Proposed bill would end shock probation for defendants charged in DUI manslaughter and reckless homicide cases

09/25/2015 03:11 PM

LOUISVILLE – Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, is once again planning on filing a bill which would eliminate the possibility of shock probation in cases of manslaughter and reckless homicide, if the offender was driving while intoxicated.

Raque Adams told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on Friday in Louisville that there are currently 13 exemptions to shock probation and she believes that one should be added for a person where a DUI contributes to the death of another person.

“I would submit to the committee, if you had to choose one for your loved one, to be killed by a drunk driver and you could not receive shock probation, or robbery in the first degree, I think it’s absolutely reasonable that we would consider adding one more to this list of exceptions,” Raque Adams said.

Debbie Moskwa of Michigan, told the committee how a personal tragedy in her family became even worse when the person responsible for the death of her son was released from prison early.

Moskwa lost her 24 year-old son Ricky, who was killed, in a four-car crash on Interstate 71 in Kentucky in 2002. Her husband Rick was also seriously injured.

“To be thrown into the turmoil of Ricky’s death and the process of the criminal system, we believed that those who killed Ricky would be punished and serve the full sentence that was given at the time of sentencing,” Moskwa said. “The two men who caused the crash were convicted of manslaughter in the second degree. One was released after serving only 240 days of a 13 year sentence. The other was sentenced to seven years, and was released after only serving three years.”

Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson sympathized with Moskwa, but stopped short of endorsing the proposed legislation citing that judges use shock probation after careful scrutiny case-by-case.

“To take a wanton and reckless charge and just prohibit shock probation across the board, to me, might be a little extreme and limit our elected judges when they’re exercising discretion in specific cases,” Webb said.

“All we’re asking is that they serve out that term,” Raque Adams responded. “That’s what they were given, they should serve out their term.


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