Saturday, July 3, 2010

An unusual evil punishment

This time during our journey through old cases where Danes have been exposed of acts of xenophobia, we will write about the case against Danish student who had emigrated to the United States with his family when he was little.

Today as far as we know he lives separated from his family in Denmark with little chance of ever rebuilding his life after having served a sentence equal to a life sentence for such a young person. He was a victim of the tough love period in U.S. justice. A sentence he got trying to save his friends from a mexican gang.

He got 8 years in prison for an ordinary traffic accident involving speeding which is quiet normal in Denmark. He was chased by member of one of the widespread Hispanic gang members, when he lost control of his car, but the police and the prosecution had some interest in making a case to warn young drivers and did not investigate that claim. However, he decided to plead guilt because the lawyers made him believe that he would get off with probation only.

Denmark has after introduction of harsher sentences one of the toughest legislation in Europe, but not even the new laws would have made him end up in jail for 8 years. A car accident involving 4 deaths and drunken driving in the wrong lane on a highway resulted in only 2.5 years and 10 years without drivers license - after Denmark have introduced extremely harsh sentences for such incidents!

It is more than double the sentence that he would have become in Denmark, which must be considered a fine example of xenophobia.

Transportation cost lives. An old saying is that you can not make eggs without breaking the shell. It is just sad that a society, which regards themselves as civilized can not realize that.

The story was published in Denmark and sparked outrage due to the clearly improper proceedings. Properly angered by the international crisis, the authorities later attacked the mother - Gitte Lellan. Her son was deported to Denmark in 2004 where he was treated a victim of this unjust justice system. Maybe it is likely for him to make a living some day if he recover from his ordeal. RTC is known for having good results. Until that the Danish welfare system will gladly pay for the result of simple bullying in a foreign system.

Our caseworker did his investigation into this case. Here is what he found.

"Streng straf til dansk bilist", danske nyheder, June 22, 2000
Teen Driver Will Plead No Contest, LA Times, April 11 2000
Danske Marcus idømt otte år, BT, June 23 2000
Danske Marcus kørte fire ihjel, BT, April 13 2000
A mother's walking nightmare heartbroken Gitte Lellan copes with the aftermath of fatal collision
, Free Library
Judge rejects Lellan claim driver in fatal clash say plea coerced, Free Library
Realtor to Stay Jailed Until Trial
Lellan Mom Indicted, Santa Clarita Radio
The local population still hells a memorial over their act of xenophobia to a warning to foreigners of a harsh sentence if they want to drive like the local population.
Healing with the Help of Angels, Inside SCV