15 November 2008

You Can't Blame David Clark For Getting A Slap On The Wrist

Jockey David Clark Receives His Sentence For Vehicular Manslaughter While Drunk

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

Another Travesty

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

Very Sad

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.


Anonymous said...

The Judge has to be a Liberal Democrat.

Anonymous said...

I think people should have all the facts before they start posting comments.
1) Jamie Mizuno is the one responsible for his sister's death, he was speeding, made a left hand turn into traffic and swerved into David Clark's driving lane! OUT OF CONTROL DRIVING by Jamie Mizuno. He is the one that must live with the fact that it was his actions that caused the death of his sister.
2) House arrest vrs. jail time will not change the outcome of this unfortunate event. Jail time will not bring back Ms.Mizuno.
3) Why would the tax payers want to incur the additional expense of clothing and feeding Mr. Clark for 2-3 years. Society would benefit by the continued employment of David Clark.
4) Lastly, MADD being outraged- they are the criminals when 85% of the monies they have collected over the years has been going to admin costs! Whats with that?

I believe the judge is saying that David Clarke shouldn't have been operating a vehicle after drinking, but the outcome of the accident would not have changed had he been under .08. Our laws are about justice not vengeance, and I believe justice has been done.

Anonymous said...

1) I'd like to know why the news reporters covering the case don't know as much as you are saying you know regarding the crash. If your account is true, it should have been reported that way, but still there are laws against drunk driving...but still, he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter....in other words, he admitted to being responsible for the school teacher's death. He should have been punished accordingly.

2) Why have jails at all? How many crimes can be righted where the victim gets everything back to normal?, Whether it is murder? Pedophilia? Fraud? etc. The reason we have jails is to punish those who committed a crime and also to deter those in society from committing the same crime.

3) Again, would society be better off letting everyone in jail be under house arrest and working? You are missing the point of why jails exist.

4) It isn't just MADD who find the sentence to be wrong. I really could care less of any of these non profit charity organizations because usually most of the money goes to admin.

Our laws are about justice and vengeance last I looked. You do the crime, you are supposed to do the time.

Anonymous said...

I didnt know that the driver came over on David Clark,in court he should have claimed an inquiry against the other driver.im sure he woulda only got three days!

Anonymous said...

"Why would the tax payers want to incur the additional expense of clothing and feeding Mr. Clark for 2-3 years. Society would benefit by the continued employment of David Clark."

The Most Ridiculous Post of the Year on the Internet for 2008 goes to this guy.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the Justice System for such a crazy sentencing! This is a great message to society "Go out and kill people because you are only going to get 2 years house arrest". If that were my sentence, I would say THANK YOU! I know David Clark personally, and he is a cold hearted loser who deserves to go to jail. I feel extremely sorry for this family, my heart goes out to them.......hopefully there is an appeal and he gets deported immediately. David Clark does not represent our country what so ever!

Anonymous said...

if you truly believe what the news reports than you are the moron. Media is about societal control and causing public reactions. Obviously, you have succumbed to what the media wants.

You absolutely cannot depend on the media for the real facts. A few examples: his reported age is wrong, the location of his sentencing was wrong and yes, the reported facts of the case, are also wrong.

True, the loss of a life is tragic and that is something both Mr. Mizuno and Mr. Clark will have to live with the rest of their lives -punishment worse than jail I would say. However, the loss of critical thinking on the part of most of these commentators, is also a tragic loss to the evolution of society. If you were so interested in the case and the reasoning behind the sentencing, where were you during the trial?? Oh, I guess you wouldn't have been able to find it since the location reported by the media was wrong. I was there and can confirm that there was only 1 reporter and they were not taking notes. How reliable does that sound?