The GEM Debate:
Less Time For Manslaughter
Because She’s A Mom?
I came across this article about Amy Locane-Bovenizer of Melrose Place fame who was recently sentenced for vehicular homicide. Helene Seeman was killed in 2010 when her car was hit by the SUV driven by an intoxicated Locane-Bovenizer. Last week Locane-Bovenizer was given a three-year sentence which, with time served, leaves her with another 2 1/12 years to serve. According to The Huffington Post:
The judge lowered the maximum sentence citing the hardship on Locane-Bovenizer’s two young children. One has a serious medical and mental disability. The defense went into detail about how her sick child was deteriorating physically and psychologically since the actress’ incarceration and about how a prolonged sentence would make it worse.
Seeman’s family was outraged and I can see why. You are without your wife and mother and the judge cites family hardships as the reason for not sentencing the maximum (10 years) to the person who caused her death. Just reading that reasoning makes my stomach turn. Loss of life because someone couldn’t refrain from drinking is completely senseless and irresponsible. If anything Locane-Bovenizer should have considered just that defense when she was making the decision to drink her first, second, and subsequent drinks. What if she had died in that accident? Her children would definitely be impacted. As it is now, they have some sort of hope to be with their mother fully soon with visits to help with their grief. Seeman’s family gets none of that.
I am a mother and I do feel for Locane-Bovenizer’s children but Joelle wouldn’t be entitled to this proverbial get out of jail early card, and I don’t see why the pain of losing her mom would be any less; just like it isn’t any less for the children of Helene Seeman who definitely won’t get to see their mom in less than three years.
So what do you think? Should a parent get leniency or should their personal life have nothing to do with how much time they have in prison? Let us know!
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Ella Rucker is the mother of one of the smartest, funniest two-year-olds she’s ever met. She is currently assistant to the head GEM which means hats-a-plenty including writing, editing, and producing for Good Enough Mother. An Ohio native implanted in NYC for the last 13 years, Ella has achieved one of her many dreams by writing. Her musings (she’s amused they’d be called “musings”) can be found at other places on the web so make sure you follow her on twitter @ellalaverne for all the information.