The Deputy Chief of Prosecutions, Jane Radostits, who had previously prosecuted drunk driving cases, killed herself while driving with a BAC of 0.25, three times over the legal limit. She also broke the arms and legs of another driver in the 4 car crash.
Radostits also put Aurora motorist Randall Visor behind bars for 13 years for the deaths of three Waubonsie Valley High School students and another woman while he was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 in 1997. She told the jury that "calling this a tragedy is insufficient" because "the tragedy is that it could have been avoided."
I don't know what to make of this. Every now and then I get an article emailed to me in which a prosecutor gets caught in the very act they prosecute.
Do they think they're above the law? That they could talk their way out of it if they were caught, in a way that other defendants couldn't? Did they think they wouldn't be caught?
Did she think it's ok for her to drive drunk, that maybe she could do it safely, unlike the defendants she prosecuted?
In both this case and this previous one I posted, the prosecutors killed themselves (in one case apparently intentionally and in the other apparently accidentally), so we'll never know. Not that we would necessarily know otherwise.
I don't take any pleasure from these cases. (I invariably get an email to that effect.) I don't like to see anyone hurt or killed or even just put in a bad situation. But I do hope that maybe it gives other prosecutors pause - who are "the bad guys?" Are they that different from you? Or your friends and colleagues?
The family member of a drunk driving victim Radostits had previously prosecuted made a statement. The father of one of Visor's victims said he was saddened at the news. "It just shows that even good people can make a mistake," said Sheldon Anderson, father of Jenni Lynn Anderson.
I just wonder if he thought that the man who was responsible for his daughter's death was a good person who made a mistake. That man (Visor) was sentenced to 14 years in prison and, as a result of that "lenient" sentence, the law was changed to allow a maximum sentence of 30 years in a drug or alcohol related reckless homicide that that causes more than one death.
The State's Attorney, Joseph Birkett said of Radostits, "She paid the ultimate price—she's dead. That doesn't change the impact of what she has accomplished in the state." He was able to look beyond this horribly reckless act to what she had already accomplished in her life.
I don't know anything about Visor or the other defendant's Radostits prosecuted, but I wonder how much it mattered what else they had accomplished in their life.
Like I said, I just don't know what to make of this.