It’s hard to find things to say about Marco Muzzo’s sentencing yesterday that haven’t already been said or don’t fall under the Captain Obvious category. Is it a travesty that he will probably, on good behaviour, only serve 3 years in jail? Absolutely. Is it true that no amount of time spent in prison will bring those three angels back? Yes, unfortunately, yes. Does it really matter if he spends 3 years in jail or 20? You bet it does.
Because the real travesty here is that that is the value that our justice system has placed on the lives of four people and it amounts to a measly 3 years…and if I’m someone weighing the consequences of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks…and that’s the worst case scenario…that won’t be one of the things that wisens me up before it’s too late…and that..to me…is the bigger picture. That this slap on the wrist will not deter anyone from making these choices in the future.
What also seems like the elephant in the room to me…what has always been so…is that the justice system does not refer to this crime as what it really is…and that’s murder. If you’re lucky enough…emphasis on lucky…to get home drunk without killing anyone…that’s attempted murder. Whenever you choose to get behind the wheel of a car with alcohol in your system…you are choosing to do it…that’s premeditated…it’s cold blooded…it’s murder…and we will not see this problem going away until we start calling it that…because that’s what it is.
In what other crime do you have a smoking gun like a car and a breathalyzer test? In what other crime can you prove conclusively that someone was responsible for the death of someone? In what other crime can you prove intent so easily? In what other crime can you get away with all of that? Only drunk driving…and THAT is the real crime…that we don’t call it what it is. Murder…plain and simple.
Unfortunately, the public outcry over this will die down by this time next week, if it hasn’t already…so nothing will be done…and so the wheels of justice continue to wobble, then fall off the wagon. We will all shake our heads and tisk tisk away but nothing has been accomplished.
Maybe that’s why I struggled with this blog. Because I can see where this all ends. Without trying to seem fatalistic…I don’t see one…not to this problem…not while the penalties for drinking and driving amount to nothing but an aggressive slap on the wrist. Not while we do nothing to change all of that…