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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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