I have to say one thing, the court system in Ontario really appears to suck in a very big way. 2 and a half years ago a teacher lost her life in a car thanks to a drunk driver.
The driver, jockey David Clark, eventually pleaded guilty to drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
Not only was it a joke that it took so long for the judge to hand down a sentence, the biggest joke was the sentence itself, especially if the facts reported in the papers were the actual facts of the case.
I was thinking, minimum 3 years (the maximum is 25 years) at the very least. But no. Clark got 2 years less a day (which I think eliminates any discussion of deportation after the sentence, which Clark faced because he is a British citizen, never getting his Canadian citizenship) of HOUSE ARREST.
House arrest which allows him to work and also allows him to leave the house with specific court approved individuals who are over the age of 18.
Is that even a sentence in today's world of the internet? If I was sentenced to leave my house more, I would find that worse than being sentenced to stay home.
Clark obviously got a great lawyer and a very weak judge.
What does this sentence say to young drivers, for example?
The ORC now gets to review David Clark's jockey license. But how can they deny his right to earn a living even after knowing Clark pleaded guilty some time ago? They allowed to continue in one of the most dangerous professions on this planet then. The judge has OKed Clark to continue riding, so the ORC can't do anything to stop him on the basis of his sentence, or at least that is how it appears. I'm sure they don't want to face Clark's legal team. The ORC can't afford to be embarrassed in real court again.
Again, you can be mad at Clark for driving drunk and allegedly taking away the life of a 34 year old school teacher, but you can't be mad at him for the sentence he received. You can't be mad at Clark for riding in races over the last 2 and a half years, but you could be mad at the ORC for allowing him to do so.
I wonder if the sentence and the ORC's lack of action would have been different if a 3 year old was killed instead.
I'll let the Toronto Star commenters take over from here. One thing I found interesting were the comments saying it was actually the car driven by victim Suzanne Muzano's brother that swerved into Clark's lane. I don't see that being true, because all the reports I've read state that Clark swerved into Mizuno's lane.
You have to wonder what the motive would be for reporters to get the facts wrong...I can't see it. Most likely, the commenters making the allegations against Mizuno are trying to make Clark look better than he looks.
Here are some of the comments:
What a Joke
High priced lawyers win again. Imagine anyone else being that over the limit, crossing into the path of a car and killing someone. Your penalty - HOUSE ARREST !!! There has to be an appeal.
Submitted By Raps07
Get your Facts Straights
The thing about this case is that yes Mr.Clark was drinking but Mr.Mizuno was the cause of the accident. EVERYBODY should get there facts straight INCLUDING this paper.
Submitted By brave4
It's a disgrace!
Sentencing this idiot to TWO years of house arrest exposes all that is wrong with our justice system. At the least this guy must have spent these two years in a REAL jail. When are we going to start treating drunk driving as a REAL crime with REAL effects?
Submitted By ProudIndian
life cheap in Canada
It looks like the deal is so he can keep riding. He deserved Jail for five years which would end his career, after all Suzanne Mizuno's career is over
Submitted By tincase
How is house arrest and the ability to still go to work serve as punishment for killing a 34 yr. old woman? How will this serve as a deterent to others who will get behind the wheel of a car while drunk? It's no wonder our society is becoming more and more lawless.
Submitted By Piper
Shame on you Judicial system!
When are people's lives going to equal more then 2 years of house arrest. I am continually appalled by our legal system where money crimes continue to be a more serious. When are the loss of lives going to be deemed more important. For someone to knowingly get behind the wheel after drinking and then to kill an innocent person..then too get 2 years is a slap in the face of a family who is already grieving! To Ms. Mizuno's family I apologize for our judicial systems lack of justice...hopefully one day soon this will change. sad in the east end.
Submitted By eastgirl
Why should we be surprised?
Remember, the hug a thug members of society say it's all about rehabilitation, not punishment.
Submitted By The Hawk
As we come into the festive season and MADD and police try to make the public aware of the dangers of drunk driving this sentence sends the wrong message. The Crown needs to appeal this sentence immediately. The fact that he works in an industry supported by the rich makes one wonder if there really is a law for the rich and one for the poor.
Submitted By berg girl
Facts Unknown to Public
It's unfortunate that the public isn't aware of the facts in this case, but how can they be informed when the facts are not written about?! What the article should read is: Jamie Minuzo was speeding and Jamie Minuzo swerved into David Clark's car to avoid cows in a field. David Clark made a mistake and he is paying dearly for it, and I'm sure he'll never do it again. David Clark did not cause the accident, Jamie Minuzo caused the accident that killed his sister and he is not being punished.
Submitted By MAS_4
I hope his community service involves going around to schools to talk about drinking and driving, especially where Ms. Mizuno taught. Let him have to explain why they no longer have a great teacher, friend and colleague with them anymore. Shame on the judge for the sentence and shame on Mr. Clark.
Submitted By watercolourgal
No wonger the Mothers are Mad as hell.......
Bookkeeper bilked Toronto daycares out of $800,000 gets three years in prison. And our drunk driver killers get ..... Your bad boys go to your rooms damit.
Submitted By Mr Mr
the real facts
the court facts not the toronto star facts are: mr. mizuno was speeding and swerved LEFT into the path of mr. clarks car rather than going right onto the shoulder of the road and possibly hitting a cow in the field.
Submitted By hi2
get your head out of your ass
The ultimate insult to the family-- some moron responding by blaming it on cows and the other driver. I guess you missed the "according to polic, the Maxima swerved into the oncoming lane" part of the story. David has had substance abuse issues for years and instead of getting help for himself, he took the easy route. That choice left a woman dead. And shame on the horsemen's benevolent association for not helping David overcome his addiction. regards, benny beam
Submitted By benny beam
Yet another joke from our courts
So, Clark has to stay home for 2 years, but he's allowed to go to work. How difficult that must be! At least the rest of the world isn't as crazy. Last month in Oregon, an alleged drunk driver killed 4 people. He is facing 4 manslaughter charges and could get 4 consecutive 10 year sentences (40 years). We need laws with real teeth in Canada. Here's the article: http://www.newsregister.com/article/22702-carlton-man-faces-4-manslaughter-counts
Submitted By K.D.
Some things never Change.
No one knows what an impact something like has on the life of the family of victims unless you have personally gone through it. I lost a brother 29 years ago to a drunk driver, and then again in 2006 with the death of Suzanne. People have been told many times not to drink and drive but do they listen? No! There is no excuse for it. No cows in a field (silly remark),they were in the field not on the roadway, what has that got to do with it. Mr. Clarke got behind the wheel after drinking. Mr. Clarke is not a new driver and I'm sure he knew about the laws of drinking and driving. He made his choice that afternoon. And he should have had to pay a stiffer price than what he received, but I knew when they moved his sentencing hearing to Barrie from Newmarket that they had found a judge who would be lenient with him.Which is a shame. How many more families have to weep at a gravesite of a loved one before the laws are changed to zero tolerance for everyone whether they be rich or poor.
Submitted By gopher
The value of Life
A human life can not be of much value considering the tiny penalty given to a killer. He can stay home when most people are at home and he can go to work when most people go to work. Some penalty!
Submitted By jlane
give the guy a break
It was only 1 life. He's a celebrity for pete's sakes. What's a little drink or eight? When will out judicial system wake up and say 'ZERO TOLERANCE'!!!
Submitted By gawg_you_r_ignant
Another site that has reported the story (also chastising the Ontario Justice System) did attract this from an anonymous commenter:
It's unfortunate that the public doesn't really know what happened. This is a result of journalists writing what they want and not writing the truth. The facts are that Jamie Mizuno was travelling 20 or 30 kilometers over the speed limit on the gravel road. When he came upon David Clark's car Jamie Minuzo swerved in to him rather than swerve the other way to avoid the cows in the field. Yes, David Clark made the mistake of having a couple of drinks and getting behind the wheel of a car and I'm sure he'll never do it again, but the accident was a result of Jamie Minuzo's driving...someone else is paying Jamie Minuzo's mistake.
Do anonymous commenters have it right, while reporters have the story wrong? Again, I doubt it, but I guess anything is possible.