Prison for Homicide? Sacre Bleu!
Madison's Channel 3 is questioning whether a convicted killer out on parole after being convicted of homicide by drunken driving should be sent back to prison for violating her probation (for the third time) by using alcohol:
Woman May Go To Prison For Drinking While On Probation
MADISON, Wis. -- The state has begun probation revocation proceedings against a convicted drunken driver.
Cara Erickson, 23, could be sent to prison after a hearing on April 4, News 3 reported. She is accused of drinking alcohol in violation of her probation.
It's her third probation violation.
She was convicted in 2001 of homicide by drunken driving in the death of Jason Skaaning of Sun Prairie (pictured, right).
Erickson served a year in jail with work release and was then placed on probation for 15 years for homicide by drunken driving. The judge also ordered an extra week in jail each year, starting Dec. 19 -- Jason's birthday -- and ending Christmas Day.
A condition of Erickson's probation is that she is forbidden from drinking for the next 12 years.
Erickson was riding in a car stopped for speeding on Madison's east side. One of the officers recognized her and took her to jail after she allegedly refused a breath test.
Police later confirmed she had been drinking at an Atwood Avenue bar.
Look at the caption that the station is using in their image: "Punishment fitting crime?" Gee, I don't know, Channel 3, it seems pretty fair to me to send someone to prison for HOMICIDE.
Let's not forget what "probation" is - you get a prison sentence, then are fortunate enough to have that sentence reduced for good behavior or some other mitigating factor, on the condition that you fulfill certain requirements. Here, the state said to Ms. Erickson, "OK, you can get out of prison 15 years early if you agree to not drink alcohol. You are free to decline the terms, and if you do, you will stay in prison." She obviously agreed to the condition that she not consume alcohol.
Now, after her THIRD probation violation, News 3 is asking "Does the punishment fit the crime?" Newsflash, Channel 3: the crime is homicide, not "drinking alcohol." The fact is, we send prisoners back to prison for parole violations all of the time - for not checking in with their parole officers regularly, for crossing state lines without permission, for venturing too close to an elementary school. And no one, especially Channel 3, so much as raises an eyebrow.
Why would they latch on to this as their latest cause celebre I can't even begin to imagine. Is it their position that a person shouldn't be expected to abide by the terms of an agreement that she made? Do they think that it's cruel and unusual punishment to deny a convicted homicidal drunken driver the "right" to consume alcohol?
I understand that people make mistakes, and that everyone deserves a second chance. But this woman had her second chance when she got out on probation, 15 years short of serving her full sentence. She had her third chance after the first probation violation, her fourth after her second, and her fifth chance after being caught drinking, in public, in a blatant violation of her probation terms.
This woman was told "if you drink, you go to jail," and she went out to a bar, in public, and drank!
You know, maybe I agree with Channel 3 on this one: Does the punishment fit the crime? No, it doesn't - Erickson should serve the 15 years for homicide, and then have an additional 10 years added to her sentence for stupidity.
Posted by jkhat at March 10, 2005 01:37 AM
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|# March 10th, 2005 4:16 PM kris|
|Does anyone else think if she were an unattractive 40-year old man that there would be absolutely no outcry about throwing the book at her? |
|# March 10th, 2005 4:34 PM james|
|without a doubt.
heh, the "targeted" google ad on this page:
Criminal Checks $17.95
i think that google's targeting system leaves a lot to be desired.
|# March 10th, 2005 4:42 PM kris|
|no doubt. where are the booze ads? |
|# March 10th, 2005 9:46 PM MrBlue|
| Send her down to New Mexico, there are people driving around here with upo to 12 dui's on thier record. |
|# March 11th, 2005 8:27 AM kris|
|alternatively, she could just move to Mt. Horeb, WI "where drunk driving is a sport, not a crime". |