Texas Juries Strike Again – Life Sentence for DWI
First, let me add that I realize DWI can have serious effects. It can result in death of innocent people.
The gentleman in this case out of Williamson County, Bobby Joe Stovall, had 8 prior DWI convictions when he had a wreck in Round Rock injuring a female passenger. In addition, his blood alcohol level (BAC) was tested at .32, 4 1/2 times the legal limit.
Stovall also had convictions for burglary of a habitation in 1994 and credit card abuse in 1987 and had served prison terms in both of those cases. He also had been placed on probation after a conviction for possession of a controlled substance in 1994 and had numerous convictions for theft, driving while license suspended and making alcohol available to a minor.
He obviously was not a model citizen, but life in prison when no one was killed seems a little out of line. I understand that this may prevent someone from being killed in the future, but if you use that argument then there are a lot of crimes that should have a life sentence. It's hard to feel sorry for Mr. Stovall, but the sentence certainly is demonstrative of the Texas justice system. DWI lawyers and DWI attorneys should be able to charge a premium in Williamson County now, Houston, Dallas, (well, anywhere in Texas now that I think about it) and it is also a lesson in why you can't take a DWI conviction just to get it over with any more.
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