[*BCM*] Motorist gets slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist
lisa at cadence90.com
Sat Dec 2 12:45:45 EST 2006
I think prison does have a place here. It used to be no big thing to
drive drunk in this country. Now, if a public official or private
person gets caught driving drunk, it is, as it should be, a cause for
Why is that? Because the high penalties for driving drunk underscore
the stupidity, self-centeredness, and lack of self control of people who
do it. Only a dummy would take the risk.
We can and should make hitting a pedestrian or cyclist the kind of thing
that would make it a lot harder to run for public office, hold positions
of responsibility, or have public respect. The way to get there is
through intense enforcement, including loss of license, public release
of records, and, yes, jail.
> I completly agree with everything you say Michaela. Demonizing people
> doesn't make the world a better place, it makes more demons :-)
> Meeting them where they are, and working with their abilities to help
> them find ways to live their lives heathfully is far more useful for
> Yes, people should be expected to "behave properly", but if they can't
> or won't there's got to be a reason, and it makes more sense to find
> that reason and deal with it intelligently than to mark the person as a
> failure or even evil. Because people who believe that they are failures
> or evil act like failures and evil. And if they refuse to believe that
> they are failures or evil, then punishment will makes them feel like
> victims, and thus not responsible for their actions.
> If we really want to be effective at keeping dangerous drivers off the
> roads, we definitely do need to hold people to high standards, and when
> they fail to live up to those standards we need to do whatever we can to
> help them figure out why they aren't.
> Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
> Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org> wrote:
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>> i never send things to this mailing list, but i do ride cm, and i feel
>> compelled to say this:
>> teenagers can certainly be responsible for their own actions, and be trusted
>> not to kill people because they are doing something thoughtless and stupid.
>> i both was a teenager about 5 years ago, and work with teenagers now, and
>> the majority of them (just like only the majority of adults) are responsible
>> enough to be trusted driving a car.
>> i doubt very much that this girl's myspace account is a reflection of the
>> remorse she feels, she may be repressing it or trying not to think about it,
>> or there may be any number of explanations for it.
>> more importantly, the "justice" system in our country is not just horrible
>> because it gives people the wrong kind of sentences, and disproportionally
>> hurts people of color and the working class. it is also horrible because it
>> does nothing whatsoever to attempt to rehabilitate people, just basically
>> gives us a place to keep them away from us (temporarily, and most people
>> come out in worse shape than they were in going in), and a way for
>> corporations to make money. i feel fairly confident in saying that there are
>> better ways to deal with a 19 year old girl who accidentally, although
>> stupidly, killed someone, than to put them in jail, which is likely what
>> would have happened had they charged her with a worse offense and actually
>> won the case.
>> yes, she should have to take more responsibility for her driving, and yes,
>> she should, and probably does, feel a huge amount of remorse for her
>> actions. but i don't understand this country's fascination with revenge and
>> getting back at people. people who commit crimes, either intentionally or
>> accidentally, need to be helped, not demonized. i'm not a fan of
>> jesus-loving 19 year olds who kill cyclists, but they, too, need help, not
>> to have their lives basically completely ruined by entering into a cyclical,
>> and positively cruel, judicial system.
>> it is frustrating that the system favors cars so enormously over cyclists.
>> it is extremely frustrating. but i don't think the right solution is to
>> demonize individuals, especially when we don't know them or exactly what
>> they are going through.
>> it is the system that is at fault, and it is the entire judicial system, not
>> just the written law.
> A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part
> limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
> feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical
> delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for
> us, restricting us to our personal decisions and to affection fo a few
> persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this
> prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living
> creatures and the whole nature in its beauty."
> ~Albert Einstein
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