By DENNIS A. BROWN II
On March 5, 2005, I was involved in a car accident that was caused by a driver who was driving on a suspended driver’s license. The accident was at the intersection of Middlebelt and King Roads near Romulus as I was on my way to work at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Both cars involved in the accident were totaled.
Since then every news story I hear about a criminal committing subsequent crimes after being released I blame those who fail to enforce the law in addition to those who continue to break it. Here are two incidents in particular that I caught on the news:
Charles Cahill, who was 49 at the time of the incident, was speeding on Martinsville Road in Sumpter Township on July 27, 2016, when he struck a mini-van from behind. The accident took the life of 12-year-old Victoria Mack, who was in seated in the third row of the van. Cahill was charged with second-degree murder, operating with a high blood-alcohol level causing death, operating on a suspended license, and having an open container in a vehicle. His blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident was nearly triple the legal limit. What’s even worse is that Cahill was arrested and convicted 12 times for drunken driving, and has not had a valid driver‘s license since 1989. His license was, in fact, suspended 17 times and revoked 24 times.
In Brownstown Township on the afternoon of August 2, 2016, a male and female wanted for retail fraud and parole violation were fleeing Woodhaven police on northbound Allen Road. The crash was at the intersection of Dix Highway and Allen Road when the couple hit three vehicles. Nicole Ann Cutting, 27, of Trenton was killed in the crash. Several others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The fleeing driver is liable to face second-degree murder charges being that the crash resulted in the death of a motorist.
How many crimes should somebody commit in order to finally get the message? The problem with the justice system is that the consequences are too lenient and don’t send a serious message to those who break the law, especially when innocent victims are involved. There are too many loopholes in the justice system. The criminals are receiving an excessive amount of chances to commit crimes.
Electronic tethers can be destroyed. Ignition interlocks on cars are insufficient because the drunken driver can have a friend or relative breathe into the breathalyzer and start the car afterward.
What the state really needs is more severe penalties where one crime would be the only and last one that‘s committed. The loopholes need to be closed. The criminal should serve the entire duration of his or her sentence before being released unless the sentence is life without parole.
The state should also abolish the parole board. The victims or the victims’ families should have the right to file a lawsuit against those who enable the offender to commit subsequent crimes.
The famous police motto is “To Serve and Protect.” But who’s really getting the protection? Nowadays it’s those who continue to break the law instead of those who obey it. Criminals should lose the protection.
(Dennis A. Brown II is a former disc jockey and radio news anchor and reporter. He currently lives in Dearborn and works for a private security company. Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2007 at age 35, he also writes commentaries about autism awareness.)