43 year old, Julianne Fetrow’s criminal history documents back to January 12, 1989 when she was charged with driving under the influence. At that time Ms. Fetrow was placed on Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. On May 22, 1990, Ms. Fetrow was charged with vehicular homicide while DUI, involuntary manslaughter and DUI. Fetrow lost control of her car on a bridge over Pinchot Lake striking and killing Morris Stanley, Sr. who was fishing on the bridge. She pled guilty and was given a sentence of 1 ½ to 3 years in prison plus a $500 fine. In 2000, Ms. Fetrow was cited on four separate occasions, 3 were traffic related and 1 was for public drunkenness. On December 15, 2001 again Ms. Fetrow was charged with DUI, this time she was sentenced to 7 days in county prison and 2 months of house arrest plus a $500 fine. Again in 2003 Fetrow was cited for public drunkenness. January 29th, 2004 she was charged with a 4th DUI, given a sentence of 2 to 12 months plus 50 hours of community service and another $500 fine.
On April 18, 2008 Fetrow was found guilty of causing yet another death, this is Fetrow’s 5th DUI. Mr. Victor E. Wolf, Jr., a passenger in Fetrow’s car, suffered fatal injuries after the car was hit by a tractor-trailer. Fetrow was charged with third degree murder, homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, DUI, accident involving death while not properly licensed, driving under suspension, and reckless driving. In September, she will be given a sentence of 13 to 30 years in prison. That’s 1 ½ -3 years for killing one person and 13-30 years for the second killing. Fetrow used a deadly weapon (the combination of alcohol and a vehicle) and has caused the death of two innocent people. This happened not because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but because she willfully showed a blatant disregard for the lives of others by drinking and driving. Fetrow is a chronic offender who has shown over the past 20+ years that she is incapable of changing her bad behavior.
Contrast her punishment with the 2, 574 children in the United States who, as of May 2009, are serving life without parole (LWOP). Many of these juveniles were convicted of non-homicidal crimes. A life sentence for a kid without the possibility of release in spite of scientific fact that proves juveniles, unlike adults, are far less likely to be able to assess risk, control impulse, or comprehend consequences. It also disregards scientific fact that children have the capacity to change. On May 17th, 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 5 to 4 that such a sentence is unconstitutional and violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Something is drastically wrong with a legal system that allows an adult offender to kill two people and wind up with a sentence in which they could spend only 13 years behind bars and yet commit a youth offender, who has not caused the death of another, to a life behind bars without the possibility of ever being paroled. Who are you going to blame-the judge who is bound by the law and often times is limited in what they are able to do, an attorney who is also bound by the law to prosecute or defend? How about looking in the mirror because each and every one of us hires the lawmakers! We need to change the adult and juvenile injustice system in the United States. WE need to do something!