LETTER: Shock probation for DUI offenses should be stopped

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 Shock probation for DUI deaths should be stopped

I am Debbie Moskwa of Michigan. My son Ricky Moskwa, 24, was killed in a four-car crash May 5, 2002 while traveling through Kentucky.

Vincent Rutledge served only 8 months of a 13-year sentence. Matthew Scott Burton was sentenced to seven years and was denied shock probation. They crash also killed Carmen Williams of Ohio and seriously injured my husband, Rick in the crash.

I have been working with Carolyn Scharf of Louisville, whose daughter Anne, 17, was killed in 1985 to prohibit shock probation in a DUI Death.

Five years ago Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, sponsored a bill that would have accomplished just that. He will be sponsoring BR 320 for the 2012 Session.

It states:

AN ACT relating to shock probation.

Amend KRS 439.265 relating to shock probation to prohibit shock probation if a person is convicted of violating KRS 507.040 relating to manslaughter in the second degree or KRS 507.050 relating to reckless homicide and a violation of KRS 189A.010 relating to driving under the influence arising from the same incident to permit the victim's living next of kin to ask the court to permit shock probation.

Below is the past legislation:

2008 SB25 (Westwood) passed out of the Senate 25-11and was not heard before the House Judiciary Committee.

2009 HB192 (Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville) passed out of the House 89-2and was not heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

2010 HB15 (Riner) was not heard before House Judiciary Committee.

2011 SB57 (Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville) was not heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I am asking you to contact your legislator on this important issue where anyone can become a victim of not only drinking and driving but how unjust this law as it now reads. No one is exempt from this.

I will continue this mission until this is a law. It is hard enough to have to have your loved one stolen from you by a drunk driver, but than to be have to suffer the pain inflicted by shock probation, is unexcusable. I have spent Thousands of Dollars in the last five years, it will be worth every penny to bring a stop to this law that is unacceptable and unjust.

Debbie Moskwa