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Truth in sentencing?
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James Caffey spent three years in prison in the State of Georgia for three counts of misdemeanor vehicular homicide committed in Dekalb County, Georgia. Kevin Gray spent 12 months in a Georgia prison for his conviction of one count of misdemeanor vehicular homicide committed in Floyd County, Georgia.

Wendy Jennings, who was just 16-17 years old when she committed felony Vehicular Homicide in Gwinnett County is still serving her sentence of five years. Her co-defendant of the same age and county, Susan Osley, continues to serve out her four year sentence, as well.

The only difference in these cases are that Caffey’s and Gray’s convictions were for misdemeanors, and Jennings’ and Osley’s convictions were for felonies.

Jack Barfield was convicted of two counts of Felony Vehicular Homicide in Bryan County, Georgia, and was sentenced to 30-60 months in a Probation Detention Center.

However, as is common knowledge at this point, instead of sleeping in a dorm for Detainees, he sleeps in his own bed in his parents’ home. Instead of eating the cafeteria style Detention Center food, he eats his mother’s home cooking. Instead of having to watch television in the dayroom at the Detention Center, he watches it in the comfort of his home. With that said, however, we at least know (hope?) that, at some point in time, he will eventually have to serve out the remainder of his incarceration at the Detention Center.

Recently in Bryan County, Emily Mosely, (Mr. Barfield’s co-defendant), pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor vehicular homicide and one count of misdemeanor serious injury by vehicle, along with several other traffic offenses. Ms. Mosely was sentenced to one year of probation for her offenses. Truth in sentencing?

I challenge anyone who believes this was a fair sentence to convince Wendy Jennings and Susan Osley of that. The truth is that Ms. Jennings and Ms. Osley committed almost the identical crime as Barfield and Mosely, albeit in a different arena.

Ms. Jennings and Ms. Osley were racing their vehicles when one of them lost control and caused a wreck that cost two innocent people their lives. Same with Barfield and Mosely.

No alcohol or drugs involved, just reckless decisions that changed the course of hundreds of lives. Are the deaths that Barfield and Mosely caused any less important than the deaths that Jennings and Osley caused? How about the deaths that Caffey and Gray caused? The answer is a resounding "no!".

Yet, why do some citizens of this State go to prison, while others go to Detention Centers, and still others walk free for virtually the same crime? I am both humbled and horrified.




Susie Tompkins


Editor's note: Tompkins is a relative of the Reagins.

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