So our prisons are bursting at the seams, killers are getting ten-year sentences, rapists are being cut loose after five, and….drunk drivers are getting life in prison?
DUI Case: Life Sentence in Prison or
Jackson, MS. Dec. 6 – The Associated Press reported in a terse handful of paragraphs Friday that the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Mark Allen Debrow’s life sentence for a third drunken driving conviction…
Drunks should not be on the road…But life in prison for driving under the influence takes "tough" to a new level.
Admittedly, a person is responsible for his or her behavior, and the consequences of behavior while intoxicated. But alcoholism itself is a disease, and is generally recognized as such. In this case, Debrow should not have been operating a vehicle. But do three DUIs constitute criminal behavior meriting life in prison?
With alcoholics, it’s not a question of behavior alone; it’s addiction. Debrow is apparently guilty of addiction. That, in itself, is a life sentence.
The question is how he changes his behavior to counter the addiction (drinking). Otherwise, we are giving a life sentence for a disease.
Criminal behavior should be punished, but, with addiction, punishment should be offered with treatment to change behavior.
This sentence was inappropriate.
The ladies at MADD must be ecstatic, but at least some of the media finally appears to be getting it. (For a more realistic approach to dealing with the drunk driving problem, see my previous post "Time for a Change".)