1. Accidents happen…
2. Tragedies happen…
3. Jail (or prison) will not change #1 or #2.
The outcome of Michael Sleeter’s sentencing today in Utah’s Third district Court exemplifies what is possible from a cooperative effort in the search for justice (see Man sentenced to 5 days in jail in death of 2 women).
This tragic loss of life resulted from an accident and everyone involved in this case appears to have acknowledged as much; including the law enforcement officials who investigated the accident; Sim Gill and the prosecutors assigned to the case; defense counsel Justin Pratt; and Judge Hruby-Mills.
While it is true that Mr. Sleeter only received five days in the county jail, he is shackled with the burden of guilt, shame, and remorse for his role in Andrea and Erica’s deaths; chains that are not likely to be loosened during his lifetime. There is, however, a unique opportunity for Mr. Sleeter to honor Andrea and Erica by using this experience as a catalyst for transforming his own life in such a way that adds meaning to their absence.
Just as the most despised and feared disease of a generation can become a lifesaving cancer treatment (see Powerful new weapon in treating cancer: HIV virus), it is possible for a man such as Mr. Sleeter to alter the course of his life in ways never before imagined. I trust that he will do just that.
In this instance, the system worked and all should be commended for an outcome that is fair and just.