responsible for your child’s death?

Even if it does, are you more responsible than the drunk asshole who t-boned you?

This really is messed up. Especially given the current events with that Casey Anthony circus. Yes, I know the difference and I actually agree with the verdict. But still, it burns.

No. I didn’t say it would be fair for the mother to be punished more than the drunk driver. I simply said that it wasn’t unreasonable for the mother to be charged with a crime. If I were speeding to the point where I was recklessly endangering myself and my child, yeah, maybe I’m just as much to blame as the drunk driver.

I live rather close to a major road. There have been several occasions where I have almost hit someone because they were jaywalking or were walking on the edge of the road. They do this because they’re too lazy or impatient to use the nearby crosswalk. I’ll admit that I’m biased against jaywalkers.

It’s hard to see this as reckless endangerment, though, just run-of-the-mill jaywalking. Especially since it happened every day (enough such that people had apparently requested that the city install a crosswalk). She just had the bad luck to be jaywalking when a drugged out drunk happened to be driving that night.

So if you were doing run-of-the-mill speeding (say, 70 in a 65 zone) and a drunk driver hit you and killed your kids, should you be thrown in prison?

There is no test for the combined effect of alcohol and narcotics, short of a roadside sobriety test, which couldn’t be conducted because the motherfucker hit and RAN. He was clearly under the influence, so “DUI” sticks.

Now, whether a sober driver could have stopped, given that the kid RAN out into the middle of moving traffic, we’ll never know.

Regardless, the mother should not be prosecuted for this. It’s one of those tragedies of timing that most of us are lucky enough to avoid. “There but for the grace of $deity go we.”

The article doesn’t say, but what if her and the kids stepped out in such a reckless manner that even a sober driver would have hit them? If that is the case then the driver should only get DUI and/or fleeing the scene, NOT a punishment for killing the child if his bad acts did not contribute to the child’s death.

However, if the mother’s actions DID contribute, then I’m not seeing the problem.

Remember, I said “if.” Keep your torches in your holsters! :wink:

And, more to the point, if she’d been young, white, rich, and pretty and going 70 in a 65 zone there is no way in a million years the prosecutor would have brought charges.

Around here, I can jaywalk right in front of a cop, and nothing will happen to me. I see it all the time.

If they wouldn’t enforce the jaywalking law on her otherwise, they shouldn’t do it now. You can’t stop enforcing a law, and then bring it back just because someone got hurt. When you stop enforcing it, it de facto is not the law anymore.

And if she isn’t jaywalking, then this is not criminal neglect, and she has no culpability in the manslaughter.

It was a busy street which is why I think I think a reckless endangerment charge might be warranted. Zephyurs, I don’t think we’re going to see eye to eye on this so I don’t see any point to going around in circles from here on out. I understand the point you’re making but I disagree on the premise on which you base your point. That’s okay, reasonable people can disagree.