The letter from Bonnie Rochelle in the April 15 edition, concerning the sentencing of Kenneth Small, is well-intentioned but misguided.
The driver, Kenneth Small, was not charged by the Malibu District Attorney with Driving Under the Influence. Ms. Rochelle may be entitled to an explanation for their refusal to charge DUI, but that inquiry should be directed toward the DA. If there was any message sent, it was by them.
Judge Lawrence Mira, aside from having a reputation as the finest Municipal Court Judge in Los Angeles, is known by criminal defense lawyers for his thorough understanding of sentencing procedures. In this case, he sentenced the driver to the maximum sentence the law allowed, based on the charges with which Kenneth Small was charged.
As to the leniency of the punishment, the legislature in Sacramento dictates the sentencing guidelines. Judge Mira merely followed the law.
As the case is pending, Judge Mira is prohibited from commenting on this matter; but I believe he would have wanted these facts called to the attention of the readers.
Glen S. Fleetwood