Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Schwarzenegger Goes Out With a Bang

More like a stab, that is. It was recently announced that in the waning hours of his term as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of a man that plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The real issue that people have taken with this, though, is that this is the son of the former speaker of the California Assembly. Esteban Nuñez is the son of Fabian Nuñez.

And now that the deed is done, there is no recourse to correct this obvious injustice and corruption. Only impeachment could have reversed the decision, but now that Schwarzenegger is a former governor, this is not possible. The decision is done. As if Schwarzenegger's reputation was not tarnished enough by going back on all of his campaign promises and leaving California in worse shape than it was when he first came into office, he now has this on his hands. He became buddy-buddy with a politician and sold out his soul.

But I thought that this would be a good opportunity to discuss the concept of voluntary manslaughter as a crime. Murder is punishable by life in prison, as it should be. Involuntary manslaughter, which is defined as an accident, is also punishable. Isn't the reason that we put people into prison supposed to be because they pose a threat to the general public? Does a person who engages in involuntary manslaughter dangerous? If it is an accident, then we have to say no.

Esteban Nuñez, though, intended to kill. There is no reason for him to get an early release. There is no justice when such a disregard for justice, as Schwarzenegger showed, goes unpunished and has no legal recourse for retraction. A sad moment indeed.

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