Just keep her off the roads

It is easy to express outrage at Dawn Miley's sentence when weighed against the lives of the four people who were killed in the accident Miley clearly caused.

Miley was sentenced Monday to a suspended three-year prison term for felony neglect of duty.

She blamed the accident on her self-medication for diabetes, an issue that will never be examined in the crucible of justice, since she entered a guilty plea as part of a negotiation. In exchange, prosecutors promised they would not recommend Miley go to prison.

Had the case gone to trial, the prosecution would have had to prove that Miley's self-treatment for her condition was responsible for the accident. The defense would have brought in an expert, setting up a technical battle.

When the smoke cleared, there's no guarantee Miley would have been found guilty.

Nevada law knows how to deal with people who have consumed alcohol or used drugs and then climbed behind the wheel.

But it's not so clear when someone fails to deal with a medical problem that could cause impairment.

A person having a heart attack could just as easily cause an accident. Does that make someone who is at risk for heart disease guilty? That would be an argument for the defense.

Making it worse is that five years before, Miley did the same thing in California, causing a three-car collision that injured seven people.

The key to Judge Michael Gibbons' sentence is that Miley may not drive unless she has the court's permission, and must be under a doctor's care.

That means the judge, not some faceless bureaucrat, will decide if Miley is allowed to drive. Given her record, if he decides to keep her off the roads, that would be OK with us.


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