Archived Story

Punishment should fit the crime

Published 2:07pm Friday, November 30, 2012

Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, it also shows a glaring weakness in Ohio’s laws.

Christopher Haines, 32, of Oak Hill, was sentenced to just short of five years — with credit for the nearly two years served — for the aggravated vehicular homicide of 10-year-old Angel McGinnis of South Point. Anyone who doubts the dangers of texting while driving need look no farther than this tragic crash.

Haines rear-ended the vehicle in which the child was riding because he was reading a text message. Although Ohio recently made this illegal, the penalties may not be strict enough.

Making matters worse is that a plea bargain reduced the severity of the felony charges and drastically cut the amount of possible prison time. The sentence could’ve been 26 years.

As Ohio Attorney Gen. Mike DeWine said, “No text messages is worth a life. Drivers should remember Angel McGinnis any time they think about concentrating on their phones instead of their driving.” We couldn’t agree more.

Nothing can bring Angel back or erase her family’s suffering but legislators should think about ensuring that the laws and the punishment match the crime.


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