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No winners in tragic Bayshore Boulevard traffic case | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Judge Christopher Nash is shown a picture of Lillia Raubenolt while presiding over Cameron Herrin's sentencing hearing on Thursday. Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and her 1-year-old daughter, Lillia, in a 2018 traffic crash.
Judge Christopher Nash is shown a picture of Lillia Raubenolt while presiding over Cameron Herrin's sentencing hearing on Thursday. Herrin was sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and her 1-year-old daughter, Lillia, in a 2018 traffic crash. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | AP ]
Published Apr. 10
Updated Apr. 10

A lesson for parents

Driver gets 24 years prison for Bayshore crash that killed mother, daughter | April 8

What were the parents of the teen driver thinking when they put an 18-year old, immature boy in a 460 horse power vehicle. It was a crazy decision, one that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. It was stupid.

Too often we read stories like this where parents think they are showing their children how much they love them, but the truth is they failed them badly and now they, along with many more people in this tragic saga, will have to pay a heavy price. I hope that parents nationwide will take note and learn from this tragedy.

Malcolm Horton, Tarpon Springs

Sentence is too long

Driver gets 24 years prison for Bayshore crash that killed mother, daughter | April 8

Has justice been served or is this teen driver being used as a pawn? Bayshore Boulevard has a history of tragic and preventable traffic accidents, yet Tampa does nothing to help help prevent these accidents. How many families must be destroyed before something is done? Does an 18-year-old, just graduated from high school, with no criminal record deserve 24 years in prison? Career criminals, murders, rapists, child molesters and crooked politicians certainly don’t receive such harsh penalties. While I feel for the family who lost their beloved wife and daughter, the crime of teenage driving doesn’t fit the sentence. Shame on the judge for ruining more lives.

Heather Rawls, St. Petersburg

No winners here

Driver gets 24 years prison for Bayshore crash that killed mother, daughter | April 8

Cameron Herrin was sentenced today to 24 years for two counts of vehicular homicide for racing on Bayshore Boulevard, which resulted in the deaths of a young mother and her 1-year old. Herrin faced a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. His attorneys asked for a six-year sentence and the family of those killed wanted 30. What is the price for two lives? This is such a difficult and interesting question, and a sad day for everyone involved.

I’m confident that our system must continue to impose these difficult sentences to serve as a deterrent to future similarly reckless behavior; however, that only works if families share this story with their children, and we teach our kids that actions have consequences, and us as adults ensure those consequences are appropriately meted out. I believe we must also discuss the abject failure of our criminal justice system to provide for productive lives behind bars and opportunities for rehabilitation, and what that says about us as a society.

It is unconscionable that we will likely put this 21 year old with no priors in the same prison as some of our worst offenders, and then make it exceptionally difficult for him to spend his sentence in ways which is not only highly productive for him, but also for society. His reaction to the sentence tell the whole story.

The victims’ family is broken, Herrin’s family is broken, Herrin will lose the best years of his life, and we as taxpayers will fund decades of punishment instead of supporting a life of productivity. No one wins.

James Ratliff, Tampa

Money isn’t speech

McConnell condemns corporate backlash to Georgia voting law | April 7

Being what I call a pragmatic liberal, for the fist time I have to agree with Mitch McConnell. I do believe that large corporations should stay out of politics. When he said that they were stupid and to just shut up, I was all for it . Since the conservative U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case decided that money is speech, corporations should shut up and stop donating their speech (money) to the entire Republican party. Let’s see how stupid that is.

Fred Grunewald, Land O’ Lakes

Stimulating generosity

Coronavirus stimulus checks will help Tampa Bay, but only for so long | March 26

I am retired and live relatively comfortably, yet under the top income level to receive Stimulus checks. So when I received my first check, I decided to distribute it to various small business that I frequent. With these last two checks, I have donated to local food banks. In reality, it cost me nothing, but I feel good helping others who have been hit by this pandemic. My reason for writing this is to encourage others, who live comfortably, yet qualify for the Stimulus checks, to share. I hope some you those who read this will consider sharing their Stimulus monies, as well.

Carol Huber, St. Petersburg

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