Shock Probation Causing Controversy In Kentucky

There's controversy about the use of shock probation in Kentucky. One family says it's being granted to the wrong people.

On Monday, an admitted drunk driver in Clark County received shock probation. He served five months of a two year prison sentence for killing his passenger.

Now, a family who lost their son to a drunk driver is calling for change.

Six years ago, Richard Moskwa and his 24-year-old son, Richard, were driving from Michigan through Northern Kentucky. Suddenly, two cars racing on the interstate ran into their minivan.

"The last works my son said to me, 'Dad, we got hit by a car,'" Richard Moskwa said. "I grabbed the steering wheel, that was it."

Richard survived with serious injuries, but his son died.

Two drivers were convicted of being drunk behind the wheel. A judge sentenced one to 13 years in prison. But he got shock probation, and only served 8 months in jail.

"We were devastated," Debbie Moskwa, Richard's mother said. "We were floored. We couldn't believe that this could be allowed."

Now Debbie and Richard Moskwa are spending a week in the state capital, hoping to make a change.

Kentucky lawmakers first gave judges the option of shock probation in the early 1970's. But Senate Bill 25 would take it away only in cases where a DUI accident results in a death.

But the bill may not even be heard in committee. Senator Jack Westwood says the committee chair tells him the bill would take away a judge's decision. But Westwood says Kentucky's law is the exception, not the rule.

He believes judges are misusing the power of shock probation.

Westwood says he's not against shock probation in general. He says it's just a mistake in cases when people are killed in drunk driving crashes.

As for the Moskwas, they say they don't want another family to experience the pain they've had.


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