Fatal Car Accident Defendants and Justice

What is justice in a fatal car accident in Maryland? Your view of this usually depends on which side of the fence you find yourself. If you love someone who has been killed in a car accident, justice usually demands jail. The logic is unassailable: a very special person has been killed. How can you walk around free, paying a ticket and letting your insurance company pay for the loss after killing someone I love? Justice dictates punishment.

If you or someone you care about negligently killed someone in an accident, you see it very differently. Accidents happen. You know you are going to live with it for the rest of your life. But lots of people make mistakes and cause accidents and you “drew the wrong cards” when your accident proved fatal.

Certainly, it is fair to say that there are two categories of drivers: drunk and not drunk. If you killed someone while drinking and driving, it is hard to argue you should not be punished. The harder issue is the person who chooses not to pay attention behind the wheel and causes a fatal accident. It is their fault, it is their responsibility. But they are not criminals, at least in the usual sense of the word. What do we do with them? Having represented a lot of families who have lost a loved one, I can tell you where 85% of these people sit: real, substantive punishment.