I was watching ABC’s Good Morning America today when there was a story of a Black mother who was sentenced to two years in prison for throwing a cup of ice into the car of a person who had cut her off.
Two years over a cup of ice?
Jessica Hall, a North Carolina mother, was stuck in gridlocked traffic on an unusually hot day with three kids in the back of the car, a pregnant sister in the front of the car and her husband serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.
A car cut in front of her twice and she got angry and threw a McDonald’s cup filled with ice through the window of the other car.
But does the punishment fit the crime? I don’t think so. Two years in prison for throwing a cup of ice. What’s really going on here?
Now her three kids are living with relatives until her husband gets back from Iraq while she serves out her sentence.
"What’s disturbing about this case is the real lack of proportionality in the sentencing," Court TV’s Lisa Bloom said. "Two years in prison, two years for her kids not to have a parent. That seems unduly harsh."
Add to that, the victims are shocked too at the final sentence.
But the prosecutor argued that the cup was a missile and could have caused major damage.
A missile? C’mon now. Where is the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on this because this isn’t in the least bit fair sentencing?
If they wanted to make an example of her, I am sure they could have figured out a less extreme punishment.
I am sure traffic in Los Angeles is far worse than traffic in North Carolina; in fact I’m almost positive of this. And there are plenty of times that I want to follow people home and ask them what the hell they were thinking when they shot over three lanes on the freeway just to avoid missing their exit while putting all of our lives in danger, but I don’t.
However, Jessica Hall’s story is just a reminder that our judicial system is still very flawed in the way that it hands out sentences.
ABC is currently conducting a poll to see what other Americans feel about the punishment of Jessica Hall. Should be interesting to see the results.