Monday, November 8, 2010

DA Hurlbert has a perverse sense of what constitutes a felony

DA Mark Hurlbert decided to drop felony charges against a driver Mr. Erzinger who allegedly ...
Erzinger allegedly veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo from behind. Milo was thrown to the pavement, while Erzinger struck a culvert and kept driving, according to court documents.

Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town's roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.
What is particularly offensive is that the impact on Mr. Erzinger's job was considered despite the victim's objections.
“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.”
Of course, the reasonable person realizes that Mr. Erzinger who manages over a billion dollars in assets for Morgan Stanley already possesses more than enough assets to compensate the victim even if he had a take a pay cut as the result of a felony charge.

As bad as this is, it turns out the DA Hurlbert has a history of prosecuting some "interesting" things as felonies ...
  1. Andrew Thistleton was charged with third-degree assault and harassment for throwing a snowball at a coworker.  
  2. Wendy Lyall and Katie Brazelton were charged with felony criminal impersonation for swapping racing material after an injury for the Leadville Mountain Bike Race. 
Now in the end, the ludicrous nature of these two cases were realized and charges were eventually dropped.  Mr. Milo, the cyclist struck in this case, however, suffered serious life-altering injuries from an alleged hit-and-run collision.

“He will have lifetime pain,” Haddon wrote. “His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession — liver transplant surgery — has been seriously jeopardized.”
It appears to me and others that DA Hurlbert exercises a serious lack of judgement and a perverse sense of justice.

Added November 9:

DA Hurlbert responds to the criticism.  He claims that his point about the defendent's income and ability to pay were exagerrated and had nothing to do with the charges.  He makes a case why two misdemeanors will be a long lasting penalty which could still include the defendent being incarcerated.