Family Is Outraged Over Shock Probation

It's a decades old Kentucky law that some argue actually denies justice!

Shock probation has become common across the commonwealth.

It lets some offenders out of jail early.

A family is outraged after they say the man who was driving drunk and caused the crash that killed their son was granted shock probation.

Mangled metal that 6 years ago was a minivan carrying Richard Moskwa and his 24 year old son, Richard.

They were headed from Michigan through northern Kentucky.

It was Derby Day and two cars racing on the interstate caused a crash that ended the father and son's trip to Tennessee.

“The last words my son said to me were, “Dad we got hit by a car.” I grabbed the steering wheel that was it,” Richard Moskwa said.

Richard survived with serious injuries but his son died. Another woman was killed instantly.

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. We were floored. We couldn't believe that this could be allowed,” Debbie Moskwa said.

Now Debbie and Richard are spending a week in the state capital and they are 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.

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 discretion. But Westwood says Kentucky's law is the exception, not the rule.

With just days remaining in the session the clock is against the Moskwas. But they're not giving up.

“If it's doesn't I'm coming back. I'm not going to go away. I've told everyone that I'm not going to go away,” Debbie Moskwa said.

The Moskwas say they're not out for revenge, they say they don't want another family to experience the pain they've had.

Senator 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.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jon Location: pike on Mar 19, 2008 at 04:02 PM
    yep ol jo has 50 votes in his family, he got 15 years for doing a crime....ah lets shock him out in 5 months..
  • by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2008 at 02:07 PM
    Well, I know how it goes - in 1992 my 6 yr. old neice was killed by a drunk driver, convicted felon and she served 7 months!!! Been in and out of prison ever since! I know how you feel!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 19, 2008 at 02:06 PM
    come on give thes jail birds some milk and cookies.poor things. and tv and phones and sports and 3 meals aday and land let them vist there familys and friends. well this is really how it is.. if it was left to me they get nothing but a hard time. hard labor from daylight to dark. thats what they need..letting them out of jail? what a joke.
  • by Disfunctional Justice Location: Eastern Ky on Mar 19, 2008 at 07:59 AM
    The criminal justice system has turned into a joke and now it's going to be an even bigger joke when they let out all these people to save money for our budget. Quit giving yourselves raisies and stop giving the prisoners 5 star treatment and we'd make budget. I have to work 40 hours a week to provide myself with food/housing/insurance and they sit on their butts and get rewarded for their crimes. Being without freedom would suck but if you got all your meals for free and didn't have to pay bills you'd get use to it. I thought we were suppose to be teaching them a lesson? We should be more like the sherriff in Arizona that makes his inmates sleep in tents and eat sandwiches. He says if our troops have to live like that then it's the way our inmates should have to live. AMEN!!!! Get smart, their criminals, scum, and 95% of them will never change...We are wasting money on scum and that's includes the politions too1
  • by dewayne Location: pikeville on Mar 19, 2008 at 06:34 AM
    that is a slap in the face to the family that lost their loved one,whom ever gave this guy shock probation needs their head examined.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2008 at 11:18 PM
    why are you letting them out of jail for..have you lost your mind?? the law has gone nuts. may as well get rid of the jail.s this should be in there with the hill billy jokes..i dont belive in the jokes but it sounds like one..owell
  • by cindy Location: ky on Mar 18, 2008 at 08:34 PM
    i can't believe that the man only served 8months for killing someone.i do not know the victims family but,that was no accident that wreck was just plain murder.when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle being drunk and racing a car causing a wreck, that people is no accident.my 14yrold niece was killed in a accident while riding on a dirt bike,that is what you call an accident not what that man did to cause someone to die.where are the laws and why are they so messed up. if you sell drugs you get 5to10yrs,you kill someone you serve only 8 months,that is sad.to the moskwa i am very sorry about your loss and i hope you can get something done at the state capital on behalf of your son and others.
  • by Anonymous Location: KY on Mar 18, 2008 at 08:29 PM
    If we stopped putting liberal pansies behind the bench, stuff like this would stop.
  • by connie Location: danville on Mar 18, 2008 at 08:19 PM
    i think this is outreageous that a person can take someones life and still get to keep his own and especially because of his own stupidity this should really be rethought and god bless the family who is suffering and i hpe u win and this man really has to pay for your sons life its only fair god bless and be strong
  • by Anonymous Location: pikeville on Mar 18, 2008 at 06:27 PM
    I wish the family the best of luck. This "case of shock probation" is redicilous. I guess that is why they call it "shock" probation. It has left everyone in shock and that is just wrong. again, good luck Debbie and RIchard...

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