This morning I was watching the news and they were discussing the death of a police officer in Ontario. Earlier this week a police officer made a routine traffic stop, discovered that none of the occupants in the vehicle were the owner of the vehicle. Somehow the vehicle moved forward dragging the officer and proceeded to roll pinning the officer underneath.
The officer would have been 33 this weekend and leaves behind a wife, a 2 year old daughter and a 9 week old son.
The driver was a 15 year old who had gone for a joy ride. This morning it was revealed that there is a chance that he/she will be a quadriplegic due to their injuries in the roll over.
On the news discussion they were talking about how this person is now charged with first degree murder (I believe, possibly manslaughter) and will go through the legal system as a young offender. Also that the sentence could be upgraded to that of an adult. As a youth they face 10 years, with 6 in prison and as an adult they would face life in prison. They also said that the injuries facing this individual would have an impact on the judge's deliberation.
It is a tragedy in so many ways. However, this person chose to "borrow" a car and drive without a license. Who knows how dangerous their driving was, likely dangerous enough that the officer pulled them over. When you are stopped by police, you typically put your car in park, so this person also chose to put the car into gear and try to evade police. This person also chose not to stop while dragging the officer for 300 metres prior to the rollover. They made a lot of bad decisions that lead to this person's death and the whole thing was preventable. At any point a change in their decision would have changed the entire outcome of events.
I feel like I'm being too harsh on this kid. After all, they are only 15, but I can't help but think about the 2 year old and 9 week old that will never know their father.
Am I being too harsh when I don't think it is right that this person's injuries should have an impact on their sentence?