Advocates to try again for bill to end shock probation in fatal DUI cases

01/31/2013 06:24 PM

It isn’t fair to victims and their families for someone to spend a few months in prison for being convicted of killing someone while driving under the influence, state Rep. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, told her colleagues Thursday.

Adams is sponsoring a measure, House Bill 28, that would end shock probation for anyone convicted of reckless homicide or second-degree manslaughter as well as DUI in the same case.

Shock probation has been used at judges’ discretion to allow certain offenders to spend months instead of years behind bars. (A WAVE-3 report from 2011 explained how it works and found that shock probation was granted less than half the time it was requested.)

But that hasn’t sat well with some families of victims.

Debbie Moskwa of Louisville lost her son, Ricky, in 2002 when he was killed by a drunk driver. Moskwa was quoted in the WAVE-3 report and has pushed for changes to the shock probation law since 2006.

“We believed that those who killed Ricky would be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Moskwa told the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “Little did we know we would be inflicted with more pain at hearing shock probation was granted after the person served only 8 months of a 13 year sentence.”

Adams said Kentucky shouldn’t grant shock probation to DUI offenders when a death is involved.

“I think in this instance, this is a violent offense, this is a violent act, it’s not stealing a can of coke from a drug store,” she said.

Similar measures failed to garner support in both chambers of the General Assembly over the last seven years.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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