http://t4america.org/blog/2011/07/18/pr ... petrators/
Nelson, 30 and African-American, was convicted on the charge this week by six jurors who were not her peers: All were middle-class whites, and none had ever taken a bus in metro Atlanta. In other words, none had ever been in Nelson’s shoes:
They had never taken two buses to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart with three kids in tow. They had never missed a transfer on the way home that caused them to wait a full hour-and-a-half with tired and hungry kids for the next bus. They had never been let off at a bus stop on a five-lane speedway, with their apartment in sight across the road, and been asked to drag those three little ones an additional half-mile-plus down the road to the nearest traffic signal and back in order to get home at last.
And they had never lost control of an over-eager four-year-old as they waited on a three-foot median for a car to pass. Nor had they watched helplessly as a driver who had had “three or four” beers and two painkillers barreled toward their child.
That’s right: Because Nelson did not lug her exhausted little ones three-tenths of a mile from the bus stop to a traffic signal in order to cross five lanes of traffic, she is guilty of vehicular manslaughter. Because she did as her fellow bus riders, who crossed at the same time and place, and because she did what pedestrians will do every time – take the shortest reasonable path – she is guilty of vehicular manslaughter.
the laws in this country are a joke. if you want to kill someone, use a car.
“The Atlanta region has a plan to spend billions of federal and state dollars on projects that shave one or two minutes off a 30-minute driving commute,” said Sally Flocks, the executive director of a pedestrian safety group in Atlanta, who closely followed the trial. “But we think nothing of expecting transit riders and pedestrians to spend another 20 minutes walking out of their way.”
As a friend said, the prosecutors “stuck a knife in a grieving mother and twisted it.” Now she’s awaiting sentencing of up to 36 months in jail and working desperately to make provisions for her kids, should she be sent away. Prosecuting people like Raquel Nelson, who truly are the victims of poor planning and bad design, is like closing the door of the proverbial barn and then burning it down. One well-marked crosswalk would save more lives, and in all likelihood it would cost less than this malicious prosecution cost the taxpayers of Georgia.