POLS 1101- Kevin Cook
Extra Credit Paper
April 17, 2006
On Thursday, April 13, I went to the Russell Union Ballroom to listen to a twenty-
eight year old man named Matt tell his story of his drunk-driving experience that changed
his life forever. Matt was twenty-two years old and had had four mixed alcoholic
beverages at a party before leaving with a friend to go to another party. As Matt was
driving seventy-seven miles per hour down a back road, he lost control of his vehicle and
hit a mini-van, tearing it in half. The mini-van had two grandparents in it, and he killed
both of them. Matt was charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with thirteen
years in prison and another seventeen years on parole; he will not get his freedom back
until he is fifty-three years old.
I relate this story to American Government for many reasons. For starters, the
legal system did not violate Matt\u2019s 8th Amendment rights, which prohibit excessive bail
and fines, and also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The family of the two
grandparents whom Matt killed was able to decide how many years they wanted Matt to
serve for each of the people Matt killed. They could give Matt up to fifteen years in
prison per person Matt killed. Matt could either decide to plead guilty to the charges and
disrespect the victim\u2019s family, since he knew he had killed their family members; or he
could take whatever punishment the family decided for him. Matt decided to take the
family\u2019s decided punishment for him.
Now bringing you back...
Does that email address look wrong? Try again with a different email.