Charles Pickett Jr. sentenced to 78 years in prison for killing 5 cyclists and injuring 4 others.
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Yeah, I almost forgot that today was sentencing day. Looks like the judge pretty much threw the max at him plus I heard some comments on the radio which *I think* were from the prosecuting attorney that, based on his actions and his apparent unrelenting claim to innocence, he should never be allowed to get behind the wheel of a vehicle again.
And that's pretty much the crux of it - it's not about revenge, because that could be a two-way street for any of us at some point. It's more about keeping him from killing anyone else .... because people like him always seem to think they can get into a car again regardless of their crime, whether or not they have a revoked license, etc.
Thanks for the timely post Tom. Ever since that ungodly crash, I've been concerned that a jury would think "There for the Grace of God go I" and let Pickett off with a slap on the wrist, as many other drivers get when they kill or maim cyclists.
But there should be legal mechanisms for taking POS drivers like Pickett off the roads long before they deal death in such large quantities. Many witnesses testified during his trial about his history of erratic, intoxicated driving; why wasn't he fined and imprisoned long before this crash? Why did he continue to hold a valid driver's license? To a certain extent, he is a victim too! A victim of our lax system of warnings and punishment for incompetent drivers.
I actually do think the number of drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers on the road have been reduced somewhat by changes in the law in the last twenty years. The problem is that so many drivers (and cyclists!) are impaired by obsessive cell-phone use that the number of tragic incidents isn't declining much.
As clp said, thanks for your close watch and updates, Tom!
You're welcome, and thank you all for contributing on a number of threads on this subject since it happened in 2016. I did a search of the related threads here that others started, about 6-8, to decide where to place the news of the sentencing but decided that perhaps everyone in the community would be relieved that justice was served in this case for the fallen and injured cyclists. Thus, the headline, 'Killer of Cyclists Sentenced to Life in Prison'. I hope this case serves as a reminder to all drivers and hopefully a trending change of convictions and sentencing against drivers who kill and injure cyclists.