Though he was sentenced in 2005 to eight years in prison for his 10th and 11th drunken-driving convictions, James J. Socha was out of prison and driving again three years later when he was charged with his 12th offense.So, how’d THIS happen?
Apparently, Mr. Socha had been released – I’ll assume by a judge – on extended supervision back in February of 2008, and it only took him 11 months to get plowed and plow into a snowbank on the north side of town.
Then it only took 27 months for the case to come to trial.
And, of course, Socha denies it’s his fault:
"I took this myself because I thought it was simple to see I'm not the operator" of the Saab, he said in his opening statement.Even though the arresting officer videotaped the incident, said videotape showing the back-up lights of Socha’s Saab flashing on and off, indicating Mr. Socha was trying to rock the car out of the bank. As the officer put it:
"Unless Casper the Ghost was in there, the defendant is responsible for putting the car in reverse[.]"I’m not about to bash the police, here: they managed to nail this guy 12 times. And it’s ‘unclear why Socha was out of prison’? Hardly – somebody with the judicial power to put a multiply-convicted drunken driver on ‘extended supervision’ is the reason he was out, folks. And who has that power?
So some judge let this clown out, and whomever was in charge of his ‘extended supervision’ fumbled the ball.
Now Socha’s looking at perhaps 7 ½ years in jail.
Unless, of course, somebody decides to release him on ‘extended supervision’ again.
I have to ask – does somebody have to die because of this drunken joker before the judicial system takes the problem seriously?