Court System Fails Alan Deane and His Family

November 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We are disappointed to report that Sidharth Misra, the driver who killed Alan Deane as Alan was riding his bicycle on Colorado Blvd. in September 2011, was given a light sentence on November 13 in the Pasadena Superior Court. As we suspected before the hearing, the terms of the sentence were predetermined by a plea bargain deal in which Misra was convicted of Reckless Driving. His sentence included 10 hours of community labor, 400 hours of community service, 3 years probation, a few small fines, and restitution that has still not been confirmed (but was estimated to be around $4,000). Commissioner Steven Monette presided over the hearing.

A group of supporters met for a short ride from the crash site to the courthouse where they joined more supporters, along with Alan’s friends and family members. Alan’s aunt, Anita “Cookie” Berman, made a tearful statement which was followed by a statement by LACBC staff member Colin Bogart. In their statements, Berman and Bogart both cited that there should be stiffer penalties in cases like this, specifically the revocation or suspension of Misra’s driver’s license. Misra also spoke to Alan’s family and friends, saying he was sorry and that he understood if they hated him or could not forgive him.

In this case, we are less concerned about Misra and more concerned about the failure of our legal system to protect and seek justice for victims like Alan. Misra does not seem like a bad person, but how can our legal system convict a person of Reckless Driving and still preserve the person’s driving privilege? Somehow, the suspension or revocation of a person’s driving privilege must become automatic in cases like this. It would be a step in the right direction towards making the punishment fit the crime, and would be an incentive for people to simply drive more carefully.

We sincerely thank the supporters who met for the ride and who attended the hearing. At the very least, Alan’s family did not have to face Tuesday’s hearing alone. Alan’s father Gil called to thank the LACBC and everyone who has supported the family. We can all take some comfort knowing that we’ve helped Alan’s family through a very difficult time.

You can read (and listen to) more at the Pasadena Star News, KPCC, and Streetsblog Los Angeles.

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  1. […] LACBC says the court system failed Deane and his family, while Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says it failed all of […]

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