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What's a pedestrian's life worth?

In mid June, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth was blasted in the court of public opinion, when a criminal court in Miami sentenced him to one month in jail, two years house arrest, eight years probation, and 1,000 hours community service, after Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI Manslaughter for driving under the influence here in Miami and striking a man who was attempting to cross the street on foot.

The outrage was palpable, as folks complained that Stallworth, a wealthy professional athlete, got what was called a sweetheart deal, and people hated it that he claimed his victim suddenly darted in front of him and was jaywalking...though court records say surveillance/security footage at the scene confirmed Stallworth's story.

About 1,500 miles away in the Boston area, a similar case recently played out. Ilse Horn, 89, finally pleaded guilty this week to Vehicular Homicide for striking and killing a young girl  who was in a cross walk in June, while the girl was out for a stroll with her grandfather.

For weeks after the accident, Horn refused to acknowledge it was her fault. And even during her allocution this week, before even acknowledging that she was the driver, she told the judge she felt bad that "(her) car" struck the girl.

Horn's age makes you feel for her, right? Plus, she was sober. Plus she and her family had to flee Germany when she was young to escape the Nazis. And it's gut-wrenching that she's a widow.

But wait! Horn's late husband might have lived to see 89, also, had he not been killed in September 1992 in yet another fatal car accident in which she was driving.

What did Horn get for a sentence this week for soberly striking and killing that girl? Revocation of her driver's license, a $200 fine, and six years probation.

All dark humor aside, does anyone really think that Horn should have gone to jail? Hmmmm.

Like I keep saying, it's all relative.

Follow me, please: http://twitter.com/jamesburnett.

Till Monday, peace and hair grease!


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Fairness... equality...

What's the answer?

I am a nondriver... which means I walk everywhere and I HATE the attitudes of the drivers. Can I count how many peple have honked, reved engines, inched forward, etc while I was in the cross walk? Nope. Could I tell you how many times people who get to turn right on red don't even bother to look to the left first? Nope.

Grrr Arg!


They both deserved harsher sentences.

I would have given Stallworth a harsher sentence because he was drinking.

Minimum I would have given the 89 year old 2 years in jail. I would have given Stallworth 4 years minimum.

I think double the sentence when you are drinking is fair. I don't care if you live under a rock, we've all been educated that drinking lowers response times and increases the chance of an accident so if you drink and drive and hurt someone you should get dinged for double.


Just curious, in the 1992 case where the wife was driving and the husband was killed, was she at fault in the accident? And I don't know if your answer would change my opinion one way or the other, anyway.

Karmyn R

Donte deserves a harsher sentence because he was driving Under the Influence....to me, his car was a loaded weapon. - if he had been sober and hit the pedestrian, it would have been a whole different issue.

The 89 year old woman? That's a tough call - yes, she needed a harsher sentence too, I suppose - but sometimes a horrible accident is just that.

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