On August 1, 2012, the family vehicle of Shawn and Patricia Wonderly was struck in the City of Poughkeepsie by a felon actively running from police. While fortunately, their two young children survived the horrific accident, Shawn and Patricia did not.
While the perpetrator plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter, under the current law, regardless of the number of victims killed during a single act, sentencing must run concurrently, allowing him to get off easy by serving both of those sentences at the same time.
The Result? A punishment that fails to fit the crime. The man responsible for the Wonderlys’ deaths—and for effectively making two young children orphans—will serve only 6 ½ to 13 years in jail.
I am proud that my first bill to pass in the Senate would address this issue by authorizing judges to impose consecutive sentences when two or more lives are lost as a result of a single criminal act. The bill was brought to me by members of the Wonderly family who have been tireless advocates, working to ensure that no other family suffers this injustice.
The bill has since passed in the Senate twice with bi-partisan support, but has repeatedly stalled in the Assembly Codes Committee.
That’s why local lawmakers and members of the victims’ families came together on the anniversary of their deaths to send a strong message that they will not give up on this fight.
It’s time for the NYS Assembly to make justice a priority by finally passing the ‘Let the Punishment Fit the Crime’ Bill. If you agree and would like to join our fight for justice, please sign my petition below.