I am personally involved in the Perry Maddux case and feel I need to reply to at least a couple of the comments. First, people seem to be condemning the DA's office. Our experience with them has been nothing but good. They have been supportive, always available to answer whatever questions we have, and have gone out of their way to help us understand the laws at play in this case. As far as I am concerned, law enforcement, the DA's office and the courts do what they can with what they have. By statute, there are many convictions that law-abiding citizens would expect to result in jail time that must be given a suspended sentence. Ask your lawmakers why.
Safeguard0720, you sound as though you are minimizing Goodwin's record. I submit that your post on August 13th is short a few charges (and guilty pleas.)
Even a first DUI with a BAC of .27 (May 2010) is not a minor infraction. It's a disaster waiting to happen; as evidenced by the DUI with Vehicular Homicide, BAC of .23, just 5 months later resulting in the death of Perry Maddux. Our DUI laws are not strict enough. They need to hurt if they are to make a difference.
Our laws regarding sentencing are complicated on many levels but they come down to (in my opinion) protecting the rights of criminals at the expense of the safety of citizens, political correctness run amok, and a lack of money to house prisoners. That last one is probably number one at this time in this state. In discussing the recent riots in London, a TV commentator made a statement that sums it up very well and certainly applies here: "We have become so politically correct that no one has the guts to stand up and say you did wrong and you are going to jail." When young people see others living well through illicit activities; when they see those people charged and convicted of multiple crimes, including felonies, who spend 2 weeks in jail and are back on the street like they came back from Club Med; what incentive do they have to stay on the right path, struggle, and work hard toward a future they cannot see? For many years I bought into the paradigm of spend money on schools now or jails later. Like the drug war, it's a failed concept. We need jails. We need consequences. We cannot control what children learn at home, but we can and must control what is acceptable behavior in schools and the public arena.
Teach your children that there is a right and wrong. When they get in trouble, don't make excuses, let them take their lumps - it's simply part of growing up into a responsible human being. If the laws or where our tax money is spent, seem awry to you - contact your legislators. They make the laws, not law enforcement, not the DA's, not the judges. Speak up, get involved. And, please, please, do not drive in any impaired state!