Crime and punishment (Finland edition)

When a man has lost his driving license due to DUI, you'd hope he learns a lesson. Of course, your hope is in vain. This one guy in Lahti did drive without a license, and of course he was drunk. So drunk that he did not see a woman on the street. So she hit her with his car and dragged her with the vehicle for 80 meters under the car. And he was so drunk that he didn't notice even then - even though  his passenger told him. So he just left the woman to die.

But this is not extraordinary, of course. Such things happen. What is extraordinary is the sentencing of this case in the local court: then man got a 30 day jail term, converted into 26 hours of community service.

26 hours of community service for driving drunk without license - repeat offence - and killing someone. The dead woman's spouse was seeking damages, but got none, because the court thought "the act was not intentional".

Of course, one can say that I'd never drive under influence unless I were so drunk that I wouldn't know what I'm doing, so it was an accident, not intentional. But normally that doesn't pass.

Well, the woman who was killed was also drunk, and was probably on all fours on the road. But still. You should be able to see someone on the street, particularly since this was in an urban area with a 50 km/h limit.

But wait! There are worse criminals. Such as the guy who sold chewing tobacco in a kiosk. His crime? Buying the stuff in Sweden and selling it in Finland, i.e. smuggling and tax fraud. His punishment? Two and a half years in prison.

And that tobacco is not so dangerous. It is certainly much less dangerous than regular smoked tobacco which is replaces.

Consider this. 26 hours of community service for repeated DUI and killing someone, and running away from the scene. Two and half years in prison because the state loses tax money.

This really shows where the priorities of our justice system lay.

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