I've commented in the past on the increasingly severe punishments meted out in DUI cases. See, for example, Life in Prison…for Drunk Driving, Another Life Sentence for Drunk Driving and Third DUI = Life in Prison. With one eye on the next elections, politicians continue falling over themselves in passing ever-tougher DUI laws. Prosecutors and judges, too, are anxious to appear "tough on DUI" in their desire to gain MADD's endorsement and be re-elected.
Result: citzens — commonly suffering from the recognized disease of alcoholism – convicted of committing a thrid misdemeanor DUI are given prison sentences normally imposed on murderers.
A recent example:
Appeals Court Upholds Life Term for DWI Convict
Austin, TX. Aug 2 – A state appeals court has upheld the life sentence of a Central Texas woman who contended her imprisonment for a third felony conviction for driving while intoxicated was improper cruel and unusual punishment.
The 3rd Court of Appeals has ruled the lawyer for Rose Ann Davidson didn't properly object to the sentence during her Hays County trial. But a three-judge panel of the court said Friday even if the issue was preserved properly for appeal, her sentence wouldn't be reduced because of her repeated convictions.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that when Davidson was convicted in 2012, it was her third offense since 2008, making her eligible for punishment as an habitual offender.
"Habitual offender". Translation: suffering from alcoholism.
I suppose throwing an addict in prison for the rest of her life is politically more convenient than providing treatment.