Sunday, June 07, 2009

Another reason DWI should be a capital offense...

I've said before that there are times I think the only adequate punishment for DWI is death. Stories like this are the exact reason for that:

Even six years after what he calls “my accident,” Kenneth Smith still wakes up late at night, breathing hard as his heart pounds in his chest.
In his mind he’s in the hospital again, with a tube shoved down his throat to help him breathe, a metal halo holding his head still, a catheter in his bladder.
Now, when the 22-year-old tries to reach up to wipe the sweat off his face, he can’t.
Kenneth knows that no matter how hard he wishes, he may never walk again.
He’s a quadriplegic. His father is dead.
Father and son spent Sept. 13, 2003, working in Gary’s shop. That evening, they began the drive home to Dayton. They were going to do some housework then watch movies together.
It would be just the guys, hanging out and having fun, like many Saturdays before.
The crash
At around 8 that night, a drunken Ramchand Jagaroo was barrelling down U.S. 90 in his black BMW at 80 or 90 miles per hour.
Police said the car started fishtailing and smashed into Gary’s Ford on a bridge over the San Jacinto River in northeast Harris County. The truck flipped over a barrier and off the bridge, landing on its roof on a small island in the river.
The crash shattered Gary’s bones. He died next to his son in the truck.
How do you move on when you’ve lost everything, when your body has become a prison and your dreams have been smashed?

That's a right-good question, I think. And another one would be, is life in prison really adequate for such an offense? Killing a man and paralyzing another in, for example, a robbery for drug money or just to victimize some "rich white folks" is inexcusable, but something like this just seems a thousand times worse. Whatever the chances of Kenneth Smith walking again, he's still had six years of his life — and his best friend — basically stolen from him because that stupid, selfish piece of shit that ran into him had too much to drink and didn't feel like calling somebody sober to drive him home. (But it wasn't the drunk's fault, the witnesses all conspired against him. What the hell ever.) I just can't help but think that said piece of shit forfeited his own life with his actions, and I don't see anything changing my mind on that.