Three years isn’t severe punishment

Frédéric Garneau, a 20-year-old whose street racing killed two of his three passengers, has been sentenced to three years in jail for his crime.

The judge in the case, Gilles Cadieux, called it a “clear and unequivocal” message to all drivers.

Really? Three years works out to about a year and a half each. The maximum sentence is 14 years. Doesn’t sound very clear, or like they “severely punished” anyone. He’ll also be without a driver’s license for six years. Because his reckless driving killed two people.

Let’s review some facts from the case:

  • Garneau was driving with only a learner’s permit
  • He was drunk (about five beers)
  • His passengers were pleading with him to stop
  • Despite his assertions that he was not racing, he was driving fast enough (150 km/h) to have lost control of the vehicle and see the passengers ejected from the car
  • Though it’s not made explicitly clear in the article, I imagine the passengers who died were not wearing their seat belts, further putting them at obvious risk

I’m not a lawyer or anything, but the phrase “reckless disregard for human life” sounds appropriate. And even for an (at the time) 18-year-old without a criminal record, three years sounds like far too short a sentence.

Is this what the family of Bianca Leduc have to look forward to?

2 thoughts on “Three years isn’t severe punishment

  1. DAVE ID

    If it were up to me people driving drunk should lose their license permanently. Drivers permit is not a right but a privilege. If you are to stupid to deserve then it should be taken away.

    Speaking of stupidity. Why did his friends get in a car with a drunk friend instead of removing him from his seat before he took the wheel? Why were they not buckled? I don’t want to play devils advocate here but come on. Somewhere in there these kids went running after trouble, it’s not all Cadieux’s Fault. If the car would have been pulled over before the accident, the non-drivers would have been ticketed for not being buckled-up and being drunk and underaged (if that applies and it should if it doesn’t). That said, I still think he should have gotten a whole lot more time. But I wouldn’t vulgarly quantify it with mathematics and dead bodies.

    And I certainly hope that little Bianca won’t be the battering ram for every damn argument about car driving incidents. It will diminish the meaning of her life to one moment.


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