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Riders on the motorcycling e-mail lists I monitor are seething with indignation over Mr. Janklow's "slap on the hand" sentence for second-degree manslaughter. Seems about right to me – after all, he wasn't convicted of murder, nor did he commit murder. If I thought he’d received special treatment from the judge I’d feel differently – but I think Mr. Janklow got the same sentence you or I would have received in similar circumstances.

The AMA is lobbying states to impose mandatory minimum sentencing in cases where motorists are convicted of killing motorcyclists. I'm opposed to mandatory sentencing guidelines in general - I think the "three-strike" laws were a terrible mistake, and this would be a mistake as well.

But it’s true that far too many motorists receive little or no punishment for injuring or killing bikers. There's no doubt in my mind this can be chalked up to anti-biker prejudices held by cops, prosecuting attorneys, and judges. And I don't know what can be done to reverse those prejudices.

The AMA is taking, perhaps, the practical approach – remove prejudice from the equation with mandatory sentencing rules. Sort of the same approach the military took toward race relations – you can’t change hearts and minds, but by imposing strict rules you can change behavior.

Which is to say that while I don’t support the AMA’s “kill a biker, go to jail” campaign, I won't work against it.

What I wish is that we had a doctrine of professionalism. We – Americans, our law enforcement officials, our judges – don’t take driving seriously. You can get away with “Oops, I didn’t see him.” If we took driving seriously this would never fly – what the hell are you doing operating a vehicle if you aren’t looking out for other drivers and obstacles? And so it would be, were I king of the world.
 

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Three years ago, I was struck from behind by a guy who told the cops he didn't see me. The thing is, I was stopped for a school bus that was taking on kids, so he obviously must not have seen the large yellow school bus with flashing red and yellow lights. He also must not have seen the large Cadillac that was directly in front of me.

This guy could have killed me or crippled me for life, but he got off with a traffic citation for 'inattentive driving'. Oblivious driving would have been more like it. Or maybe even negligent attempted homicide.

I don't know how that dead biker's family is handling all this. It's nothing short of an outrage.

John in Vegas
 

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I just did my insurance for the new bike and I had an increase from the lowest rate to a rate higher this year. I never had a ticket, accident nothing. In fact I have two defensive driving courses on the bike. MSF intermediate , expert and expert two up. Last year I was hit behind while sitting at a red light. The women said that she didn't see me. I saw her just in time coming down on me and blew throught the light. I was doing 20 when she hit me. She was doing about thirty.

Why the hell should I have to pay for some women error. It wasn't even close to my fault. The fact is if I wasn't sharp and watching my butt I would have been in the hospital. They should have thanked me for the fast thinking and saving them a few million dollars in legal fees.

They wouldn't even take care of a rental bike. Next time if God forbid there is a next time I am going seek damages.

She actually had the gaul to say and I quote. "did I hit you"

She ran a red light, ran into me and didn't see me. I guess she didn't see the light too. I didn't say a word and was actually very nice even though I wanted to rip her freekin head off but somehow kept my cool. I even let her use my phone.

These cell phone have to go. As if NJ isn't dsangerous enough on a bike do we really need them. I told my wife. "if I get killed and they were on the cell phone my soul will not rest until you are living in there house and living off their paycheck for the rest of your life.

Here the best part. It clearly states in the police report that I was stopped until I saw her in my rear view and I blew the light. No tickets were issused. I was without my bike for three months, well I had it but it looked like crap with duct tape all over the back fender. Clear tape holding my tail light on.

I put in for a rental but none were available and her insurance company would not pay for it. I missed my vacation that we had planned on the bike too. I should have sued her but I'm not that kind of person. In fact my neck is still kinda sore still as well as my wrists. I should file a hugh claim just to piss them off.

I got a copy of the police report and it cleared me 100%. They did give me the lower rate. Lets face it NJ is the highest in the nation. I pay 3500 for my cars and 700 for my bike. That in it's self is rude.
 

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When I was a kid, a year older friend of mine was riding his bicycle, and ran into the back of a parked semi truck. His mother screamed at the truck driver, saying that he should have a red flag on the back of his truck to warn people that it was stopped. The trucker looked at her and said, "Lady, if he couldn't see the back of my truck, he sure as hell wouldn't see a red flag!"

As far as drivers with cell phones, there has been more than one time that I've blasted them with the air horns on my Ranger pu. These are the kind with the air tank. They will sit at a green light just talking away as if they are in their living room.
 

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Killed for $50

One of my friends was killed sitting at a red light 2 blocks from his house. There was a DWI Checkpoint right on the corner and the cops saw the whole thing. The "Motorist" didn't see him nor the red light at a main intersection of 2 4 lane roads. The guy didn't even hit the brakes until he had blown through the light. Bottom line the cage driver was fined $50 for wreckless driving. I guess that sums up what a bikers life is worth here in New Mexico.......
 

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i dont agree with the songleing out of a group with special punishments

if you kill anyone with a vehicle while drunk

yes i go with the harsh penalties

not just because they were on a bike

loren
 

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Kill A Biker, Go To Jail?

Paul:

Janklow got off really easy with only a 100 day sentence, and the fact that if he behaves, the felony conviction will be removed from his record.

If that would have been you or I that killed the biker, we would be looking at a jail sentence of far more than just a 100 days, it would be measured in years. Do you think they would remove the felony conviction from our record?? Janklow is a habitual speeder with no regard for speed limits, stop signs, semaphores, etc. He got off easy because he is a politician.

murf
 

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Paul, the real truth is that law enforcement does take driving seriously.......Where did you get your infor. that cops are anti-biker? That must be your own closed minded opinion because that is the farthest thing from the truth. Murph is right, this jerk got off because he is a politician.
 

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Paul,

I've got to chime in on this one. Before you say this can be "chalked up to anti-biker prejudices held by cops" maybe you should do a little checking on how many cops ride motorcycles.

You might just be surprised.

Having said that, and I can only speak for myself, I'm going to try to be FAIR and not treat the biker or violator any different because a bike is involved.

Something else you might consider. We as officers are only the first step of a long process. We don't get to play Prosecutor, Judge and Jury.

Paul H.
 

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Paul wrote
There's no doubt in my mind this can be chalked up to anti-biker prejudices held by cops..........
Paul I have been a police officer for 16 years.I know alot of police officers.Matter of fact I don't know any that are prejudice to bikers.Now after saying that,I will say there are officers that probably shouldn't be officers.Just like any other profession there are good and there are not so good.So please don't make a general statement about "cops" when you don't know all the cops.

Ok im off my soap box now.
 
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I would have to agree on these issues - Yes he got off because he is a politician and there is money and pocket stuffing involved. I don't believe police are anti-biker at all in fact most police officers I have talked to hold a soft spot in there hearts for bikers as they are aware we are at higher risk. I can't help but think law enforcement personnel aren't frustrated and angered over things like this - they see it every day. Isn't it a terrible thing to think if you were killed in such a way that your family would have to live with the idea that is is OK and forgivable for someone to to this and get off with a slap?

I also agree if it was me or one of my kids or most of the people on this board - 30 years to life.
 

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If Randy Scott had run the stop sign and struck Mr. Janklow's Cadillac in the driver's side door with his motorcycle, had Mr. Janklow died as a result, and Mr. Scott survived, can you imagine the headlines? Speeding Biker Kills Beloved Rep. Janklow Do you really believe there is a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Scott would have gotten more than a hundred days in jail? I'd be willing to bet Mr. Scott would have gotten the maximum fine and sentence. And yet, do Randy Scott's friends, wife and relatives miss his presence any less than Mr. Janklow's would miss him? And why in the world should Mr. Janklow be allowed to have a driver's license ever again? Imprisoning Mr. Janklow for a longer period of time might not make South Dakota a safer place, but he should never be allowed behind the wheel of an automobile again.
 

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Paul, Paul, Paul.....what are you thinking?

Paul, since you offered up your opinion, I would like to counter it with mine.

It is difficult to know exactly what your opinion is because you wandered all over the place, so here are my two disagreements:

He was found guilty of Manslaughter, a felony usually getting a 10 year sentence, not 100 days. His record is frequent or non-stop speeding, having accumulated a large number of tickets and having run through this particular stop sign in the past. So, he neither saw the MC, nor the stop sign in an area with which he is familiar. What isn't logical here is the sentence (JANKLOW ( KILLED A 52 YR OLD RIDER, RAN A STOP SIGN SPEEDING)..GOT OFF WITH 100 DAYS IN COUNTY, AND AFTER 30 DAYS CAN GO OUTSIDE THE JAIL FO 10 HOURS A DAY TO DO COMMUNITY SERVICE. AND THIS WAS FOR MANSLAUGHTER!!!!!!!!).

Secondly, your comment about policemen is way off, as stated above. I'm sure some policemen have issues with any group, but what is the relevance in the case....HE WAS ARRESTED.

It is the judge that let him off. Much like in years past, judges would go light on sentencing drunk driving.

If you get caught killing a deer out of season, you would get a stronger sentence than Janklow did in this case.

This was very poor justice. :evil:
 

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Bikers and cops

When I bought my first street bike at 18 years old, a GL500i, I ended up doing a lot of riding with three friends of mine, two on Harley's and one on the old Honda 750. We wore leather jackets, black helmets and boots, but our behavior was never anything less than civil. The gear was for protection, not to promote an image and none of us were brawlers in nature.

On at least a half dozen occasions we were hassled by the police from what I can only deduce to be a prejudice against bikers. One occasion really stood out, where we had ridden around town after work and ended up at a 7-11 convenience store to get something to drink. We specifically asked the patron if he had a problem with us finishing the drinks in the parking lot, since it was very difficult to ride with a cup in one hand. He said it would fine, so we moved our bikes to the furthest corner of the lot to be out of the way, and proceeded to consume the welcome beverage on that particularly hot and muggy July day in Minneapolis.

We hadn't been there for more than a couple of minutes when a squad car passes by on the road, and then proceeds to turn around and pull into the lot in front of us, where both officers got out of their car and came straight to us. They asked us why we were loitering, and we politely explained the situation and told them that we had the proprietor's permission to be there. They didn't care. They patted us down for weapons, asked for ID and started giving us a hard time about loitering in front of the store. They ignored several pleas to talk with the store manager, who was inside watching the situation nervously. They wouldn't do so. I could tell some lights were flashing in their heads when they asked what we did for a living (why would an officer want to know this, anyway?) When the answer came back as three computer programmers and a chemical engineer, one of the officers got a very sheepish look on his face that gave away his feelings that they had made some mistake in judgment. Finally, after we demanded to know if we were under arrest or not, they allowed us to leave, drinks unconsumed and tossed in the trash.

On the other hand, I haven't had anything but nice reactions from police since. One occasion that stands out was when I was living in Bloomington, IN, and had decided on a whim that I really wanted the milled receiver MAK-90 hanging on the wall of my friends gun store. (A MAK-90 is a modified AK-47, thumb-hole stock variety.) Being on my Shadow 1100, there really wasn't a place to strap it on, so I broke it down, took out the bolt and magazine and strapped the rifle to my back with the muzzle pointing toward the ground. I figured it was only a mile to get home, so there shouldn't be a problem.

Sure enough, on the way back a squad car pulls onto the road behind me and cranks the engine. About the time I was expecting the lights to come on, instead he just got really close in order to see what kind of gun it was. The look on his face was that of appreciation, and when I turned off onto the road I was living on, he kept going straight.

So, I've seen both ends of the spectrum on this issue, and weighing all of the incidents in my mind it comes out in favor of the police. I've had far more pleasant encounters than bad ones.
 

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People have accidents. I don't believe that someone should be pursued by the furies for the rest of his life because someone died by his accident.
I've made mistakes driving; been preoccupied, tired, angry. If I hurt anyone by accident, no punishment could equal what I would inflict on myself.

This was NOT an accident! This man bragged repeatedly on the floor of congress about his speeding. He has had many documented close calls. He has had more speeding tickets than anyone I've ever heard of, multiple DWIs, and yet retained his license. I also believe, with no evidence, that he was stopped numerous times and not ticketed, due to his position in congress.

This was not only foreseeable, it was inevitable. The many people who were involved in letting him keep driving through incident after incident share responsibility in this death.

Whether this man is stupid or evil is irrelevant. He obviously can not be allowed to drive EVER again. He was willing to risk not just bikers, but little girls, grandmothers, kids on bicycles, just so that he could have the bombastic pleasure of knowing that the rules didn't apply to him.

Drunkenly careening from near miss to near miss, his luck held for him. Randy's luck ran out.

God is just. But if God interfered in a matter like this, we would have no free will. We would be pets, not deserving of heaven or hell, just taken care of. So we must be just.

This man should not get out of jail for years. He should share a cell with a very large biker named Bubba, who is very lonely, and as uncaring about the fate or feelings of others as the congressman has been. :evil:
 

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I think the "three-strike" laws were a terrible mistake, and this would be a mistake as well.

In my opinion I think the 3 strike law is the best thing that has come along since "sliced bread". I am sick and tired of picking up the paper every day only to read that some low life scumbag has added another crime to his long list of career crimes and walks out of the courts with a smile on his face because all he got was a slap on the hand. Tell the family of Mike Reynolds that the Three Strikes Law shouldn't be on the books. His daughter Kimberly Reynolds was shot and killed by someone who had no business being out on the streets. Mike was the one responsible for the Three Strikes law, and I praise him for his efforts..
 

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Lazyboy said:
God is just. But if God interfered in a matter like this, we would have no free will. We would be pets, not deserving of heaven or hell, just taken care of. ...
Basically, I agree with that, but his time is coming. Hebrews 9:27 says "And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Lazyboy said:
... So we must be just.

This man should not get out of jail for years. He should share a cell with a very large biker named Bubba, who is very lonely, and as uncaring about the fate or feelings of others as the congressman has been. :evil:
I agree that his serving jail time would be just. But, Bubba shouldn't be part of his punishment. When his time comes God will be his judge.

Let Romans 12:19 be your guide. It says "Dearly Beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto your wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
 

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Actually, I agree with you Bob. I typed that last part with a grin on my face, which I hoped would be represented by the emoticon. Once again, te limitations of the internet, with no facial expressions, or voice inflections, burns me :oops:
 

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Lazyboy said:
Actually, I agree with you Bob. I typed that last part with a grin on my face, which I hoped would be represented by the emoticon. Once again, te limitations of the internet, with no facial expressions, or voice inflections, burns me :oops:
I know the feeling of wanting someone to get what they really deserve! NOW! :twisted:

But, I think I took your statement like you meant it... I just used the opportunity to express some thoughts and put things in perspective.

I am confident that, in the end, there will finally be true Justice. And, thankfully, Mercy for those that trust in Him.

Anyway, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was taking your words too literally, because I did understand what you really meant.
:D
 
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