Bailed Out

Was the Brooklyn Judge Who Released the Cop Who Allegedly Ran Over a Family After a Drinking Binge Fair or Foul?

imageBEN SCHMOLL
Age 27
Resides Manhattan
Occupation German teacher

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?It's awful. He drinks all day, runs over an entire family, and then has the audacity to ask, "Why did they cross?"

Can a police officer get a fair trial?In this case, I think what will happen is that, like the Diallo case, the trial will be moved upstate where some kind of deal will be struck with the prosecutors. Of course he would also get a fair trial here in the city—he'd be convicted.

What should this officer's punishment be?They should follow the standard sentencing guidelines, and he should get anything between 25 years and life.


imageROBINA
Age42
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Independent contractor

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?No. He's a person, but he's also a cop who knows the law, and he drove drunk and killed a family. He should be in jail right now. You walk around the city with a can of beer, and you can spend a night in jail.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?I don't know, but I do think that the police and the judges are in cahoots to some degree.

What should this officer's punishment be? Life in prison. Actually, I think everyone involved in deciding his sentence should get very drunk, and then sentence him in the same condition in which he drove that car.


imageNADINE ROBINSON
Age32
Resides Bronx
Occupation Artist

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?No. He should have been held without bail. The judge feels an internal fraternity with the different branches of the judicial system, but he should have felt a greater sensitivity to the city's race politics.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?Yes, depending on jury selection. Most educated people try to get out of jury duty.

What should this officer's punishment be? It was negligence and not intentional, but you can't just take four peoples' lives. Twenty years would be too much, 10 might be about right.


imageBRENDAN MCLOUGHLIN
Age22
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Screenwriter

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?That's crap. I respect the fact that as a cop he's been putting his life on the line, but as a cop, he should also be held to a higher standard of behavior.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?I think they'll definitely take into account the fact that he's a cop and he'll be given a lighter sentence because of it.

What should this officer's punishment be?Someone where I went to school was responsible for a car accident in which his passengers were killed. He was facing 20 years when he was sentenced. I think that would be about right for this officer.


imageCHUCK COOPER
Age47
Resides New Jersey
Occupation Show business

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?I think it's terrible, and I'm not surprised. Clearly cops are "special." If it had been me in that car, they'd have thrown my black ass in jail.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?Not if I were on the jury.

What should this officer's punishment be? What's on the book for manslaughter? Throw the book at him three times.


imageCESEAR ECHEVERRI
Age26
Resides Queens
Occupation Superintendent

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?No. He's a cop who was on his way to work after drinking all day. What if I had done that? I'd be in jail.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?Yes. Look at the cops in the Louima case. They're in jail.

What should this officer's punishment be?The electric chair.


imagePATRICK FAGAN
Age24
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Graphic designer

Do you agree with the court's initial decision to free the cop without bail?No. The cop shouldn't be held in jail, but to be released without posting bail is setting a bad example.

Can a police officer get a fair trial?I think it can go either way. The courts are afraid of a public backlash, and a lot of the time they're getting pressured from people in power to set examples with their sentencing. On the other hand, I think members of law enforcement and the judicial system work hand in hand to protect each other.

What should this officer's punishment be?If it had been my family, I'd want the guy thrown off the force and put in prison for life.

 
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