Updates on the case of Mary Wild, the dog handler whose neglectful actions caused the death by heat stroke of seven show dogs in June, have not appeared in any mainstream media sources in quite some time, but dog forums and news sources are still keeping an eye out. A reader’s letter to The Dog Press reports that the case has been continued until October 13, 2009 and a jury trial has been requested. Maximum possible sentence would be 8 years in jail plus $8,000 (1 year + $1,000 fine for each of 8 counts of animal abuse).
I’ve served on a jury twice (one criminal case and one civil case) and I came back with serious misgivings about the phrase “jury of one’s peers” and for that matter, the entire trial-by-jury process. I wonder whether a jury trial will result in the maximum sentence for Ms. Wild, or will a jury feel sorry for her, perhaps because of her youth or because to so many people, a dog is just a dog and a show dog is just an object?
There was also news last week on another case that shocked and angered me earlier this year. Lora Hunt was painting her fingernails as she drove, and struck and killed motorcyclist Anita Zaffke who was stopped at a traffic signal. On September 16, Ms. Hunt was indicted on 6 counts of reckless homicide. Arraignment is October 8.
If you’ve been here before, you know my thoughts on distracted driving. This case is the one I point at when people try to demonize technology as the root of all distracted driving evil. Ban texting while driving, by all means. But make sure that distractions like this, total low-tech distractions, can also be considered dangerous and punishable when the results are as horrible as this.
(NaBloPoMo | 75% Challenge: 222 of 274)